The Story


Seeing into darkness is clarity.
Knowing how to yield is strength.
Use your own light and return to the source of light.
This is called practicing eternity


                                                       Lao Tzu

We are living in tumultuous and fertile times. Many traditions speak of a profound millennium shift, a sea change, and a transition from an ending to a new beginning, from death to rebirth. Perhaps we are seeing the harbinger of a planetary spring. In any case clearly these are challenging times that call for a greater wakefulness, understanding and kindness. The intention of producing THE FOURTH MOMENT, a journey from the known to unknown, is founded on this challenge.


Kan at Sunrise

THE FOURTH MOMENT, a feature film in development, is an innovative blend of fiction and documentary.

Janus Kairos, an award winning documentary filmmaker and war journalist gets word that Sasha, his daughter died in a mountain forest fire.  He sets out to make a documentary on death and dying only to find out that has a inoperable disease and must confront his own death

Through his encounters with remarkable men and women from diverse worlds including buddhist teachers, rabbis, priests, shaman guides, caregivers, scientists, artists, doctors, hospice workers and a variety of holders of diverse wisdom traditions, Janus begins a visionary quest for liberation. By developing an acceptance of impermanence and change, by letting go, compassion and forgiveness dawn.

THE FOURTH MOMENT is a compelling odyssey that looks straight into the fear of death and reveals the human potential for spiritual awakening and transformation.

By weaving together fictional drama and factual documentary, THE FOURTH MOMENT is able to convey new and unexpected insights into the processes of dying and change. Inspired at the core by Buddhist teachings and specifically the Tibetan Book of the Dead this film addresses the wide spread renewal of public interest and involvement in care for the dying. THE FOURTH MOMENT tackles this emotionally charged subject with imagination and intensity.



While receiving an award for his work as a film journalist during the Iraq war, Janus Kairos receives word that his daughter died in a mountain forest fire. In order to come to terms with this tragic loss as well as a failed marriage, Janus sets out to make a documentary exploring the multicultural perspectives on death and dying only to find out that he has cancer that is too advanced to treat. In the uncertain but little time he has left, he tries to find some resolution to the loss of his daughter and come to terms with his failed marriage. His documentary with all the extraordinary people he has and is planning to interview take on a entire new meaning for him.

The film becomes an odyssey into both the known and uncharted regions of his psyche. Now he must confront his shadow side of regret, anger, and fear, and simultaneously uncover his inherent goodness. In this process, he begins to glimpse the possibilities of unconditional love.  

Janus’ quest blends fact, fiction, dream, and vision, as it invokes real world teachers, shamans, artists, and spiritual leaders from traditions ancient and modern.  Janus’ destiny leads him to encounter the embodiment of his own conscience in the form of Yama, Lord of Death. He comes to realize that life itself has no meaning but it is only what he brings to life that gives it significance.





Howard Badhand, Lakota Sioux elder, shaman and authority on the Taoist I Ching

Ira Byock, physician specializing in palliative care. the Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center

Eiiot Cowan, author of Plant Spirit Medicine, and a shaman in the Huichol tradition

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, a leading Buddhist teacher in North America and an advocate of American and Western Buddhism

James George, senior Gurdjieffian teacher and retired Canadian diplomat

Roshi Bernie Glassman, Zen Budddhst Roshi, world-renowned pioneer in the American Zen Movement

Roshi Joan Halifax, Zen Buddhist Roshi, anthropologist, ecologist, hospice caregiver, and author

Beah Harber, CNM, Certified Nurse-Midwife

Jean Houston, PhD, co-founder of Foundation for Mind Research, founder of the Mystery School

Katsura Kan, Butoh Master

Father Thomas Keating O.C.S.O., Trappist monk and priest, known as one of architects of the Centering Prayer Movement.

Eddie Lenihan, Irish shanachie and a keeper of the Celtic tradition

Martin Mosko, Zen abbot and Zen garden landscaper

Frank Ostaseski, a founder of Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in America

Lama Palden Drolma, one of the first western female lamas

Reggie Ray, a leading Buddhist academic and  vajrayana teacher in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Rabbi Zalman Schachter, spiritual elder and founder of the Jewish Renewal movement

Tami Simon, founder of Sounds True, a multi-media publisher dedicated to disseminating spiritual wisdom.

Liz Southward, meditation practitioner battled a fatal form of cancer. (died December 2010)

Oliver Stone, filmmaker and Buddhist practitioner

Moogy Sumner, Australian (Ngarrindjeri Elder) aboriginal dreamtime shaman

Professor Robert Thurman, professor of Indo-Tibetan studies at Colombia University and President of Tibet House

Tenzin Wangyal  teacher in the Bon Buddhist tradition of Tibet


Alfred Ferraris, (lead actor) aka JANUS