West London Buddhist Centre

What is a ‘Wolf at the Door’ creative writing workshop?

Published on Aug 6th 2018, in Blog

How to get to Zagnaraputta

Stand on your head. Whistle the first tune that you think of,
divide it by two and whistle it again.
Look the wall right between the eyes and say:
‘Mr Elvis P Thrang is not at home.’ It should open immediately.
You will see what appears to be a spinning pink and blue cloud.
Don’t be scared. This is the galaxy M83 in the constellation Hydra.
Let go soon, or you will miss the entrance.

You’re aiming for a complicated swirl
that looks like a bottomless ‘8’ just to the left of the centre.
That mouth with fangs dripping molten iron
and breathing a green plasma – ignore it:
it’s a mirage left there by a previous traveller
who dropped it in fear of what he really saw.
When you see what he really saw you’ll understand.
Your sunglasses won’t help. But you must approach it head-on.

Shut your eyes if you need to, but dive straight in.
You may feel certain squidgy sensations
and then a sort of nothingness and a roaring, rushing noise
and then something that no guide book
or instructions can predict, or prepare you for –
but don’t worry: you are still alive
even though it might not feel like it. Keep going.

Your head will bump up against something like the other side of water.
Take hold of the edges, pull back and go through.
When it feels as if there is nothing below you,
just let yourself go and dive. It may be best to sing as you fly –
your country’s national anthem, your favourite pop song
or anything you can think of. You may need a lot of tunes.
The length of this descent varies according to who you are,
the number of letters in your name and your age divided by
the number of planets in your Solar System,
but your landing will be soft.

You will find yourself at the edge of a lake.
Across it is a floating path to three towers in the middle,
each crowned by light that streams in all directions like the wind.
As you walk, the path will disappear behind you –
and be aware that the lake is infinitely deep
and full of monsters that have been banished from Earth
and are waiting for revenge. But don’t worry.
You will hear the songs of the visitors who came before you
and they will make you feel better,
or not. You are approaching Zagnaraputta. There is no going back.

– Dharmavadana

Dharmavadana is co-leading, with Vishvantara, a Wolf at the Door creative writing workshop at WLBC
Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 August 10am-5pm
Open to all
£90 Full waged / £65 Part Waged / £55 Unwaged
Booking essential online or in person at the Centre