Joan Halifax: Giving Life to Life

Pat van Boeckel
BOS Television
HD available

This is a documentary portrait of Zen Peacemaker Joan Halifax. The film embarks on a journey with Joan following the course of her life, marked by metaphorical and literal travels.

Joan Jiko Halifax is an American Zen Buddhist teacher, anthropologist, human rights activist, author and terminal care worker.

As a Zen Peacemaker she is a driving force of socially engaged Buddhism in the world. Joan Halifax is many things to many people. Yet they all seem to agree that no matter what role she plays, Halifax is consistently courageous, passionate and compassionate.

Besides running the Upaya Zen Center in New Mexico, a Zen Peacemaker community she opened in 1990, she continues to travel around the world in order to inspire people, and to guide and help them. She spent more than forty years working with the dying, helping them through the final phase. In Joan Halifax’ committed Buddhism, the silent practice and the compassionate objective to change the world are not contrasts, but two sides of the same coin.

Joan started out an inward journey when she was struck by a temporary blindness when she was four years old. The illness isolated her for two years from the visible world, but it openend a way to her inner self.

With compassion and curiosity as her compass Joan engaged as a young woman in the world around her. Methaporic travels intertwine with real ones throughout her life.