Participant Info

Insurance & Liability
Ride Sharing & Parking
Communication & Mail
Financial Assistance

 What to Bring 

We suggest you print out this check list so that you don’t forget anything.

____ Flashlight with extra batteries (for walking between buildings at night)
____ Alarm clock
____ Bedding and towels are supplied to guests in Gyatso Lodge and the Drala cabins. You need to bring your bedding and towels for all other types of accommodation.
____ Personal toiletries (Scent free please!)
____ If relevant, Medications that will last you through the program
____ Earplugs (optional)
____ Insect repellent
____ A thermos or thermal mug. (Beverage containers used in the shrine room must have a leak-proof top.)
____ Rain gear: raincoat or poncho, umbrella
____ Warm jacket and clothing that can be layered for varied weather conditions. Evenings can be cold from September through early June.
____ Boots or water-resistant shoes (especially during rainy season, late April through June)
____ Footwear: Shoes that slip on or off easily for going in and out of the shrine rooms easily, sturdy sandals or shoes suitable for walking and, if you have room in your luggage, your dressier shoes for banquets (if applicable*)
____ One uplifted outfit: dress or sport coat and tie, for special gatherings (if applicable*)
____ Clothing appropriate for duty-rota work, practice and classes, casual work clothes such as jeans and t-shirts.


  • Specific instructions on “what to bring” that apply to your retreat will be provided by the Program Manager prior to your arrival – if applicable.
  • Dorje Denma Ling provides rectangular foam meditation cushions (gomdens) and mats (zabutons). If you require other styles of cushions or Zen-style benches, please feel free to bring your own.
  • Chairs are always available in our shrine rooms as an option for those who have difficulty sitting on a meditation cushion.

 Environment, Diet & Health

  • Please Note: There are ticks at Dorje Denma Ling, although we keep the grass well mowed to minimize encounters with them. To date, there have been no reported cases of lyme infections at DDL, however, there have been cases reported in the county. Prevention and body inspection are your best defence against ticks. Prevention includes using appropriate insect repellents, staying out of tall grasses or tucking your pant legs into your socks. Because it takes ticks several hours before they get securely embedded, regular inspection and daily showers using a wash cloth (preferably white) will help to prevent bites that could distribute disease. 
  • Dorje Denma Ling aspires to be a SCENT-FREE environment for the comfort of all our patrons. Please bring only scent-free personal bathing and grooming products. Dorje Denma Ling supplies scent free hand soap.
  • Food at DDL – What to expect: Breakfast at DDL consists of cooked oatmeal and at least one other gluten-free option, stewed fruit (prunes and/or apples), boiled eggs, yoghurt, and a selection of seeds and/or nuts and dried fruit. We provide cow, and non-dairy milk options, as well as organic coffee and a selection of herbal and caffeinated teas. At lunch and dinner you can expect there to be options that are gluten free and vegan, as well as meat and/or vegetarian dishes. We cook with a broad variety of ingredients, with the goal of sourcing as much local and sustainable food as possible. Meals are labelled with a list of ingredients so you know what you are eating. In addition to cooked meals, regular and gluten free breads, rice cakes, fruit and a variety of spreads are offered at all times.
  • If you have dietary restrictions other than being gluten free or vegetarian or vegan, we invite you to bring food with you to supplement what is provided. A fridge and a microwave are available for participants for this purpose.
  • Protecting your personal health is obviously important. Please bring with you any medications, supplements, sunscreens, bug repellants, and the like that you will need. Many people experience less bowel activity as a result of extended periods of sitting, so all are encouraged to bring their own remedy.
  • On your registration form, please let Dorje Denma Ling know about any special health issues that might need attention during your stay.
  • During the retreat, in order to prevent spread of infections, please remember to wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer (provided), don’t share drinks, canteens or utensils, and cough or sneeze mindfully into a tissue, your arm or sleeve – not your hands.
  • No pets are allowed on the land.

 Dorje Denma Ling Protocol

When you are visiting us, you are expected to abide by the Dorje Denma Ling Protocol, which specifies the following as inappropriate behaviours: 

  1. Possession of a weapon
  2. Possession or use of an illegal substance
  3. Use of marijuana on the land
  4. Inappropriate or excessive use of alcohol, including offering alcohol to a minor
  5. Aggressive or threatening physical or verbal behavior
  6. Inappropriate sexual activity or harassment, including inappropriate innuendos, advances or comments made to others 

These behaviours can lead your immediate removal from the land.

  Insurance & Liability

  • If you are coming from outside Canada, we encourage you to have health insurance.
  • All program staff and participants are required to sign a release of liability upon arrival.

 Ride Sharing & Parking 

If you are driving, a car please please consider sharing a ride with others if you can. Those coming from Halifax could also consider picking up participants at the airport if they have room. We have a ride-share Facebook page to help you with carpooling, or you may have success posting a message on the Shambhala Network.

Short term parking is available in the Gyatso Parking Lot. Follow the signs to “Visitor Parking” and take the road that leads to Gyatso Lodge (first right at the top of the entrance road).

You are welcome to park there to unload and check-in, but if staying for a retreat, you will be required to move to the Vajra Parking Lot for longer term parking. To get to the Vajra Parking Lot, go out to the main entrance road, go left and take the first right (short distance down) … follow the signs to “Long Term Parking.”

 Communication & Mail

We invite you to unplug and relax into the space and nature during your stay at Dorje Denma Ling. However, if you must use electronic devices, please observe these guidelines:

  • Cell phone use is not permitted in shrine rooms or public areas. Please find a private spot to make your call. If you need to make a phone call but don’t have a cell phone, please ask at the reception desk and we will make one available to you.
  • Messages, if urgent, can be left by calling our Emergency Staff Phone 902-957-2021.
  • Internet access is available to participants throughout the inner program area on the land, including in Gyatso Lodge. 
    • Network Name: Guest
      Password: “letmeinplease”
  • Office hours during Program Season are 2:00 – 5:30 Tuesdays to Saturdays. The phones are monitored, and someone doesn’t pick up, please leave a messages and we’ll get back to you. If you have an urgent matter and need to reach someone, call the Emergency Staff Phone (number above).
  • If you need to mail or ship something to Dorje Denma Ling, you can use the following address:
    • 2280 Balmoral Rd
      Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia  B0K 1V0
      Office Phone: 902 657 9085


During most programs participants are asked to help with the general clean-up and operations associated with the retreat they are attending, in other words – ROTA.

  • Experienced ROTA service coordinators and ikebana practitioners are invited to offer their skills as their ROTA during a program. Please email [email protected] with a short message if you are interested in offering your assistance.
  • Participants may also offer other special skills that may be helpful to the program (such as medical training).
  • If you have physical or health limitations that prevent you from doing certain ROTA tasks, please specify in the “Comment” field of the registration form so that this information can be passed on to the ROTA coordinator.
  • Your skills will be taken into consideration as we complete the ROTA schedule.

 Registration Information

  • If possible, please arrive by 5:00 pm in order to have enough time to complete your registration and settle into your accommodations prior to the evening meal.
  • In order to avoid long line ups at registration and to help the kitchen with planning, our policy is to require full payment for retreats two weeks in advance. Expedited registration will be provided for participants who have paid in full.

 Financial Assistance

  • All program costs at Dorje Denma Ling are workable. There are various ways you can get financial assistance when you need it. Please visit this page for a complete list of options available to you.
  • Please note that we cannot arrange tuition discounts at registration.