It Was Worth It

Dairyu Michael Wenger

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Dairyu Michael Wenger Tricycle

Case

Seisen Fletcher was angered upon reading the Buddha’s statement that his allowing women to ordain would put Buddhism back 500 years. She went to Maezumi Roshi to ask him about it. After a few moments he said: “Well, it was worth it.”

Commentary

Taizan Maezumi Roshi (1931–1995) studied in and transmitted three teaching streams: the Soto Zen lineage of his father, the Rinzai Zen lineage of Koryu Osaka Roshi, and the Harada- Yasutani blend of Soto and Rinzai in which koan training is emphasized. He founded the Zen Center of Los Angeles in 1967 and had many disciples. He ordained Seisen Fletcher, who received dharma transmission from Tetsugen Glassman (a successor to Maezumi Roshi) in 1998.

Dare we comment on our ancestor’s statements? Why not? The Buddha is alive today. What is your prediction? How many years are left?

Verse

Backwards or Forwards
Years or Kalpas
Gain or Blame
Anger or Joy
Two Buddhas meet
2500 years later
Speaking in a strange language
On the other side of the globe

To listen to Michael Wenger read “It Was Worth It,” click the audio link below.

Dairyu [great dragon] Michael Wenger has practiced Buddhism for 46 years. Now 64, Wenger is starting a temple that will emphasize zazen, brush painting, and classes. This excerpt was adapted from 49 Fingers © 2011. Reprinted with permission of Dragon Leap Press.

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Janejenn's picture

Is the art at heading of this article by Michael Wenger? I love it.

BodhiBum's picture

Does that strange old Buddha seems foolish and sexist because he thought in terms of his time? Was he being foolish considering if and how those opposed to his dharma might hurt the spread of the dharma with lies and rumours, creating setbacks? On the other hand, would not the present hip Buddha be a fool for deliberating in the same way while on his way to Santa Barbra? Regardless of the world-realm they teach in, all Buddhas clearly proclaim "it was worth it."