Program Listings

  • Lodge: Single Occupancy Room – CAD $1,050.00
  • Lodge: Double Occupancy – CAD $825.00
  • Lodge: Couple's Room – CAD $1,050.00
  • Drala Cabin: Double Occupancy – CAD $800.00
  • Large White Tent: Double Occupancy – CAD $750.00
  • Wood Cabin: Double Occupancy – CAD $775.00
  • Bring Your Own Tent – CAD $625.00
  • Shrine Room Floor (Dragon Room) – CAD $625.00
  • Live or Staying Locally – CAD $550.00
  • (All prices include CAD $550.00 base amount)

Date & Time Details: Arrival Saturday, Sept. 10th. Check-in is from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Atlantic. Dinner at 6:30pm Departure Thursday afternoon after tea.

Location: Dorje Denma Ling

Address: 2280 Balmoral Rd, Tatamagouche, NS, B0K 1V0

Contact: Dan Schreibman
[email protected]
902-657-9085 ext 20

Finance Manager: Suzy Ulrich [email protected]

Email us about program

The Shape of Awake®: Meditation and the Alexander Technique

With Hope Martin

September 10 - 15, 2022

“To take this posture itself is the purpose of our practice. When you have this posture, you have the right state of mind, so there is no need to try to attain some special state.” – Suzuki Roshi

Discover how to be fully present and at ease in your body. This will transform your practice and your life! This experiential retreat offers a safe, supportive and caring environment to learn about and befriend yourself, and to deepen your meditation practice.

Learning to be more embodied, to let go of excessive tension and allow your nervous system to settle, provides a powerful foundation for navigating the challenges of this time of uncertainty and change.

The Alexander process brings a quality of being that is expansive, balanced and open. It is the shape of equanimity. When strong emotions or anxiety arise, abiding in your body, free of protective holding patterns, allows you to access your fundamental resilience and meet all aspects of your experience.

What to Expect

Being upright is not just an arbitrary shape, it’s a perfect expression of meditation itself. In this 5 day meditation retreat, Hope Martin, a Master Teacher of the Alexander Technique, will help you establish ease, non-striving, and a friendly relationship to yourself in meditation and everyday activities. Learn to be more upright, supported, and relaxed in your meditation sessions and in your life.

Hope’s hands-on adjustments and instruction will teach you to access effortless, balanced posture – both light and grounded. This helps to greatly reduce the strain and discomfort that is experienced during extended periods of meditation practice.

You will become aware of unconscious habits that cause tension and pain as a result of fixed posture and mindset and learn to shift to a more easeful way of being.

Principles of Focusing will also be introduced to help loosen our habitually stuck places and to access the wisdom that resides in the body’s holding patterns.

In addition to meditation practice, the program will include periods of silence, experiential exercises, instruction on basic body mechanics and alignment, humour, as well as gentle hands-on work from the instructor to help release unnecessary tension.

Who Should Attend

Everyone is welcome to attend this retreat. Meditation instruction, guided practice and individual posture adjustments will be provided.

The retreat is ideal for both new and experienced meditators.  It will address any physical discomfort associated with sitting and everyday movements. This results in much more ease and presence in the practice and in everyday activities.

You will also learn to accommodate all your responses, including anxiety and stress and to release emotional reactions that get stuck in the deep holding patterns of the body.

Overview of Schedule (Atlantic Time)

Time Zone Converter

September 10  (Arrival Day)

  • Check-in is open from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Please try to arrive before 5pm to settle in before dinner if you are able to.
  • Dinner is at 6:30.
  • There will be an orientation session at 7:45 after dinner.

September 11 –  September 14

  • 7:00 a.m.: Optional (Outdoor Contemplative Practice)
  • 8:00 a.m.: Breakfast
  • 9:15 a.m.: Morning Session
  • 12:30 p.m.: Lunch
  • 2:00 p.m.: Early afternoon Session
  • 4:00 p.m.: Tea
  • 4:30 p.m.: Late afternoon session
  • 6:00 p.m. Break
  • 6:30 p.m.: Dinner
  • 7:45 p.m.: Evening Session
  • 9:00 p.m.: End of day

September 15

  • 7:00 a.m.: Optional (Outdoor Contemplative Practice)
  • 8:00 a.m.: Breakfast
  • 9:15 a.m.: Morning session
  • 12:30 p.m.: Lunch
  • 2:00 p.m.: Early afternoon Session
  • 4:30 p.m.: Break
  • 5:00 p.m.: Celebratory Tea Reception

Covid Considerations

For this program we will have the following covid protocols:

  • All participants and staff must be fully vaccinated against covid.
  • Participants should bring two rapid tests with them to the program.
    • Upon arrival, all participants will take a rapid test to confirm that they are negative for covid.
    • The second test will be kept in reserve to be used in the event that the participant becomes symptomatic.
  • The group will remain masked while indoors.
  • Please do not come to the land if you are feeling ill.



  • Each session may include breaks, guided meditation and posture correction.
  • Departure after Tea on September 15. If you are traveling and wish to stay over on September 15, you will have the option to add an additional night’s stay on the registration form.
  • If you are staying for Embodied Listening®, you WILL need to add the additional night’s stay to your registration, unless you are leaving and coming back the next day.

Program Cost

Tuition: $450 CAD
Food: $100 CAD
Accommodations: Extra. (Please see the Registration Page for a list of options.)

Participants who enroll in both the Shape of Awake® and Embodied Listening® programs will receive a 15% discount on the tuition portion of both retreats. We will adjust your Guest Statement for you.


Shape of Awake transformed my relationship with my meditation practice and with my world. I feel more open, vulnerable, and available, while also feeling freer and more grounded. Hope’s clarity, directness, heartfulness, and deep experience were a powerful combination and a sorely needed antidote to the rampant disembodiment in our culture. — Miles Buklet

What I learned in the retreat was immediately useful and very interesting. Hope helped our  group experience the truth of ‘embodied wisdom.’ She was warm, compassionate, grounded, professional, and deeply informed. Her approach to the body perfectly parallels the compassionate self-observation we are engaged in as meditators. — Celena Matsen
Hope’s gentle encouragement to work with my physical and emotional discomfort helped me develop greater awareness of my recurrent holding patterns, greater trust in my body’s wisdom, and greater capacity to relax. As someone who had always armoured up to meet adversity, I have learned that I can drop the armour and engage difficult situations with greater gentleness and patience. — Mark D.

I find Hope to be a very skilled teacher with a strong intuitive sense of how to work with each individual. Her Alexander work is deep and subtle, and has been extremely helpful in deeply understanding some of the principles of meditation posture that had eluded me for many years. — Michael Chender


Hope Martin
Hope Martin has taught the Alexander Technique for 35 years, trained Alexander teachers for over two decades at the American Center for the Alexander Technique, and operates Hope Martin Studio in New York City. She is a Meditation Instructor, a Focusing trainer and has been a close student of Pema Chodron for 30 years. Her particular passion is in helping her students discover how easeful, upright posture is an expression of their human dignity, confidence, and innate wakefulness. To learn more about Hope’s work, visit
Learn more about Hope Martin