Hugo Ramiro


PM Iowa dinner 2016 John Dahms Hugo etc

From far left: Ed Alvarez, Hugo Ramiro, Jeff Clevenger, John Upshaw, Bruce Schaub, John Dahms, Todd Elihu, Spencer Jones, Brennan Toh

At some point one evening during the 2016 Iowa seminar, in Levi’s basement, a discussion occurred regarding the front kua and a particular orientation of it during a particular move. A statement was made about this requirement, followed by crickets chirping. Sensing that the moment was dying, I decided to wade in and stake my claim; to place myself at risk and bleed, hopefully. “I can do that! I can totally do that!” I crowed. It had been John Dahms, one of Master Chen’s senior disciples, who had stated the requirement. He said, “ok show me”. I sprang up and did something, as best I could, and his response was quick and direct – “You’re not doing it”. As deflated as possible I said “ok” and sat back down (I will come back to this). The discussion continued with some new indications and some new material, revitalised (with the help of my blood, I imagined). That moment still resonates with me many months later as I continue to work on the requirements laid out by John for that move on that evening.

The truth is I lied. I knew I couldn’t do it when I offered myself up, but I also knew something else: if I felt psychologically prepared during the teachable moment I would not really be listening. Somehow I had to create a situation inside of myself where I would be truly receptive, and I knew from Master Chen that two useful qualities in this respect were a. obvious failure (“Invest in Loss”) and b. confusion (“I don’t know”). Even if I simulated these by artificially elevating myself and then coming crashing down in front of everyone it would be better than being ‘very competent’ during the learning process or even not offering myself up at all. The emotional risk is necessary – in other words, I must be ready to put myself aside, no matter how bad it feels so that I can have a chance at real learning, which is always in an unknown and uncomfortable place.

I invested in loss, and in doing so, with John’s careful and attentive instruction, I invested in myself.

Part A

There has seemed to be a pattern for me during Practical Method seminars.

I have observed that there will be a period, generally half of the seminar’s length, during which I hardly know which is my left hand or which is my right hand. This will occur during the first half of the total seminar length. I will forget yilu, movements will come out backwards and inside out, I won’t understand anything that is being demonstrated or described, and I will experience lots of negative emotions, most without clear definition – I don’t even know what I am upset about.
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today’s lesson is not yesterday’s lesson
this hour’s lesson is not last hour’s lesson
this minute’s lesson is not last minute’s lesson

today’s lesson is today’s lesson
this hour’s lesson is this hour’s lesson
this minute’s lesson is this minute’s lesson

let go of the past move forward grasp let go of the past move forward grasp
inch along

When we are studying Practical method under Master Chen consistently enough, we are learning. Somehow there is a process, not within our realm of perception, where something is happening. As this process continues, we like to do a lot of things around and “about” it. We like to imagine that all this activity helps.

When the process where there is something happening begins to mature, and begins to bear fruit – and since it occurs largely without us knowing what happened – we like to feel that all our activity around and “about” it is the reason. And then we might feel very relieved that we did all this activity.

Curves come from straight lines and rotations.