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Lions Roar : May 2015
A S A PEDIATRICIAN specializing in child abuse, Jan Chozen Bays was the one called in to examine limp, pale bodies in the intensive care unit. With a respira- tor inflating their lungs, it would seem like they were still breathing naturally. The nurses would be angry with the parents, who were usually the ones who had shaken or beaten the child. Dr. Bays would speak gently to the frightened, troubled parents, and also to the nurses. When no one was looking, she’d hold each child’s hand. Bays also attended autopsies. She opened small mouths and genitalia to swab for semen. She photographed burgundy brain hemorrhages, cigarette burns, rib fractures. She meticulously labeled evidence, dictated reports, and testified in court. Disturbing images haunted her. At the end of every day, she’d try to wipe the slate of her mind clean to start fresh in the morning—efficient and compas- sionate with each new child, parent, nurse, and law enforcement officer. PHOTOS BY JENNIFER BRINKMAN For the Children We’ve Lost Wounded by her work with abused children, pediatrician and Zen teacher Jan Chozen Bays found healing in a special ceremony invoking Jizo Bodhisattva. As ANDREA MILLER tells us, she now offers this healing ceremony to all parents who’ve lost children through miscarriage, abortion, or death. Left: Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi with Jizo statues. She first encountered Jizo Bodhisattva in the 1970s when her teacher Maezumi Roshi put a Jizo statue under a lemon tree at the Zen Center of Los Angeles. Bays was immediately drawn to the statue and often burned incense and chanted in front of it. Right: Jizo statues sculpted by Bays at the Jizo garden at Great Vow Zen Monastery. Bays and her husband, Hogen Bays Roshi, are the monastery’s co-abbots. SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2015 39