Natural Living & Education Center in Asheville NC

Blue Ridge Mountains

Interior Design for the Soul

Date(s) - 11/03/2017 - 11/05/2017
4:00 pm - 12:15 pm

OM Sanctuary

Interior Design for the Soul: Redecorate Your Inner Space

November 3-5, 2017

Register HERE

We live in stressful times.  It’s difficult to escape the daily headlines shouting their scary messages.  For some of us, it’s virtually impossible to do so because our inner worlds – our most private, internal experiences – are also negative places.  We constantly criticize and second guess ourselves, hold ourselves to impossible standards, or we just haven’t learned healthy ways of responding to unpleasant thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations when they arise.

For thousands of years, wise people of every spiritual tradition have taught that certain core skills are necessary to establish and maintain a healthy inner space.  Brain imaging confirms the truth of this ancient knowledge.  New technology allows us to expedite the results of such practices by reflecting important aspects of our inner experience.  In turn, this allows us to shift them in a positive direction.

If you would like to learn more about these core skills, experience them for yourself with feedback about your progress, and spend some peaceful time away in a beautiful setting, The Institute for Applied Neuroscience invites you to attend this weekend retreat at OM Sanctuary.

Retreat Dates:  November 3-5, 2017
Maximum Class Size:  12 participants
Instructor:  Mary Ammerman, PsyD, BCN
Total course cost, including lodging, meals, and tuition listed below:
Early bird registration, deadline 9/30/17: Shared (2-person cottage) $550 per person
Private cottage (for one individual) $680
Regular registration, deadline 10/20/17:  Shared (2-person cottage) $650 per person</b
Private cottage (for one individual) $750


  • Friday, November 3rd
    4:00 pm:  Check in
    5:00 pm – 6:00 pm:  Introductions and co-creation of our community values for the weekend.
    6:00 pm – 7:00 pm:  Welcome Dinner
    7:00 pm – 8:30 pm:  Neuroscientific reasons why we can (and should!) become brain sculpting, nervous system gardeners who cultivate the types of inner and outer experiences we would like to have. Overview of the 4 core skills necessary for redecorating your inner space.
  • Saturday, November 4th
    8:00 am – 9:30 am Breakfast
    9:30 am – 10:45 am and 10:45 am – 12:00 pm:  OPTIONAL HOLISTIC CLASSES (YOGA AND MEDITATION) offered through OM Sanctuary. (If you’d like to participate in either or both of these classes, please register with OM Sanctuary staff. The cost for each OM Sanctuary Holistic class is $10.) If desired, retreat participants can also choose to schedule a massage with OM Sanctuary staff during this time.
    In addition, Mary will be taking “mini-map” EEG recordings for any participant who would like one during these morning hours.
    12:00 pm – 1:00 pm:  Lunch
    1:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Core Skills 1 & 2: The importance of matching your nervous system’s “speed” to the situation: Are you either alert or relaxed enough for the task at hand? Can you focus when necessary? Can you relax enough to fall asleep at night? Learn how the speed of your nervous system influences your ability to focus your attention, and why choosing your focus is crucial to creating a positive inner world. Learn how you can intentionally – and naturally – change the speed of your nervous system to greatly enhance your ability to choose your focus.
    2:30 pm – 3:30 pm:  Practice this skill with devices that alert you when you’ve found the best speed for focusing attention.
    3:30 pm – 4:00 pm:  Afternoon Break
    4:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Core Skills 3 & 4: Are you intentionally practicing what you want to experience in your life or accidentally practicing what you don’t want? We can learn to transcend inherent survival biases in our brains, and therefore, switch from surviving to thriving. In the process, we will practice skillfully relating to difficult thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations as they arise, and we will identify and practice qualities of self-compassion.
    6:00 pm – 7:00 pm:  Social Hour (Wine, beer, sparkling water served)
    7:00 pm – 8:00 pm:  Dinner
    8:00 pm – 9:30 pm:  Optional Evening Session
  • Sunday Morning, November 5th
    8:00 am – 9:30 am: Breakfast
    9:30 am – 10:45 am: OPTIONAL HOLISTIC CLASS offered by OM Sanctuary Staff OR individual time available for additional practice with feedback devices
    11:00 am Checkout (Luggage can be stored in vestibule of Rivercane Studio classroom)
    11:00 am – 12:15 pm:  Create your own “design plan” for your inner world and learn tips for continued home practice of 4 core skills.


About Your Instructor

Mary Ammerman grew up in the foothills of North Carolina. She attended UNC-Chapel Hill and has
bachelor’s degrees in English and Psychology. She chose those two majors because she loved how
powerfully stories illustrate truths about human nature. Mary traveled across the country to earn her
doctorate in Psychology from Pepperdine University. Her ability to genuinely connect with people of all
ages and backgrounds has allowed her to work in diverse settings, including prisons, VA hospitals,
adolescent substance abuse clinics, and private practice. She is passionate about helping people realize
they can free themselves from unhelpful thoughts, unpleasant feelings, and past painful experiences so
that they are better able to live their best lives. Learn more at