Program Listings

Book now and get CAD $125.00 off listed prices. Offer valid until Jun 30, 2024.
  • Lodge: Double Occupancy – CAD $3,170.00
  • Drala Cabin: Single Occupancy – CAD $4,090.00
  • Drala Cabin: Double Occupancy – CAD $3,055.00
  • Shrine Room Floor: Garuda – CAD $2,365.00

Date & Time Details: Arrive Friday, September 27. Check-in is from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Atlantic. Dinner at 6:30pm Departure October 20 after breakfast.

Location: Dorje Denma Ling

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

Contact: Amara McLaughlin-Harris
[email protected]

Finance Director: Suzy Ulrich [email protected]

Email us about program

Mahamudra Retreat: Discovering the Nature of Mind

with Scott Wellenbach and Kristine McCutcheon

September 27 - October 20, 2024

A meditation retreat exploring Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje’s text Pointing out the Dharmakaya

When mind is without reference point, that is mahàmudrà.
When you are accustomed to and familiar with this,
unsurpassable awakening is attained.”
Tilopa, Mahàmudrà: The Ocean of Definitive Meaning

Please join retreat leaders Kristine McCutcheon and Scott Wellenbach for a group, mostly silent, three-week retreat following Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje’s shamatha and vipashyana mahamudra meditation instructions.

The retreat will follow the format as practised in the Sopa Choling three-year retreat with boundaries and four sessions daily. This retreat is restricted to Vajrayana practitioners.

Our practice will be both inside the shrine room and outside in nature, both still and moving. Each retreatant will have options for interviews. Everyone will support the container with shared care of the environment.

So as to be conducive to the practice, meals will be simple and primarily vegetarian.

Practice Materials

For this retreat there are three required texts:

  1. The Transmission, Pointing Out the Dharmakaya, by Wangchuk Dorje, Karmapa IX

  2. Intensifying Devotion in One’s Heart: The Supplication
    “Crying to the Gurus from Afar,” by Jamgon Kongrul

  3. Moonbeams of Mahamudra, by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, Translated by Elizabeth Callahan

Who Should Attend

This is a vajrayana program restricted to tantrikas and sadhakas who have received pointing out instruction.
If you have questions or wonder if you qualify, please contact Kristine McCutcheon at [email protected].

Overview of Schedule 

September 27  (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.

September 28 –  October 19

  • 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p. m.
  • Includes breaks for meals and rest time.  June October 19 will end earlier with a celebratory feast.

October 20 (Departure Day)

  • 8:00 a.m.: Breakfast & Departure

Retreat Cost

All prices are in $CAD
Tuition & Meals: $1,790
Lodging: Extra: varies by type. Visit the Registration Form or this page for a list of options and pricing.

Early Bird Discount of $125 applies if you register by June 30, 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].

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



Scott Wellenbach
Scott Wellenbach has been a member of the Nalanda Translation Committee for over 30 years. He was an early student of Trungpa Rinpoche and is now a member of Ponlop Rinpoche’s Nithartha faculty. Scott is known for his learned and accessible teaching style, with particular emphasis on Mahamudra instructions.
Learn more about Scott Wellenbach
Kristine McCutcheon
Kristine McCutcheon has been meditating in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition for over 30 years including a three year retreat. Studying the dharma has led her to travel to Nepal and India and then back to Nova Scotia. Drawing on her background as a Montessori teacher, Kristine presents the dharma in a hands-on way, incorporating movement, song and contemplation to help participants ground in shamatha meditation. Taking her teachers’ examples to heart, Kristine is a householder and lives with her partner in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, between the mountain and the ocean.          
Learn more about Kristine McCutcheon