Friday Tea-time . . . the zen tea destressing art – “working hard” | A Zen Story [Koan]

Friday tea time again this week, and time to take time out for our de-stressing tea-way ritual. Today I’m continuing the focus on guidance for your contemplation and the zen tea way . . .  I found this short animated zen story on the tale of the eager student and his martial arts Master, a koan for the tea way to tranquility of mind and wisdom.

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Working Hard

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A wisdom story for our age of trying too hard

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Working Hard

We’re in an age of over-thinking and trying too hard . . . caused by many things of course, our own evolution and mis-guided priorities and values. We’re in crisis as Humanity . . . but Humanity always needs crisis to make the structural changes we need to change . . .

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As usual, I encourage you to inform yourself and if you’re instinctively drawn to a daily way to tranquility and peace for your mind-body-spirit then gen up as much as you can with self-education. Learn more about our Zen Tea-way in my blog.

Enjoy! suzen

 

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With Gratitude to Cup and Leaf: we’ve partnered up with these lovely people – and when you buy your teas from them, we get a little bit of commission which helps to support the zen.vegan.thrive Newspaper every week! Check out their own amazing Tea Bundles in their shop.

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You can make donations to support the teachings! Namaste

zen of “If only” . . . you can change more things than you think

‘If only I had more time.’ ‘If only I had more control.’ If only I had more money’. . .

If only the phrase ‘if only’ were banned! We might be feeling as if our choices are limited right now in our human destiny: that others control our destiny – and life is seemingly unfair. It’s easy to imagine that other people are having an easier time of things than you are. But everyone has their own set of ‘if onlys’. The secret, under the light of the New Moon today, is to look at the things you can change. There are many more of those than you think.

 

Open-heartedness

It would be a terrible thing to go through life believing that you have all the answers – because you’d never ask any questions! People act in this way either because they think that asking is a pointless waste of time (because they already know what will happen); or they fear finding out that they are wrong (which would bring them a great sense of shame). In zen we say “maybe, maybe not” . . .

There’s an approach is eminently preferable: it’s neither “if only” or “other people have al the answers”. Open-mindedness and open-heartedness are what’s needed to help us achieve our goals in the changing culture of “today”. [Remember in zen, living in our unique way, the only goal is to be who we truly are.]

 

Humanity and Hope

You would think what with all the media resources we have nowadays, communication is better than ever before. But it isn’t. Yes, there’s MORE of it – but no depth, real skill, heart-based understanding and compassion.

And truth . . . ? I don’t think so – especially not about waking up what is sleeping in our memories . . . Consciousness, and what we will need from our distilled wisdom to take us forward into the future as Humanity.

Humanity needs hope. How? Well, as humankind we actually always have had that in our inner nature . . . it’s one of the life powers we’re born with, and need to tune into. Whenever we ask “How?”, we’re asking Tao/God/Goddess/Mystery/Mother . . . living with hope means living tuned-into “How?”

Don’t know if you remember the “Prophecy of the Rainbow Serpent?” An Ancient American Indian prophecy – humankind would be able to re-ignite the power of the awakened heart when it realises and recreates Humanity as one “People . . . ” A wonderful seed of hope to sew on this auspicious New Moon/Eclipse today.

Enjoy! SuZen

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You can make donations to support the teachings! Namaste

Wednesday Wisdoms | Voice of Men | wisdoms . . . for our growth: Rumi

 

Sufi poet Rumi’s love poems: I left the Wednesday slot on the Blog free purposefully, intuitively wanting to know what would “flow in”. Wisdom is what seems to want to flow . . . but maybe not every Wednesday, so maybe there’ll be a blog or post of some kind, and maybe not. As long as the inspiration keeps coming, I’ll keep going with it. It seems to keep coming and flowing . . . wisdom IS a Divine source of life power, so: inexhaustible!

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This series of inspirations is a new way of distilling wisdom and passing it onto you . . . “Voice of Men”. This week: Rumi tells us of the supreme secret of the inner journey of the heart that is the Path of Love:

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Rumi: ”  . . possess the heart in love and experience the wonders and beauty of the Universe!”

 

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The Privileged Lovers | Rumi

The moon has become a dancer
at this festival of Love,
this dance of light

This sacred blessing,
this Divine Love,
beckons us
to a world beyond
only lovers can see
with their eyes of fiery passion

They are the chosen ones
who have surrendered


Once they were particles of light,
now they are the radiant Sun

They have left behind
the world of deceitful games,
they are the privileged lovers,
who create a new world
with their eyes of fiery passion

Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

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“Balance is what happens when you know in your heart something is right.”

Enjoy! suzen

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You can make donations to support the teachings! Namaste
[ . . . if you have the option, please mark your donation “friends and family” namaste!]

Tuesday Teachings – thrive | Prayer and Praying #1 : The Prayer of Forgiveness

When you think of “Thrive”, think of the seemingly small things that happened as you were birthed into this life: first you had to breathe, then you needed washing and the protection of warmth, then nurturing, fluids and sleep . . . and very, very significantly you needed your parent/s prayer for your survival and health.

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Prayer aligns us with our higher self, our soul and the ultimate mind of Divine Consciousness. Praying aligns us with existence and flow. A daily practice in the simplicity of prayer gives us a simple organising principle through which we can return to peace and balance: significantly, forgiveness makes us more human.

 

This blog today is going out on Christmas Eve and on the eve of our new moon cycle – with an Eclipse imminent | all of these parts of our human/harmony/humanity experience were extremely auspicious for us in Ancient times. Prayer had a huge and vital part in connecting our Spirit with the Conscious Living Universe.

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And here is the Prayer of Forgiveness

 

 

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“I Forgive Everything that Needs Forgiveness”

What we all seek ultimately is freedom, acceptance to be ourselves, and to be loved for who we are.

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Namaste, SuZen

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Here’s a Refresher on “thrive” . . .

When you think “thrive”, think of all the seemingly small, but necessary daily elements of life as nourishing the miraculous organ you are as a human being. At our essence we are a living organism, on a living Planet, in a living Universe. So, here’s something else I’ve been teaching this for over 20 years : the miracle of our self as an organism, and how we help it maintain balance [or some kind order in the chaos of living]: silence is essential – the teaching never changes, results of practice are always the same . . .

All we are on a physical level as a human being is air, water and food. And physically, our body’s 10-13 trillion cells replace themselves every 100 days [just over 3 months]. How about that for a “slow flow”? And how do we help our organism to replace and renew?

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Why we do what we do to thrive: learning to be “you”

I’m a teacher, so repeating myself goes with the job! Small steps, small changes . . . one day at a time: in 100 days from now you’ll be a new you! I’ve said this to you before, I’m sure there’ll be many tellings again. [ Read more about this in my blog  . . . thrive | Rest and Relaxation #1 ]

And, so, let’s talk about repetition and commitment as well as practicalities and practices: we could take the attitude of  “What’s the point in showering we’re only going to get dirty again?” or  “Why bother washing up when we’re only going have to redo it when we reuse the dishes.” Come to think of it, what’s the point in eating, when we’ll be hungry in a few hours time? And of course, sleeping’s unnecessary, too . . .  we just always end up feeling tired again, don’t we? I don’t think I need to say anymore, do I? Some things in life just need to be repeated: and diligently.

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A single change doesn’t always effect a permanent transformation. But taking things one step at a time in your day eventually leads to trillions of new cells of “you-ness”. You could try my very simple program “Steps to Silence” : a 7 day short program in spending more time in silence.

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Enjoy! suzen

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You can make donations to support the teachings! Namaste
[ . . . if you have the option, please mark your donation “friends and/or family”]

Monday Motivations | creative chaos a-la zen.vegan.thrive : My Message from Existence | A Story of Flow

Today for Monday Motivation, I’m digging into my archives and giving you insight into one my inspirations and motivations from 2018!

 

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Message From Existence: A Story of Flow

 

Our stories are so important in understanding how we can have more meaning in the Life we have in our Day. In this message I’m reading from Sheldon Kopp’s book “The Hanged Man”.

We came here to be happy, and for many of us today we simply need to slow down, live with Cosmic rhythms and cycles of Nature: which means our return to innocence.

The big changes that are happening in our world right now can seem overwhelming, but we can empower ourself by making small changes within – practice is powerful. Living the life in your day is essential.

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ENERGY MEDICINE: HOW DOES MOTIVATION WORK FOR CHANGE?

We know that physically, as a human being all we are is air, water and food . . . and everything on the physical plane of our existence has its own energetic frequency, our energy medicine which can heal us emotionally, mentally and spiritually. To truly thrive, we balance. Harmony helps. Connecting and communing with Nature, and Primal Force in all beings and things brings harmony and heals the anxiety of disconnect.

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SuZen

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Sunday Spirituality | . . rivers of . . Voice of Suzen zen poetry

~

. . . Cycles of existence,

life,

flowing through us

and

our life cycles . . .

. . . patterns

of consciousness . . .

awareness . . .

growing

and

evolving

in consciousness.

. . . in practice time:

watch water

flowing

with

full

focused

concentration.

. . . ask yourself:

does water

need

permission

to exist?

Because

it does not

have

your permission,

does

it

have no meaning?

. . . rivers of breath

Grounding

breathing practice

River of breath

flowing

as a wave

. . . waves of oms –

om

like a baby’s breath,

a sea,

collecting

all

rivers

harmonising

gently

with humanity.

. . . suzen

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“A-Broken-Kind-of-Xmas” Zen Vegan Thrive Weekly | Edition Saturday 21st December | SuZen Editorial

Welcome to this week’s newspaper!

Not everyone “does” Christmas – and for so many people it gets kind of “broken” . . . so here’s a “good news” edition full of hope and good things [and yes, we need to get sad as well]. And for some of us it’s Solstice  . . . and I’m sending you all Blessings.

. . . here’s a quick run-down: Dr Vandana Shiva’s landmark article “Oikonomia” [ever wondered how conscious economy really should work?] . . . and do you remember Alpha Circle’s new single review a while ago  – well, this week we have the news of the newest release “YaYa Diamond”.

In the music videos section, I just had to pay tribute to some of the best-ever ’80’s xmas-songs [get your eye-shadow and shoulder pads on and sing-a-long].

Powerfully, for all of us, remembering the intention some of our teachers in the past set for us as humanity: and getting deeper by the week into our Voice of Men editorial thread : Wisdoms to support us in our growth on our paths – this week, Swami Vivekananda’s speech [yes, the real recording] at the 1893 Chicago Parliament of Religions “Sisters and Brothers of America”   . . . in the paper’s lower third video section.

We had the spiritual “Book of the Century” as my review a few weeks ago: Nandhiji’s “Mastery of Consciousness” – with transformative teachings for us today from the Ancient Siddhar Masters. And the month’s music feature was Thanos’ hauntingly ambient music art . . . which has been a journey of [almost] a lifetime’s devotion to reaching people at their soul-level and wrapping them in love!

“Go Live Your Dream Today” by James Nussbaumer was one of the first feature articles we carried and . . . from Ecotherapist Jane Redfern, her article: “The Acorn’s Secret” . . . in her own story-telling style that I think of as “Earth Zen” . . . we’ve been blessed with images and contributions from Jane almost weekly since the newspaper started earlier this year!

As usual in the video section:  Astrology, but not as you know it by Adam Elenbaas – Adam is now known by his Bhakti Yoga Spiritual name Acyuta-Bhava Das | Tarot card readings for next week for each Astrological sign by the amazingly gifted Ali – and she gives us a current energies check-in for this weekend.

Vegan cooking obviously is special this week – with lots of recipes for the festive season [if you “do” Christmas] by Rachel Ama and Avante Garde Vegan | More “mad weather” by MrMBBB  | Plus more chanting and Chakra practice from me to keep us in tune and in touch with art, beauty, music, wisdom . . . all Divine Feminine energetic expressions . . .

We go to press today with yet more incredible contributions from the “I Declare World Peace” art movement [check the photos section] .

Hit the subscribe button under the top banner in my By-line to get the weekly paper into your email inbox and all your donations are most welcome as blessings which will help the Newspaper thrive!

Much love
“Live well yourself, live well with others and our Planet”
SuZen

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Our new partnership with Cup and Leaf [Austin, Texas] helps to subsidise the Newspaper with every Tea order you make!

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Newspaper Banner image this week: Monochrome image in a dark room : Photo by Akshar Dave from Pexels

 

Friday Tea-time . . . the zen tea destressing art – “maybe, maybe not” | A Zen Story [Koan]

Friday tea time again this week, and time to take time out for our de-stressing tea-way ritual. Today I’m continuing the focus on guidance for your contemplation and the zen tea way . . .  I found this short zen story on the tale of the Chinese farmer told by Alan Watts, most usually taught as “maybe, maybe not”, a koan for the tea way to tranquility of mind and wisdom.

 

Maybe, Maybe Not

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A wisdom story for our age of anxiety

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Maybe, Maybe Not

We’re in an age of anxiety . . . anxiety caused by many things of course. We’re in crisis as Humanity . . . but Humanity always needs crisis to make the structural changes we need to change . . .

 

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As usual, I encourage you to inform yourself and if you’re instinctively drawn to a daily way to tranquility and peace for your mind-body-spirit then gen up as much as you can with self-education. Learn more about our Zen Tea-way in my blog.

Enjoy! suzen

.

 

With Gratitude to Cup and Leaf: we’ve partnered up with these lovely people – and when you buy your teas from them, we get a little bit of commission which helps to support the zen.vegan.thrive Newspaper every week! Check out their own amazing Tea Bundles in their shop.

.

You can make donations to support the teachings! Namaste

“Not-Xmas” – zen of seeking comfort in times of sadness

The zen of “not a . . . . christmas for all of us” | a religion, a family tradition, a way of life does not suit all of us and we may not have been born into a family that truly accepts us for the true being we are.

I write mainly about my holistic approach to life freedom, and of course freedom presupposes security – the sacred quality of the Mother. There are deep, deep structures within the ancient Spiritual Heritage of India; the Science of Life that is the whole of Yoga, concepts and mysticism of Vedanta, centuries-old philosophy: founded on an eternally powerful feminine principle which give me inner security for the freedom to live my life and I sincerely hope that India is proud and feels our appreciation and gratitude. Because, of course, all of this flowed into the form-less-ness that is zen.

I was researching some of Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti’s quotes on Meditation for a series of articles and in Pupul Jayakar’s biography on him, found this on “the loving Indian mothers”, a very poignant description of his own mother who had died when he was young: “. . . the happiest memories of my childhood centre round my dear mother, who gave us all the loving care for which Indian mothers are well-known.”

It pushed a button for me. I didn’t have an easy childhood or “normal” parenting. I still get sad about that.

I discovered 20 years ago, drinking lots of Yogi Women’s Tea whilst writing a book on women’s wellbeing, that Ayurveda is “the science of Yoga, Meditation and Astrology (besides the natural healing knowledge of life). It was news to me, but made sense of my love of Astrology and its part in the whole of my approach to life. This often explains Divine energies . . . and Karma.

So, feeling sadness well up in my heart and my mind, I turned to my Karma Astrology and discovered the guidance to “love the mother inside”. Of course. Everything comes from within. And as a teacher and a writer, and drawing on the whole of yoga, zen and practice, I have the emotional healing arts I need in times of sadness.

Personally, I love the concepts of the Bliss State, the stillness of the Ultimate Mind of the Divine which accepts us totally and knows that as human beings we need comfort. And this exists powerfully in 3 deeply feminine concepts from the Spiritual Heritage that India has gifted to the world, in the practice of seeking comfort in times of sadness: The Mother of the Breath, The Sea of Oms and The Regarder of the Cries of the World.

The Mother of the Breath which breathes all of us and breathes life force energy into us.  This mother caresses us with each breath, each breath breathing all of us. And each of these slow, rhythmic breaths bringing a relaxation and a sweetness to the bodymind and emotions: breath, sadness and joy co-existing in the space deep within. There is so much comfort there. And this was meant to comfort us – Primordial Goddess gave man breath to be able to “be” within the chaos of the realms between Heaven and Earth.

The Sea of Oms. The Sea of Oms is out there in the Universe, eternal and constantly vibrating, washing over us and soaking up our emotions. Within the continuous single sound of Om, the sound of the vibration of the Universe, is our connection with the heart of the Universe. It is our connection with our essence. It is the symbol of our Union. It is the empowering feeling of spirit flowing into our heart.

The Regarder of the Cries of the World. My belief is that Humanity has a broken heart, a hunger and a yearning, following the last 2,000 years of our evolution. In the myth of this name, our cries are always heard and our yearning to return to our Source is watched over with great compassion by the Goddess Avalokiteshvara [Kwan Yin]. Practising a short contemplation in “listening to the cries of the world” is a way of opening up to compassion with a pure and kind heart: acknowledging that we can all hear the hurt in the hearts of all human beings. You sit quietly and let the cries in. This is when we’re resonating with Bindhu Chakra . . . constantly receiving and sending messages with our Divine connection.

So, when sadness wells up, this is my practice with deep, personal care to “love the mother inside”:

Wrap up warmly in a meditation blanket and practice So Ham breathing. At least ten minutes.

Allow your sadness to rise up and let the Sea of Oms wash over the emotion. Then chant. My own practice is: Om . . .

Sit quietly in a receptive, contemplative attitude of mind, and allow The Regarder of the Cries of the World to sit with you.

Then you forgive. In the practice of forgiveness you learn self-acceptance, sometimes one of the hardest things for a human being: accepting your own self, accepting your own good . . . and that you are part of the co-creation process with the Universe, with your Source. We need to forgive ourselves and other people as resentment and bitterness clogs up our connections with our higher vibrations, our subtle bodies, and keeps us in the mundane mind and the pain body. With forgiveness you can recognise your own power in your Soul’s journey to your potential; to your potential divinity: accepting your power in the process of bringing Heaven down to Earth. To let go and move on, we forgive.

So, in my own practice, I forgive myself and go gently for a while just never really knowing when the sadness will come again, but always deeply grateful for what Yoga, Zen and India have given me in my life: Deep comfort in times of sadness.

Namaste, Susan

Susan’s note: J. Krishnamurti An Autobiography Pupul Jayakar: A Fresh Interpretation of the Renowned Philosopher J. Krishnamurti by One of India’s Leading Intellectuals. Harper and Row, 1985.

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Wisdom Thoughts

There are moments when, like it or not, we just have to get stuck in and sacrifice our present for the sake of our future. Our future, right now, seems precarious and vulnerable for humanity.

In these moments, we have to enforce a pragmatic approach, sure – but also, as many, many Ancient zen masters taught us, with a dignity that enables us to uphold our responsibilities. How are we going to hold the vast-ness of one-ness in our arms . . . and yet stay light, engaged, flowing?

There’s never a need for such moments as these [in Cosmic terms] to be miserable. We’re all being given an opportunity to find satisfaction and joy in a scenario that outwardly seems oh-so frustrating and totally ungratifying.

The only thing that’s needed? To bring meaning?  An open mind and an open heart.

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“Mother, Mother, there’s too many of you crying . . . Brother, brother, brother, there’s far too many of you dying . . . ” Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On?

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You can make donations to support the teachings! Namaste

Wednesday Wisdoms | Voice of Men | wisdoms . . . for our growth: Swami Vivekananda “sisters and brothers” 1893 Chicago

 

Swami Vivekananda’s teaching: I left the Wednesday slot on the Blog free purposefully, intuitively wanting to know what would “flow in”. Wisdom is what seems to want to flow . . . but maybe not every Wednesday, so maybe there’ll be a blog or post of some kind, and maybe not. As long as the inspiration keeps coming, I’ll keep going with it. It seems to keep coming and flowing . . . wisdom IS a Divine source of life power, so: inexhaustible!

.

This series of inspirations is a new way of distilling wisdom and passing it onto you . . . “Voice of Men”. This week Swami Vivekananda, and his most known speech which thankfully was recorded in 1893 in Chicago .

 

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Swami Vivekananda’s famous speech | 1893 World Council of Religions Chicago

 

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“Sisters and Brothers of America . . . there is one ideal, that you are Divine”. Swami Vivekananda [paraphrased by me]

Swami Vivekananda attended the 1893 Conference of Religions in Chicago, US – famously bringing Yoga to the West, along with Suzuki who brought Zen on the same occasion. Called the “wandering monk” Vivekananda had heard about the conference and set off from India, not really knowing exactly how he was going to get to Chicago . . . on arrival in the US he met helpful people who got him there and on time! He wasn’t exactly welcomed with the respect he deserved, being the student of Sri Ramakrishna the Sage whose teaching had been “Jiva is Shiva” [each individual is divinity itself]  . . . but when he got up to make his address the audience was stunned. As they would say today, his speech “went viral”. Astonishing that early technology provided us with this legacy today.

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“Dare to be free, dare to go as far as your thought leads, and dare to carry that out in your life.” Vivekananda

 

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With thanks and blessings for this video version to Abhilash V R on YouTube: you can check out the channel here. . .

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“Balance is what happens when you know in your heart something is right.”

Enjoy! suzen

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You can make donations to support the teachings! Namaste

[ . . . if you have the option, please mark your donation “friends and family” namaste!]
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