A model for the world
IPUKA Hawaiian, 'Doorway'
‘The Maui Legacy Project’
‘Community Commons for the Living and the Dead’
A Conservation Burial Ground combining regenerative agriculture, open space, land protection and park.
A Community Gathering Place to host memorials, ceremonies,
events, educational presentations and trainings.
- A Community of Caring
- A ‘Guest House for the Dying’
- The Maui School of Conscious Living and Dying
- Affordable Housing for the Living and the Dead
- ‘Dying to go to Hawaii’ campaign
TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE LAND
Utilizing a green conservation burial ground as an economic engine to maintain land as public commons. By integrating regenerative agriculture and park, we create a new model of public/private land use.
TO EMPOWER AND SUPPORT
families and communities with holistic, sustainable and family-based tools, skills and information in the care of the dying and the dead.
cultural attitudes towards aging, dying and death.
“To change our culture, to change our lives, requires the transformation of consciousness, and few things shift consciousness as quickly as an awareness of death.”
the care of the dying and the dead as ‘village building’ work and sacred service and provide inexpensive and regenerative burial practices.
TO CREATE A COMMUNITY OF CARING
that includes A Guest House for the Dying, and The Maui School for Conscious Living and Dying and training ground for Caregivers to the Dying, integrating Hawaiian and indigenous values.
businesses and other income streams making this mission self-sustainable
Doorway Into Light
Who Are We?
Doorway Into Light operates Hawaii’s only nonprofit funeral home and only certified green funeral home. We provide low cost, direct green, earth and ocean body burials.
We also operate Hawaii’s only community educational resource center and store, The Death Store, specifically for the dying, their families, the grieving, professionals who work in these fields and all those wishing to explore their own approaching death. Its staff includes end-of-life and bereavement counselors, ordained interfaith ministers, trained hospice volunteers, a funeral director and a bedside notary.
We provide free end-of-life, in-home care and assistance to the dying and their families, utilizing holistic, environmentally sustainable, community and family based practices, often working closely alongside local hospices, churches, crematories and State agencies. We train and support caregivers to the dying and organize and support a dying person's own community into a caregiving team.
Doorway Into Light has been presenting community education programs and trainings throughout Hawaii since 2006 in churches, rotary clubs, senior centers and many other venues.
We are helping to transform the funeral industry from profit-driven business to community-building work and sacred service, utilizing sustainable, inexpensive and compassionate practices and empowering families and communities to reclaim important ‘village building’ work.
Through The Death Store, our “bricks and mortar” storefront, resource center; our weekly radio show, Death Tracks; our educational programs, trainings and presentations and our monthly support groups, we are assisting in the healing of this culture’s relationship with aging, dying and death, and helping grow a culture of compassion and care, often times, one person at a time.
Current Board Members: Laura Binstock (Leilah Be), Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), David Spee, Auli’i Mitchell, Gordon Becker and Bodhi Be.
Our current Administrative Staff of five are all volunteers as is our Executive Director and our Board.
VISION: Narrative / Level 1
The Maui Legacy Project
Utilizing the economic engine of a conservation burial ground, combined with agriculture, to protect land as commons and open space.
At Hawaii’s first natural burial ground, a ‘conservation burial ground’, there will be no embalming fluids containing toxic chemicals and preservatives, no concrete, metal or plastic grave liners, no concrete vaults, no metal or tropical hardwood caskets, no toxic pesticides and herbicides applied to control the grounds. Statistics of the amounts of these materials that have been going into the earth every year are included in this document.
There will be fruit-bearing trees, tropical hardwoods, native trees and native plants planted over the graves of the dead who have been buried in simple wooden or cardboard caskets, or simple cloth shrouds. Bodies will be buried approx. three feet in the earth where bacteria and micro-organisms can return the body into nutrients for the soil, plants and trees.
Along with the burial ground, there will be picnic areas, a park, walking trails, reflecting ponds, quiet zones, a labyrinth, a pet cemetery and a dog park
This will be a place that integrates regenerative agriculture, open space, park, land protection and burial ground in an interwoven tapestry. A place for the living and the dead, a place for families to commune with their ancestors.
This adds a new dimension to the current options for caring for our dead.
Current common practices often employ toxic and unsustainable practices, that are often expensive, and remove land from the public commons for one single purpose.
Crematories release harmful chemicals and large amounts of carbon into the air and consume large amounts of fuel to operate. Green burial returns carbon to the earth where it belongs.
Our Maui Legacy Project will embark on an ambitious educational ‘sales’ program informing islanders and beyond, of the benefits of pre-purchasing burial plots and burial groves as a real and direct way to ‘give back’ to Maui and its future generations, and to continue ‘nourishing’ the community long after one’s death. Their last act, a gift to the Maui Community and to Maui itself.
The model of combining land protection with a green, conservation burial ground is now emerging across the US. Examples are the Ramsey Creek Preserve in South Carolina http://www.memorialecosystems.com, Honey Creek Woodlands in Georgia. http://www.honeycreekwoodlands.com and Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery in Florida, http://conservationburialinc.org.
Our green certification as a certified green funeral home is through the Green Burial Council,
Narrative / Level 2
A structure, being a large tent or building, becomes a venue for sacred ceremony, gatherings, trainings and community presentations.
Kitchen and bathroom facilities increase its value as a profit-generating center.
All construction will, as much as possible, utilize sustainable, local materials, generate its own energy and strive for ‘zero waste’.
Narrative / Level 3
A Community of Caring
Doorway Into Light’s core values:
The transformation of consciousness
- True, deep community
- A cultural shift: Entering a new ‘cultural story’.
- Transforming how we care for the dying and the dead
Affordable Housing for the Living and the Dead:
A Guest House for the Dying will serve Hawaii’s dying and those wishing to die in Hawaii.
It will be supported by our trained staff and volunteers, as well as outside support services including local hospices, religious institutions, community agencies, and, very importantly, family and friends. Hawaii will soon become the 7th State to legalize Physician’s Assisted Dying.
The Maui School of Conscious Living and Dying , a residential center that will encompass a full spectrum of programs focused on living a life of illumination and service in harmony with the deep values of religious and indigenous traditions.
Practical Programs and Trainings teaching skills and tools for “body, speech and mind” and right relations with all of creation.
Service Programs and Trainings for the care of the dying, the dead and the families that grieve.
These Programs will provide Staff and Volunteers to the Guest House and the Burial Ground.
On a broader scale, it trains people to become valuable in the world and who can go on to create and replicate Doorway’s model.
As this will be Hawaii’s first conservation burial ground, we see this as a showcase model that can be replicated on the other Hawaiian islands and beyond.
The Visitor Center and Store provides information, guided tours, farm products, goods and services.
Bringing Awareness To How We Care For Our Dead
The Environmental Impact of Funerals
All cemeteries in the United States take up an estimated 1 million acres of land . These cemeteries contain:
- Over 800,000 gallons of formaldehyde annually – that’s enough to fill 1.2 Olympic swimming pools. Formalein, the active ingredient, is a known carcinogen.
- 115 million tons of casket steel – enough to build over 2,000 Empire State Buildings (That’s almost all the high rises in Tokyo).
- 2.3 billion tons of concrete used for burial vaults and grave liners, which can build 36.8 Three Gorges dams – or pave a sidewalk to the moon 28 times.
- Casket wood equivalent to 4 million acres of forest – imagine New Jersey covered entirely in forest – All that wood could build 4.6 million single-family homes - that’s over 1/3 of all homes in Canada.
- Think cremation is more environmentally friendly? North American uses enough fossil fuel for cremations to drive you half way to the sun every year. Released into the atmosphere are large amounts of carbon monoxide, dioxin, furan, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen fluoride, heavy metals, organic pollutants and particulate matter.
So what can YOU do?
Consider a green burial – use an indigenous rock or plant as a grave marker.
Choose a biodegradable casket, a locally-sourced, all wood casket or a cotton cloth.
Choose an ocean body burial.
Call Doorway Into Light (808) 575-7870
DOORWAY INTO LIGHT
P.O. Box 1268 / 375 W. Kuiaha Rd. Haiku, Hawaii 96708
(808) 575-7870, 283-5950
Doorway Into Light’s Board and Executive Director
Reverend Bodhi Be is an ordained interfaith minister. He is the Executive Director and founder of Doorway Into Light and the Founder and President of The Death Store.
Bodhi is a funeral director, hospice volunteer, coffin maker, notary public, an educator and workshop leader, an end-of-life and bereavement counselor, spiritual activist and ceremony guide.
He facilitates a monthly open support group on Maui called Being With Dying now in it’s 10th year, and hosts a weekly radio show “Death Tracks”.
Bodhi has lived on Maui for forty years. Married now for thirty two years, he has an organic farm in Haiku. Together with his wife, children and grandchildren, they grow tropical fruits and veggies.
Bodhi previously owned the Maui Juice Company, the Juiceland juice bar at Ka’ahumanu Center on Maui, the Rainbow Menehune Sprout Company and the Twin Falls juice bar and fruit stand.
Leilah Be brings many years of experience as an ordained interfaith minister and counselor, and was the founder, director and teacher of a pre-school kindergarten. In addition, Leilah teaches meditation and The Dances of Universal Peace internationally, and is a senior teacher in the Sufi Ruhaniat International. Leilah is Bodhi’s wife and best friend.
Ram Dass a Maui resident, brings over 40 years as a pioneer and explorer of awakened consciousness. Ram Dass is a world-renowned author and lecturer, and co-founder of the Seva Foundation, The Prison Ashram Project and The Dying Project. He currently serves on the faculty of the Metta Institute and continues to teach about the nature of consciousness and service as a spiritual path. He is widely known for his seminal book Be Here Now.
Aulii Mitchell is a Cultural Practitioner and Kumu Hula, has a Masters in Applied Indigenous Knowledge, is a Cultural Anthropologist, and an Advisor for Cultural Surveys Hawai`i Inc., repatriation team. He is the Vice Chair of the O`ahu Island Burial Council and member of the Indigenous Council for the World Archaeologies Congress and a Public Relations Board Member for the Society for Hawaiian Archaeologist.
David Spee is a lawyer practicing on Maui, specializing in Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts and Real Estate-Residential Law.
Gordon Becker PhD clinical psychology, Professor of Psychology University of Nebraska at Omaha, Associate Professor of Psychology Howard University, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Economics, Cowles Foundation, Yale University. Research Associate UCLA Corporate Objectives, Long Range Planning Group GE; Manager Human Data Processing, ITEK Corp.; Chief Life Scientist, Electric Boat, General Dynamics Corp.