Guardian of Children, Travelers, and Other Voyagers
By Jan Chozen Bays
(Shambhala, Paperback, 9781590300800, 320pp.)
Publication Date: November 11, 2003
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Jizo is an important bodhisattva or "saint" of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. Most prominent today in Japanese Zen, Jizo is understood to be the protector of those journeying through the physical and spiritual realms. This bodhisattva is closely associated with children, believed to be their guardian before birth, throughout childhood, and after death.
Here, an American Zen master offers an engaging and informative overview of the history of this important figure and conveys the practices and rituals connected with him, including a simple ceremony for remembering children who have died. Inspired by her own personal experience with Jizo practice, Bays explains how the Buddhist teachings on Jizo can bring peace to those confronted with suffering and loss.
Jan Chozen Bays, MD, is a Zen master in the White Plum lineage of the late master Taizan Maezumi Roshi. She serves as a priest and teacher at the Jizo Mountain–Great Vow Zen Monastery in Clatskanie, Oregon. She is also a pediatrician who specializes in the evaluation of children for abuse and neglect.
"A clear and intelligent portrait of Jizo. This book will appeal to both casual readers and to specialists."—Publishers Weekly
"A wise, compassionate, and fascinating book. Wonderfully written, it is rich with story, a true treasure house." —Joan Halifax Roshi, Upaya Zen Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico
"Interesting and highly accessible. The blend of dharma talk and historical information is skillfully presented and is a welcome model that others who write about Buddhism should consider." —Rita M. Gross, author of Buddhism after Patriarchy