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Well Being Retreat Center - Event

Balancing Doing and Being

A Journey Into Presence


AAIT® and Mindfulness Practices

with Melanie McGhee and David Patterson

August 11, 12, 13, 2023

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A major challenge of modern life is having our moment to moment experiences shaped and often dominated by the tyranny of the dreaded “To DO List.” Our retreat will focus on finding a satisfying balance between doing, being, and non-doing. Our intention is that you encounter and learn to cultivate experiences of: 

  • living more fully in the present moment 

  • releasing tendencies of reactive stress  

  • recognizing and resolving anticipatory anxiety 

  • allowing Nature to nourish you 

  • access Awareness of what you are here to do 

  • fulfilling connection with yourself, others, and Life. 

Join us for a transformative retreat in which we step into finding freedom from the past and peace in the present with Acceptance and Integration Training® (AAIT™). We will explore mindfulness and AAIT™ as paths into non-dual awareness. This may reveal your inner wisdom and capacity to discern between essential and non-essential actions, leading to a greater sense of ease in balancing doing, being, and non-doing."

Your participation will also support the Alliance for Integrative Awareness (AIA=Iya) ( AIA’s mission is to help people find freedom from the past and peace in the present with AAIT™. We believe in equity and see a world where communities prioritize the emotional and mental wellbeing of all people.  Our goal is to bringing AAIT™ to people who need it most. Don't miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in a beautiful natural setting, connect with like-minded people, and deepen your understanding and experience of mindfulness and non-dual awareness. Also, by taking part in the retreat, you will be contributing to making these teachings available to others in need.

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Your Facilitators:

Melanie McGhee, LCSW & David Patterson, Ph.D.

Melanie and David have been committed to daily meditation practice for more than 30 years. As Professor Emeritus (UTK) and a certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher, David brings a grounding in science to the pragmatic cultivation of presence. With close to 40 years serving as a psychotherapist and the founder of Acceptance and Integration Training®, Melanie brings the practical understanding of her decades long study of non-dual philosophies.

Feldenkrais with Kathy White

Also offered on retreat will be morning Feldenkrais movement classes with Kathy White.


Kathy White, MPT GCFP, a long-time champion of AAIT™, is also a seasoned Feldenkrais practitioner and instructor. Kathy infuses her Feldenkrais lessons with the deep understanding gained from her practice as a physical therapist and AAIT practitioner. With her radiant energy, Kathy brings presence and grace as she guides transformative experiences, blending physical therapy expertise with Feldenkrais principles. Kathy's powerful approach empowers participants to discover self-awareness, bodily intelligence, and personal growth, fostering vibrant well-being.

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About the Venue

We will gather at the Well Being Retreat Center nestled along the Powell River in scenic Northeast Tennessee. The Wellbeing Retreat Center offers comfortable accommodations and ample meeting space that inspires an awareness of silence and simplicity. Surrounded by nature, we will have access to a labyrinth, riverside Pavilion, Fire Circle, hiking and beauty at every turn.

A spacious schedule allows time for enjoying the beauty of the retreat center, the luxury of delicious, fresh and organic meals prepared by the generous and talented staff of the Well Being Retreat Center. Our sessions will take place in the comfort of the Conference center or the beauty of the outdoor pavilion alongside the Powell River. Exploring the confluence of AAIT and mindfulness practice will reveal expanded awareness and new perspectives.

Program Options - Two Choices

(Choose one or both)

  • Two-Day Weekend Retreat: Finding Harmony with Doing and Being 

Includes tuition, accommodations, all meals and snacks Friday supper through lunch on Sunday, August 13, 2023. 

Arrival: Between 3:30 and 5:00 PM Friday August 11, 2023 

Departure: After lunch on Sunday August 13, 2023 

FEE $650 to $880 depending on choice of accommodations

Day-long Satori and Sunyata Intensive – An Adventure into the Mystery of our True Nature

This day long experience can be added to your weekend retreat. Graduates of AAIT™ Foundations, the Fellowship Training Group, and friends are welcome to register for this day only. 

Arrival: Between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM Friday August 11, 2023 

Departure: 5:30 PM Friday August 11, 2023 

Includes lunch and snacks.  

Note: If you are new to AAIT and want to attend JUST this day, please contact Melanie McGhee at 865-384-4104

FEE $380


Melanie McGhee, L.C.S.W., the founder of AAIT™ and AIA.  

Satori — a moment of spiritual awakening; an experiential glimpse into our true nature  

Sunyata — absolute void; emptiness; the ultimate nature of reality  

According to many spiritual traditions, beneath all desires lies the desire to wake up to our true nature. Yet, when asked Who are you? or What is life? few of us can answer with certainty, with an answer based in our own experience rather than conceptual understanding. 


The Friday Day-Long Intensive is designed to answer these questions, so that participants  have the experience of direct knowing, a first hand perception of truth itself. Our morning will be spent experientially exploring these questions, ushering in a glimpse (or more) of Satori. Satori is a Japanese term referring to a moment of spiritual awakening an experiential glimpse into our true nature. 


In the afternoon, we will move into the Sunyata Series. Sunyata is a Pali and Sanskrit term that refers to Absolute Void, Emptiness. It refers to the idea that all things are ultimately empty and the same. Sunyata is said to be the ultimate nature of reality.  


Step by step, following a series of guided concentration exercises, you will move from one to another level of awareness. The experience of Sunyata will be soft, without any noise and exaggerated phenomena. It will be the same state of consciousness Hui Neng, described, In essence everything is Divine Void. 


This state will not be permanent. It will fade after some time, but has the potential of opening you to an experience of true reality, accelerate your spiritual development and harness the power of psychological growth efforts, even after the experience fades so your personal work could move more quickly.  


Experiencing this state can aid tremendously in your understanding of the value of empty states of consciousness in liberating us from psycho-emotional pain, a distinguishing aspect of AAIT™. 


Most importantly, our intention is that all participants have a direct experience of truth in a way that is not easily forgotten. 


** only available to FTG grads, invited friends, and participants in our two day retreat, Balancing Doing and Being, a Journey into Presence. 

Accommodations and Meals


Food provided will be mostly gluten-free, non-vegetarian with a vegetarian option at each meal. Vegetarian may include eggs and limited dairy. Lodging is available on a first come, first serve basis; there are a limited number of private cabins. The Tiny Houses and the earth-sheltered private cabins by the river are both listed as "Private Cabins." For pictures of the lodging options, go here. For accommodation policies click HERE

Please use the form below to register for your choice of program, and accommodations. PRICE IS PER PERSON

Contact & Questions

Contact Melanie McGhee if you have any questions about the content of the event:  (865-384-4104,

Contact or at 858-682-6884 if you have questions about facilities or accommodations.


After you have "Previewed" your Registration form, scroll again to bottom of page to "Submit" your registration. You will then be redirected to PayPal to make payment for your Accommodations.

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