‘Spiritual Path’: The Hemingway Bar

I had little trouble finding my way regularly to the Hemingway Bar at the Paris Ritz. Can’t afford it anymore. That path was truly Spiritual.


The same ancient script replayed. I am sitting in a Saṅgha listening to a loquacious teacher in love with his own voice. Earnest devotees, impenetrable answers, the exotic and the inchoate in heady mix.

The gilded gibberish of unfinished monks, religious preachers, intellectual peddlers, evasive mystics and speakers-for-a-fee. Men and women who recite the line before themselves rounding the loop.

Thirty minutes of Meditation and the feel-good discourse. Gathering as Group-Therapy. Yo! A double-brandy, Bartender.


‘Spiritual Path’: I recoil at the phrase having seen it grotesquely misused so many times. But I’ll suffer it for now.

The Spiritual is not be set opposed to the Worldly. The Cave and the Mountain-Top are temporary domiciles, helpful for the solitude and necessary isolation. But you have to come back to visit the casinos and the cat-houses.

As Lao Tsu wrote of the Tao: ‘Approach it and there is no beginning; follow it and there is no end’.

Shūnyam is fully in effect here and now as you read this line. You can’t ever lose Shūnyam; you can’t [newly] find it either.


Isadora Duncan; Jean Steichen, Parthenon, Athens, 1921

Paris in my youth. Memories of some extraordinary women I knew; and one I didn’t.

She helped do for Classical Dance what Picasso did for Realistic Art. [Living contemporaneously  and close, between Nice and Paris].

Along with Ruth St. Denis and others, she offered the viewer a new way of ‘Seeing’.

Isadora was killed when her hand-painted silk scarf was caught in the wheels of her convertible. She was being driven along the Riviera for an evening of champagne and caviar. [As a young man, I shared a rented summer house nearby, overlooking the sea.]

A Dance at death as unguarded and riveting as those in life.