Program Listings

  • Lodge: Single Occupancy Room – CAD $1,695.00
  • Lodge: Double Occupancy – CAD $1,295.00
  • Drala Cabin: Single Occupancy – CAD $1,615.00
  • Drala Cabin: Double Occupancy – CAD $1,255.00
  • Large White Tent: Single Occupancy – CAD $1,535.00
  • Large White Tent: Double Occupancy – CAD $1,175.00
  • Wood Cabin: Single Occupancy – CAD $1,535.00
  • Wood Cabin: Double Occupancy – CAD $1,175.00
  • White Hut: Single Occupancy – CAD $1,535.00
  • White Hut: Double Occupancy – CAD $1,175.00
  • Bring Your Own Tent: Platform Provided – CAD $1,095.00
  • Bring Your Own Tent: No Platform Provided – CAD $975.00
  • Shrine Room Floor: Garuda – CAD $1,015.00
  • Live or Staying Locally – CAD $815.00

Date & Time Details: Arrive Friday, June 21. Check-in is from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Atlantic. Dinner at 6:30pm Departure Saturday, June 29 after breakfast.

Location: Dorje Denma Ling

Address: 2280 Balmoral Rd, The Falls, NS B0K 1V0, Canada

Contact: Amara McLaughlin-Harris
[email protected]

Finance Manager: Suzy Ulrich [email protected]

Email us about program

The Shape of Awake®: Meditation and the Alexander Technique

with Hope Martin

June 21 - 29, 2024

“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

During this retreat, we will draw on three contemplative practices that cultivate insight, compassion, and confidence:

  • Mindfulness Meditation to relax mental holding patterns
  • Alexander Technique to release physical holding patterns
  • Focusing to access deeper feelings held in the body

Being upright is not just an arbitrary shape, it’s a perfect expression of meditation itself. In this 7 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 

June 21  (Arrival Day)

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

June 22 –  June 28

  • 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p. m.
  • Includes breaks for meals and rest time. Each session may include breaks, guided meditation and posture correction. June 28 will end earlier with a celebratory dinner.

June 29

  • 8:00 a.m.: Breakfast & Departure

Retreat Cost

All prices are in $CAD
Tuition & Meals: $610
Lodging: Extra: varies by type. Visit the Registration Form or this page for a list of options and pricing.

Early Bird Discount of $100 applies if you register by February 29, 2024.

Generosity Policy: If you need financial assistance in order to attend, please complete this form and our Finance Director will contact you. If you have questions or would like to set up a payment plan, contact our Finance Department at [email protected].

Weekend Attendance

Hope has agreed to offer weekend-only attendance to those who are unable to take the full week off. During the weekend you will be introduced to the fundamental principles and posture of the Alexandre Technique, and come away with a solid understanding of the basics.

However, you will get the maximum benefit if you can, attend the full week — which we highly recommend. The full retreat will greatly deepen the impact that the Alexander Technique will have on both your meditation practice and daily activities

If you would like to register for the weekend only portion of the Shape of Awake retreat, please go here for pricing and to register.


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

Covid Considerations 

Please read the full details of our Covid policy here.

Registration and Cancellation Policies

Please take note that our registration and cancellation policies have been updated. You can read our registration and cancellation policies here.

Useful Links

What to Bring & Expect at DDL
How to Get Here



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