Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi has studied and practiced Zen Buddhism since 1973. She received Jukai (lay precepts) in 1975 and Tokudo, Priest’s Ordination, in 1979 from Taizan Maezumi, Roshi. From 1978 to 1983 she lived at Zen Center of Los Angeles, studying with Maezumi, Roshi and directing the Zen Center’s non-profit Medical Clinic. She finished formal koan study in 1983 and she was given Dharma transmission (authorization to teach) that same year. Following the death of Maezumi, Roshi in 1995 she has continued her training with Shodo Harada, Roshi, a Rinzai Zen teacher and the abbot of Sogen-ji monastery in Japan.
Since 1985 Chozen, Roshi has been the teacher for Zen Community of Oregon. In 2002 she helped to found Great Vow Zen Monastery and is the co-abbot. In 2011 she also helped found Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple in Portland, Oregon.
She has published many articles about Zen in the periodicals Tricycle and Buddhadharma. Her first book, Jizo Bodhisattva, Modern Healing and Traditional Buddhist Practice (Tuttle, 2002), has been re-issued in paperback as Jizo Bodhisattva, Guardian of Children, Women and Other Voyagers by Shambhala. She is the author of How to Train a Wild Elephant: And Other Adventures in Mindfulness (Shambhala, 2011), and Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food (Shambala 2011).
Chozen, Roshi is also pediatrician, mother, and wife.
Events with Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi
July 7, 2020
Mountains and rivers right now are the actualization of the ancient Buddha way. Both mountains and rivers abide in their true form and actualize true virtue. Mountains and rivers transcend time and are alive in the eternal present. They are the original self and they are emancipation-realization. – Dogen Zenji Join Great Vow Residents for our Summer Practice Intensive by increasing your commitment to dharma practice. The theme for our practice period Awakened by the Ten Thousand Dharmas, invites us into the Dharma of the natural world. The whole Earth and the Great Sky are speaking to us constantly. Teaching us…
August 17, 2020
Earth body, sky heart. Rooted and flowing. Luminous and open. We are made of earth and sky, of wind breath and rain song, our lives woven from the teachings of the natural world. This retreat is an opportunity to re-connect and relax into the wild, ancient, wisdom of the Grasses, Trees and Great Earth. We will spend time learning from each of the five elements, as they manifest in our experience. Deeply exploring and releasing into our interconnection with the living, breathing body of the Earth, waters, energizing air, bright fiery sun, and vast spacious sky. It is our intention…
August 28, 2020
At Great Vow Monastery, we have been singing this sutra each day at noon service for months and have come to appreciate its beauty and meaning. Recited in lyrical chanting written by Rodrigo Reijers, a young Buddhist practitioner living in Denmark, the sutra tells the story of the Buddha giving instructions to Ananda for how to end the epidemic in the great Indian city of Vaishali. Ananda did as instructed and the epidemic was quelled. Chozen Bays, Roshi and Lama Lekshe will tell the story of the sutra; how to use the sutra as practice during Covid-19, and we’ll chant it together.…