Michael DRAGON.jpg

Michael Wenger, Zenen Dairyu (Zen Deep Great Dragon)

Born in Brooklyn in the heart of modernity (1947), Michael was a loner who kept his own counsel. He was drawn to athletics, psychology, artistic [writing painting,and music] expression, and finally meditation unlimited by concepts. He has practiced Zen for 46 years, 38 of them at San Francisco Zen Center. In 1999 he received dharma transmission from Sojun Mel Weitsman. At the age of 63 he took a big leap and started his own temple emphasizing Zazen, brush painting and classes. Courage, compassion and creativity are his touchstones.

Dairyu is a Soto Zen priest in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi and a Dharma heir of Sojun Mel Weitsman. A practitioner of Zen Buddhism since 1972, Michael currently is the guiding teacher at Dragons Leap Meditation Center in California and is the author of the book 49 Fingers: A Collection of Modern American Koans. He was the editor of San Francisco Zen Center’s book Wind Bell: Teachings from the San Francisco Zen Center – 1968-2001 and was a contributor to the book Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness: Zen Talks on the Sandokai, a book of lectures by Shunryu Suzuki. He has previously served as President of the San Francisco Zen Center and was also Dean of Buddhist Studies there.

Wenger has given Dharma transmission to Bernd Bender, Darlene Su Rei Cohen, Inryu Bobbi Ponce-Barger, Mark Lancaster, Mark Lesser, and Rosalie Curtis.  He has also given lay entrustment to Jamie Howell and Marsha Angus.