It Was Worth It

Dairyu Michael Wenger

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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.”


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?


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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wsking's picture

That quote about the ordination of women is not correct, nor is the assumption. What the Buddha said was that the Dharma would END five hundred years after the ordination of women. He never said the end would be caused by women. In other words, the ordination of women would mark the beginning of the decline of Buddhism leading to its end. The ordination of women was a sign that it would end. With the invasion of the Muslims, it did end in India. Muslims killed hundreds of thousands of people in India, From Kashmir thru Punjab, and all across the Gangetic plain, thousands of villages were burned and people murdered and converted to Islam by force. Buddhism ended in India. Because it spread to other countries before that happened, the Dharma teaching and sangha survived. He who has ears to hear, let him hear !!

So, you really don't have to worry. The Dharma is still available in texts and in some realized teachers, tho very few. What is most greatly needed is support for those in retreat so that we have realization for the future. Four years in the mountains is not enough. Great yogis of old spent their whole lives in retreat, only teaching when they were too old to wander anymore. People like the Gyalwang Drukpa need to designate authority for the monasteries, and stay in retreat, supported by their communities.
In my humble opinion.

bboAnn's picture

Is 'setting back' negative?

Chill's picture

Question everything--the Buddha included.

Is 'setting back' negative?

Ernst's picture

I really don't understand the meaning of your article. Buddha is considered a spiritual and holy figure. I found the information on buy customized essays. In most cases it is wrong to comment on holy figures since they command respect and faith of billions of the people.

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badokys's picture

Great post thanks, It was worth it also to read.. =)) gain soundcloud plays

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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."