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Mountains of Courage Annual Conference

Conversations on Death and Dying

April 6, 2024 • 9 am - 4 pm

Best Western GranTree Inn
1325 N 7th St., Bozeman, MT
Doors open at 8:30 am


Mountains of Courage is a one-day conference for anyone who wants to create a conversation around death and dying.


Featuring a diverse array of topics, speakers, resources, and workshops. The event provides an opportunity for meaningful and enriching conversations to take place about when someone dies.

Explore the practical issues, emotions, myths, and traditions of dying in America at the 2024 conference.

$50 (after March 20)
$25 veterans/students
5.0 Contact hours for nurses and social workers
MOC 2024 Keynote Speaker Rev Bodhi Be
Listen to the 2023 interview on KGLT radio!

"We teach people in our culture how to drive and how to cook,

but we don’t have classes on how to die."

- Mountains of Courage co-founder,

Dr. Susan Kreitzberg


Reverend Bodhi Be -
'Warrior of the heart, protector of the sacred.'



Beginners Guide to Aging, Dying and Death in the 21st Century 

For more information:
  • How did we get here? Where is ‘here’?  

  • What has aging come to mean in our culture?

  • What’s the difference between the elderly and elders?

  • Is there any value in the ‘dying time’?

  • Is there any value in suffering?

  • What does ‘dying well’  and ‘death with dignity’ look like?

  • Do we have the right to end our life?

  • What have we lost by giving away the care of the dying and the dead to businesses and institutions?

  • What happens to us when we accept and embrace the truth that a healthy life includes its death?

Reverend Bodhi Be is an ordained interfaith minister. He is a funeral director, an end-of-life and bereavement counselor, a hospice volunteer, and Reiki practitioner who makes coffins. He teaches and trains death doulas and is a public speaker and workshop leader.

Bodhi is the founder and Executive Director of Doorway Into Light, a non-profit organization on Maui, which provides conscious and compassionate care for the dying, their families, and the grieving. Doorway Into Light has operated Hawaii’s only non-profit funeral home since 2012. The Death Store is a community resource center and store that provides education, support, and counsel on a donation basis.


Since 2006 Bodhi has been offering community educational programs and training in the fields of Awakened Living and Dying and The Care of the Dying. He has trained hundreds of doctors, nurses, hospice staff, social workers, ministers, chaplains, therapists, artists, and lay people in the spiritual, psychological, emotional, and logistical care of the dying and of the dead.


As a ceremonial guide, Bodhi leads memorial and funeral services and community grief rituals. He has facilitated grief support groups for teenagers at a local high school and has hosted a weekly streaming radio show, ‘Death Tracks’, on a local Maui station.


For many years Bodhi collaborated with Ram Dass who was a neighbor, mentor, and friend. Bodhi continues the work that Ram Dass helped birth in the fields of conscious dying in America.


Doorway Into Light is creating a new model of land stewardship. This model includes a natural green burial ground, sanctuary, kids park, a social-model hospice, and ceremony hall and community gathering place where life and death interweave in a healthy community life.

Bodhi and his wife Leilah are organic, off-the-grid homesteaders in Hawaii who have been leading spiritual retreats around the world for over 30 years.

Facebook : Bodhi Be 

Instagram: @thedeathstoremaui


Tracy Rassley

What is "Normal" About Grief.

This presentation will provide you with information regarding what the grieving process may look like and how to let your grief be yours.  We'll discuss steps to take care of your mental health and use self-care. 

Tracy is the Programs Manager for the Montana and Wyoming Chapters of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).  After twenty-four years as a paralegal and volunteering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for almost seven years she has now been in her current position over a year. She has presented countless trainings for AFSP that include Talk Saves Lives: An Introduction to Suicide Prevention, Supporting Those at Risk, It’s Real: Teens and Mental Health, and It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health. In addition, she is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer. 



The workshops are held after lunch. There will be one workshop session from 2 - 3 pm. You choose one workshop to attend. There will be an opportunity to ask questions in all workshops.

Experience a Death Cafe


Dr. Marianna Olson

"While death had always fascinated her, it wasn't until 2020 that Mariana Olsen felt called to the death positivity movement. After experiencing two marginalized deaths -- her cat in April and her father in September -- she felt compelled to create a safe, welcoming space for people to talk about this universal, yet taboo, experience.


Death Cafes, the creation of Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid, provide a space to openly discuss death. They are not support groups but, rather, free gatherings where people talk about experiences and ideas related to death and how to make the most of life -- all while enjoying coffee and snacks.


She completed her death doula training in 2021 through Going With Grace and also teaches a course at Montana State University called the Psychology of Death and Dying in which she collaborates with students to navigate behaviors, beliefs, and meaning-making that surround mortality."

Artful Healing: Embracing Grief Through Creativity

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Marie Antoinette Kelley

Award winning artist who has done hundreds of commissioned portraits. She is the author and illustrator of Danny's Day in Heaven.


In the journey of grief, words often fall short in expressing the depth of our sorrow, or the multitude of our emotions. Join us in a one-hour therapeutic art class designed to offer solace and self-expression in a compassionate environment, so you can explore your grief without the need for words.  We will use the medium of art as a bridge to your inner experiences, celebrating memories of loved ones, and facilitating a deeper understanding of your grief process. You will share space with others who are also walking a path of loss and healing. 


All materials are provided, allowing you to freely explore and express your feelings through art.

Embracing Transition: Integrating Spirituality and Sustainable Practices in Postmortem Care

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Chalice Stroebe MDiv

As a chaplain with an integrative health background, I am immersed in the art of nurturing both the spirit and body. My practice is rooted in the belief that true healing and understanding come from harmonizing our narratives with our lived experiences. My approach integrates the wisdom of Buddhist teachings with a commitment to earth-conscious living, aiming to reshape how we engage with life's transitions, including death, through a lens of sustainability and spiritual depth.

This workshop explores the delicate balance between honoring the deceased and preserving our planet. Drawing upon Buddhist principles and modern green burial practices, participants will learn how to create meaningful, environmentally conscious postmortem ceremonies that celebrate life and respect our earthly home. Through a combination of theoretical insights and practical guidance, this session aims to equip attendees with the knowledge to advocate for and implement sustainable death care practices that reflect a compassionate and holistic approach to the end of life. Join us to discover how ancient wisdom and contemporary innovations can converge to foster a more sustainable and spiritually fulfilling approach to death.

80% of us do not put our personal affairs in order before we die. The vast majority of us want to die at home, but 75% will die in a hospital or nursing home, and about 20% of us will spend our last days in ICU, in part because we don’t talk with each other in advance.

"I attended this conference two years ago, it was amazing. I enjoyed this conference so much I tell anyone who wants to listen how fantastic it is. I walked away with a wealth of information."

- Doreen


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Conference Schedule

8:30 am     Check-in and registration
9:00 am     Welcome and introductions
9:15 am     Keynote Address
10:30 am   Break
10:45 am   Keynote Address continues
11:45 am   Lunch, Visit Sponsors
12:45 pm   Full Conference address Tracy Rassley
1:45 pm     Break
2:00 pm     Workshop Sessions
3:00 pm     Break
3:15 pm     Q & A with keynote
3:45 pm     Closing comments

Don't miss this great conference. Make sure to tell a friend.

Frequently Asked Questions

• Lunch is included in the ticket price

• You can purchase tickets at the event. We do not have a limit on sales.

• This is a handicap-accessible event

• If you are interested in sponsoring this event, please visit our Sponsorship page

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