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Jan Chozen Bays

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Jan Chozen Bays
Born (1945-08-09) August 9, 1945 (age 78)
ReligionZen Buddhism
SpouseHogen Bays
LineageWhite Plum Asanga
EducationM.D. University of California at San Diego
Senior posting
Based inOregon, USA
PredecessorTaizan Maezumi
WebsiteGreat Vow Zen Monastery Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple
Zen Community of Oregon

Jan Chozen Bays (born August 9, 1945), is a Zen teacher, author, mindful eating educator, and pediatrician specializing in work with abused children.


Jan Chozen Bays was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 9, 1945. She grew up in East Greenbush, New York and spent two years in Korea. She received her undergraduate degree at Swarthmore College and earned her medical degree at the University of California at San Diego, specializing in pediatrics.[1]

Bays began practicing Zen in a group that included Charlotte Joko Beck, Anne Seisen Saunders, and Jerry Shishin Wick in San Diego. She eventually moved to the Zen Center of Los Angeles to study with the Japanese Zen teacher Taizan Maezumi Roshi. She had an extramarital affair with him, which she admitted, which devastated his wife and children. She served as the physician at the Zen Center’s community medical clinic. She was a student of Maezumi from 1977 until his death in 1995. She received dharma transmission from him in 1983 becoming his 4th dharma heir and, after Joko Beck, the second woman.[1]

With her husband Laren Hogen Bays, since 1985 she has been a teacher at the Zen Community of Oregon, a Zen center or sangha in Portland, Oregon.[2] Chozen and Hogen Bays are also co-founders and co-abbots of Great Vow Zen Monastery of Clatskanie, Oregon, which opened in 2002. From 1990 until the present she has trained with Shodo Harada, a Rinzai Zen teacher.[3][4] In 2011, Bays founded Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple in Portland, Oregon.[5]

Child abuse expert[edit]

Bays is a pediatrician and nationally recognized expert on child abuse.[1] In the 1980s and 1990s, she conducted the medical examinations of thousands of infants and children who had been abused or killed and regularly appeared in court as an expert witness.[6] In 1987, she helped to found Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Services (CARES) Northwest, now one of the oldest and largest child abuse assessment centers in the United States.[7]


  • Bays, Jan Chozen (2003). Jizo Bodhisattva: Guardian of Children, Travelers, and Other Voyagers. Shambhala Publications. ISBN 978-1590300800
  • Bays, Jan Chozen (2009). Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food. Shambhala Publications. ISBN 978-1590305317.
  • Bays, Jan Chozen (2011). How to Train a Wild Elephant & Other Adventures in Mindfulness. Shambhala Publications. ISBN 978-1590308172.
  • Bays, Jan Chozen (2014). Mindfulness on the Go: Simple Meditation Practices You Can Do Anywhere. Shambhala Publications. ISBN 978-1611801705.
  • Bays, Jan Chozen (2016). The Vow-Powered Life: A Simple Method for Living with Purpose. Shambhala Publications. ISBN 978-1611801002.
  • Bays MD, Jan Chozen (2022). Mindful Medicine: 40 Simple Practices to Help Healthcare Professionals Heal Burnout and Reconnect to Purpose. Shambhala Publications. ISBN 9781645470526.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ford, James Ishmael (2006). Zen Master Who?. Wisdom Publications. pp. 169–171. ISBN 978-0861715091.
  2. ^ Haught, Nancy (11 January 2001). "Karma: Buddhism's most misunderstood concept". Amarillo Globe News.
  3. ^ Before founding Great Vow she was the founder of Larch Mountain Zen Center, also in the Portland area, and prior to that she and Hogen were longtime residents of the LA Zen Center, founded by Maezumi Roshi. Chozen is a pediatrician specializing in child abuse, founded a child abuse clinic in Portland (called CARES) and has lectured on the subject throughout the U.S. and internationally. She is the author of several books. Kosho Uchiyama; Thomas Wright; Jisho Cary Warner; Shohaku Okumura (2004). Opening the hand of thought: Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0861713575.
  4. ^ James William Coleman (2002). The New Buddhism: The Western Transformation of an Ancient Tradition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195152417.
  5. ^ "Zen Community of Oregon history | Zen Community of Oregon". www.zendust.org. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  6. ^ Bays, Jan Chozen (2002). Jizo Bodhisattva: Guardian of Children, Travelers & Other Voyagers. Shambhala Publications. pp. xxv–xxvi.
  7. ^ "CARES NW About Us".

External links[edit]