Visioning

Of the four spiritual practices used in Science of Mind (Affirmations, Spiritual Mind Treatment, Meditation, Visioning), Visioning was the one I had worked with and understood the least. I was delighted that enough people joined me in making this class, which recently concluded, happen.

I had in the past used visualization, such as making a vision board or seeing myself succeed at a task. Maybe even wanting this class to occur now, I helped to manifest it. This is different from Visioning. As the class’ student guide puts it, “It is the difference between directing Spirit to have our way (visualization) and allowing Spirit to have Its way (visioning).”

I had practiced visioning a little as part of a class or in a group visioning for the highest for CSLT. The practice has usually been to center in Oneness, then open to the vision by asking a series of questions: 1-What is your highest vision or ideal for ____? 2- What changes, evolves or becomes as this highest vision comes into existence?

3-Is there anything else which wants to be known, understood or realized? We write down any images, feelings, sounds, etc. that come to/through mind. The leader will then gather these from all the individuals and compile a list, which is then distributed back to the individuals. This has been where I have usually stopped with the practice.

This class taught and allowed me to practice the next step which is that, in identifying themes, you articulate the vision through spiritual discernment. It is fascinating to see what comes through during the visioning process, but what do all these seemingly random ideas mean? What could Spirit be trying to tell me through images of: Dogs barking happily, blue jeans, plaid shirt, playful winged insects, beach, chair on a cloud? Could it be, as one of my classmates suggested, to loosen up, dress down, be happy and relax?

The full title of the class was Visioning: A Way of Life! So, after we figured out what our visioning session was telling us, we were asked to develop a Vision Statement which we make a commitment to become. When you embody the vision, you attune to Spirit and allow Spirit to show you how it wants to express itself through you to bring forth your highest and best experience of life. Bring on the happy, relaxed, casual Life!

Now that I have finally taken this class, I look forward to joining the Vision Core which meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30pm on the Sunday Zoom channel. If you have taken the Visioning class, recently or before, you are welcomed to join in also.

–Janet Salese

The Experience of Evil

All misfortune is but a stepping stone to fortune. — Henry David Thoreau

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. – Richard Bach

The origin of evil is in the human mind, and the belief in the devil, hell, & purgatory has its origin in the human mind, and nowhere else. This belief must be erased from the mind. We must come to know that there can be no Ultimate evil. We must have an assurance that evil will disappear from our experience in such degree as we no longer feed it with our imagination, or through our acts create situations that encourage it.

Dr Ernest Holmes, Living the Science of Mind 354.6-355.1.

Each one of us gets to wrestle with the big challenge, “Is there evil in the world?” in our

From Not So Big Life by Sarah Susanka

own minds. At first blush, and according to the point of view of the collective unconscious,
the answer has to be “Of course there is! Just look at all the harm humans do to each other, and to the planet.”

Therein lies the rock and the hard place.

Is there one power in the world, or are there two? Is there a unity, or a duality? What do you honestly and actually-factually believe?

We know what the world thinks, we get to see and experience that on a regular basis. How do we see our life experiences with new eyes and remember that the Universe is for us, and everything we experience and observe is for our awakening in consciousness?

For me, one of the keys that helps me remember is that everyone is already, and perpetually, an eternal being, and these years spent in ‘earth school’ don’t encompass all of our lives. It’s just a chapter. In this chapter, we may choose to experience hardship, or difficulty. We may choose to live in, and from, our zone of genius, or we may choose to spend it as a victim. We may choose to overcome the difficulty and become stronger as a result, or we may be toppled by it. No matter what, how we play the cards we have in this life is not the whole story of who we are. It doesn’t ultimately impact us negatively. This human life is for gathering experiences.

Rev Steph Amand wrote in her March 19 daily reading in the Science of Mind Magazine “I trust the universe to provide all the substance to carve, all the tools to use and all the people to share it with. I embrace that the silver lining of every experience is made known to me with ease and graceful awareness. I am the silver lining experiencing and expressing the divine. I am the infinite sparkle within all things.”

This is a chewy and challenging idea worthy of a deeper dive. I’m available to discuss this topic next Sunday (March 27th) at 1pm (AZ time) for an hour or so, on the Sunday morning zoom link with anyone who chooses to drop in. Join me.

–Rev Janis Farmer

 

 

 

Got Cash?

I have hesitated on writing about this topic for quite some time. It can be a touchy personal topic for some, and for others almost taboo to talk about. Money. I think to myself, ‘who am I to write about money especially since no one is even asking?’ I answer myself, ‘My name is Madeline Pallanes and I am a woman of power.’ (I learned that affirmation from Edwene Gaines.) Sometimes I believe it, sometimes I don’t. ‘Money flows to me easily & freely.’ I’ve been repeating that affirmation for probably 20 years. I always believe it.

Today, I have a loving healthy relationship with my money. It hasn’t always been that way. Yes, it’s a relationship. A relationship that has had its ups and downs over the years. I wanted a healthy relationship with money. I have made many blunders with my money and when I did, I later sought out help.

I attended Dave Ramsey’s University of Financial Peace.

Stacy Johnson with Money Talks News is also one of my sought-out helpers.

I have taken many Prosperity classes offered though CSL. Edwene Gaines, “The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity” is probably the one I have absorbed the teachings and practice the most. One of the Laws is tithing and giving. Through the years, whenever I would show up at a church (CSL or any other one I may have stopped into) I had a standard amount of cash I would donate to the church for the service. If I couldn’t donate that amount, I wouldn’t go. That was my tithing practice. That was how I thought one tithes. It was also standard practice for me to donate to many non-profit organizations. I have always been generous with donations. If I had it, I gave it and if I didn’t have it, I didn’t give it.

A few years ago, an interesting thing happened. I learned the definition of tithing. Tithing is giving 10% of your income to where you receive your spiritual guidance. That really made me think. Was I actually tithing? Tithing 10% of my income to where I receive my spiritual guidance? It probably totaled up to 10% with church and other non-profit donations, but I know I wasn’t receiving spiritual guidance from Salvation Army, the local food bank, or local animal shelters. I made a decision right then and there, to give 10% of my income to where I receive my spiritual guidance. In addition, I give 5% of my income to charitable giving. Later, I also decided to save 10% of my income. This loving relationship practice I have with my money continues to grow stronger and healthier each day.

Recently over the past couple months, I decided instead of tithing 10% of what I received, I would tithe 10% of what I want to receive for the month. I’m tithing in advance knowing this increased income is coming to me easily and freely. “My income is constantly increasing.” (Yet another affirmation I frequently say.)

This year I decided to start a “Five & Dime savings account” and I’m having a lot of fun with it. I’m not spending any 5-dollar bills that flow through my hands. I put the $5 bill into a zip lock bag and put it in my underwear drawer. I’m also not spending dimes. I have a dime bag sitting on my dresser. That is my Five & Dime savings account. Currently I have already saved $120 in 5’s, along with 32 dimes. Cha Ching!

The idea for the $5 savings plan came from a friend who saved every $5 she received for a year. This is what she had saved at the end of the year, without any hardship.

And this is my dime bag. 🙂

If having a healthier relationship with your money interests you, I know you can have it! Start with where ever you are now. For me, starting with tithing 10% of my income to where I receive my spiritual guidance, was my biggest jumpstart to access my prosperity & abundance.

–Madeline

Wait! What Was I Thinking?

I love how efficient the Universe is at showing us what we believe. I’ve had so many examples of this in the past couple weeks, I probably can’t even count them all. Mostly, I’m just glad I notice I’ve been thinking, and believing, and have a chance to change my mind about my experiences.

Last Thursday, I got my booster shot up at the Tucson Convention Center. It was the first day they were open and they had all three of the options. I had a preference, and so I had avoided getting ‘boosted’. I was cracking jokes in line with the couple standing behind me. Of course, he had heard that people who hadn’t gotten ill from the previous shots were laid low by this one. I’d heard that too, but I didn’t pay it a lot of attention. Friday, I woke up feeling a little bit achy, and my arm was sore. Friday’s usually my day off, and I thought I’d just take it easy because I’d been pushing pretty hard for a while. No biggie.

I opened The Science of Mind Friday night to do my daily evening practice, which is to consider the reading for the day (252.2-5) that Dr Edward Viljoen picked out when he was in ministerial school over thirty years ago. Friday’s reading was about how we can choose to think about Colds, Influenza and Grippe. (I don’t even know what grippe is.) I had to laugh out loud at myself. How is it possible that I needed to be reminded of this exact thought form on this day, so I could notice what I was thinking?

What I noticed was that I had two competing thoughts in my mind. As a biologist, I knew that when the body’s defenses were activated, they would kick up a little bit of a fuss, and the body would prefer to have a low-key, restful day so that the internal reinforcements of health could gather the troops, and nothing further would be needed. As a Religious Scientist, I knew that we believe in the healing of the sick and the control of conditions through the power of this Mind, and so I didn’t have to experience those achy sensations. I also knew that it is done unto us as we believe. If my belief in the mechanics of human physiology was stronger than my belief in what we teach and practice, then I was going to get to have that experience.

Well, duh. Of course, I did a treatment. Friday night I slept, unbothered. By morning, I was back to normal.

Saturday, I was running errands in town and noticed the clouds gathering. There were even a few raindrops on my car’s windshield, not enough to turn the wipers on, but it was still rain. Part of me delights in the clouds gathering, because I very much appreciate the soft, gentle winter rains. And if they happened to start early this year, I’d be quite okay with that. But the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association was doing a stargazing party in Tucson Mountain Park, near where I live, and I had a ticket to go Saturday night. I was looking forward to it. I did my ‘standard weather treatment’ that I used to do when I lived in Arizona City and drove to Tucson multiple times a week for certificated classes. I didn’t have a problem with rain, or dust storms, for two years.

Astronomers aren’t generally as happy about overcast skies as the rest of us desert dwellers are, and the club cancelled the viewing if they thought the skies wouldn’t be cooperative. Over Tucson Mountain Park, the skies stayed relatively clear, so I drove over just after sunset to look through the two telescopes and ‘ooh and ahh’ at the planets and galaxies with about 15 other people. I’ve seen Venus, Jupiter and Saturn before, but I’d not seen Neptune or Uranus. The two amateur astronomers had great telescopes and great skill in using them, so we could even see multiple moons around several of the distant planets. We do get to experience what we believe. How marvelous is that?

–Rev Janis Farmer

Beyond Beyond Gratitude

Rev. Janis just concluded her Beyond Gratitude class this week. The homework for week 1 included doing a gratitude practice of listing three things you were grateful for each day. “Okay,” I said to myself. “I’ll start a new journal. Again.”

Like many of you, I have started such a practice many times. I keep it up for a few weeks or months, then record less frequently until I stop altogether. I think of 3 things I’m grateful for and list them, trying not to repeat myself. Once again, I began making my list of three things that I noticed each day for which I am thankful.

On Veteran’s Day, I thought I should put veterans on my list, but I had already recorded three things. I looked at the three items to decide which one to take off and substitute with veterans. I didn’t want to replace any of the items with veterans. This made me look at why I included items on my list. Each of the items I included made me feel something. That day I wasn’t feeling any particular emotion related to any veteran in particular or veterans in general, so they didn’t make it to the list. The next day I meditated on what it was about veterans that I was grateful for. Now I had a feeling to go with the thought and veterans made it on the list that day.

Instead of just making a list I’m currently keeping an actual gratitude journal. I write down three things, one at a time. Then I write down why I’m grateful for each one and how each makes me feel. This has given my gratitude practice more meaning.

Also during that week 1 class, Rev. Janis suggested we include things from three different categories:

1 – tangibles. (what you can see, touch, taste, smell, hear)
2 – invisibles, but tangibles (like oxygen/air, lungs/breath, kidneys, spleen…)
3 – intangibles (like safety, contentment, creativity…)

Previously, the things that made it to my list were mostly from the first category. Thinking about and including things from the other two categories has broadened my practice in another way.

As suggested by Dr. Karmen Smith and reiterated by Rev. Janis, to take my gratitude practice to an even higher level I reflect on difficult experiences and try to find a reason to be grateful. Knowing that all happens for my good, I ask to be shown the good. Often this is not possible to see while experiencing the situation, but recalling events from the past that are over and done with I am usually able to find something there to be grateful for if only that it is in the past.

Taking this class has allowed me to take my gratitude practice beyond anything I have done in the past. I think I will stick with this practice longer this time around because of this.

I love that our Center offers a variety of classes on a regular basis. Participating in the classes, I always discover something that I can incorporate into my daily life to make it fuller, deeper, bigger, etc. If you haven’t taken a class lately, I encourage you to do so. Allow yourself to go beyond.

–Janet Salese

Hide The Ball

I don’t know if you remember that old magician’s trick with the usually three upturned cups and the ball that seems to magically move from cup to cup, and the observer never quite knows where the ball is, or how it got there. In one of our Practitioner classes years ago, a dear friend said, “I play hide the ball with myself all the time, and it frustrates me!” When she said it, I realized I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate way to describe how we keep ourselves from knowing ‘stuff’ that we claim we want to know. Most of us do this, at least sometimes. This is not a criticism. I think it’s an aspect of being human.

I’ve been using this pandemic cloistering period to work on my writing practice in a world-wide community of writers. The way this program is set up, everyone has a page of their own as a place to show their work. It’s a little cumbersome until you get the hang of it (like most things are when they are new), but it’s really not hard to find your own page. I’m watching one of my writing friends do his darnedest to keep himself from writing, and letting himself acknowledge that he actually writes well and beautifully. He’s a smart guy. He’s got a successful day job. And he’s got this other side that’s creative, poetic, profound and astoundingly lyrical in its beauty and depth.

This morning I noticed that he’d written an extraordinary piece of incredibly touching poetry on someone else’s ‘page’, and sheepishly admitted that he didn’t know how to find his own page. We’ve been in this writing program for five months. Twice I’ve offered to zoom with him on his computer to show him how to find his own page. I know of two other people, moderators of the writing program, who have also offered to assist him. Someone even made him a ‘how to’ sheet of directions, and he persists in hiding the ball from himself. I just wanted to cry when I saw his commentary this morning.

If we, or someone else, don’t want to know something, there is nothing that can be done to force them or us to see, and know. It’s not like having a puppy and rubbing their noses in it when we catch them peeing in the house. We don’t learn that way. Once we finally do wake up to the game and see though, and are willing to own our own ability, agency, autonomy, authority, responsibility and power, there’s nothing that stands in our way.

Being part of a world-wide writing community is both exciting and terrifying. I was telling one of my artist friends about it, and she was horrified at the idea of showing her work to others as it was in process, specifically so that other people could comment on it. I told her it was really quite fabulous, because one of the rules of engagement in this group was that commenters were required to be constructive, and kind. Early on when I joined this online writers’ group, I noticed the moderators, quickly and decisively, removed two people who didn’t know how to be constructive and kind.

It serves each of us to have a small group of supportive friends, who we trust and who actually have our best interests in mind and heart, and who will help us see our blind spots. Without that, it’s easy to just keep playing ‘hide the ball’, and we don’t learn and grow.

–Rev Janis Farmer

“And It Was Good”

As a spark of God, I am illumined by the Spirit of Wisdom. I am free from the bondage of all false beliefs. The Spirit of Wisdom enables me to see all others as they are in reality — perfect expressions of God. — Ernest Holmes, 365 Science of Mind 156.2

Above is one of the thoughts read at a daily practice. The line that resonated with many of the participants was, “The Spirit of Wisdom enables me to see all others (I added “and myself”) as they are in reality — perfect expressions of God.” I had shared during the last Spiritual Practitioner Class for the first year, we shared our final projects reflecting what we learned, how we grew in our first year. People shared amazing drawings, poems, songs, video presentations. I was in awe. Afterwards, I started comparing my project to what others did and felt less than.

Someone else in the zoom room shared an experience “comparing” themselves with others. We realized comparison brought out judgment, feelings of less than or perhaps even better than someone else. Judgment leads to a sense of separation, that I don’t belong. It’s a feeling I am not a part of the whole.

I put myself in bondage, a lack of freedom, when I compare and make judgments. This is a pattern of behavior that is not conducive to living a joyful life, to letting my light shine. One of Rev. Janis’ reminders was about memories, how old stories can keep me stuck or propel me into a higher level of consciousness. I (’m going to) choose to believe that my presentation has value, that I share my individualization of Spirit. “And it was Good.”

The Divine Plan is one of freedom; bondage is not God-ordained. Freedom is the birthright of every living soul.
Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind 25.3

I think of the phrase “And it was good,” found in Genesis after God brought light into existence, then created night, separated land and water, created plant life. It wasn’t the most awesome, spectacular, out of sight thing (although it was). It was just a solid recognition of a day’s work, no comparison to yesterday, no thought of tomorrow, just now. How freeing!

(No wonder God gets so much done!)

— Maria

The Value of Meditation Practice

I am incredibly grateful that I have and use the spiritual tool of meditation on a daily basis. Since beginning my daily practice of Transcendental Meditation on June 10, 2016, I have experienced much change. I credit the opportunity and the courage to start and run my own business to this daily practice.

A change that occurred on July 7, 2016, was the transitioning of my father. Chris and I had visited him the previous November and I met his husband for the first time then also. I had separated myself from my father for many years and had reconnected in the 5 years before his passing. I consider his good energy and spiritual support as a component to my successful business also. He had been diagnosed with cancer only 6 weeks previously and I was to go to the oncologist with him on July 10. He was in Florida, and I was going to spend the week with him. When I received a phone call early Thursday morning on July 7, I knew as soon as I saw my sister’s face on my phone that he had passed. I still carry the notes I made when he told me his body was weak and his spirit was strong along with his obituary in my wallet. I am also listening to my Spotify playlist of Chopin. He used to play Chopin when I was in bed at night, and I have a special place in my heart for this music.

Back to meditation – it is one of the tools that CSL teaches for use in manifesting the Divine throughout our daily lives. Two of the others are affirmations and Spiritual Mind Treatments. I know that there are numerous ways to meditate and the best one to use is the one that you use. What is exciting for me about TM is that I can easily use it.

I am in a 12-step fellowship and the 11th step speaks to employing prayer and meditation. Before TM, meditation meant clearing my mind. Clearing my mind is actually physically painful for me. It is incredibly hard, and I shudder when I consider attempting to do it. I soft of copped-out on meditation considering it as listening to God which I did not do too often. And then in SOM, it was more like I am a manifestation of the Divine and I did not understand how to listen to something I am part of. Now I think of listening to the Divine as accessing my higher self. Which I am able to do at times and other times not.

The first time I took Foundations was with Reverend Donald Graves. He is a devout practitioner of TM. I shared with him that I had taken the classes when I was 19 and had been in a halfway house in Minneapolis. The director of the facility used TM and considered it the basis of her recovery. She arranged for the house to be offered TM classes. My parents paid for it as an investment in my recovery. I took the classes, received my mantra, and practiced for a short period of time. The classes actually felt a little bit like a cult, and I chose to not do continue practicing thinking that if I felt it was a cult, then by practicing TM, I was, in effect, participating in a cult. A little circuitous but I was 19. When I investigated TM in Tucson in 2016, I found out that once you have taken the classes, you have lifetime support. That was good because the classes were prohibitively expensive. I re-took the education part of the classes and resumed a daily practice during the Foundations class.

I happily explained to Donald in June that I had meditated 5 times that week and that the two days I had not done it were due to understandable circumstances. He confronted me! He said it was a daily practice and I either did it or I did not! I was surprised but began the daily practice.

I had one good run that lasted for 2 1⁄2 years not missing a day but have missed two handfuls in the five+ years.

I received guidance from the Tucson TM teacher, Denise Gerace, when she told me about a daily Zoom meditation practice led by Bob Roth of the David Lynch Foundation. Yes, that David Lynch! He practices, believes in, and supports TM. The Foundation provides TM free-of-charge to inner-city, at-risk youth, to veterans, to survivors of conflicts in Africa and to women in domestic violence shelters, among others. The Zoom is 177-174-913. Bob records live meditations at 8:30am EST and at 6:00pm EST. The meditations then repeat on the hour. Actually, there is a 9:15am EST meditation and then it repeats on the hour. Tuning into these twice-daily calls where Bob speaks for a few minutes on topics ranging from butterflies to neuroplasticity to algae followed by 20 minutes of meditation where he minds the time and concluding with a poem or word-of-the-day has become a favorite time of the day and something I look forward to with pleasure.

It feels great to have a practice that relaxes me and contributes to my well-being and that is fun to do in a peaceful sort of way. I encourage anyone that is interested in TM to contact me. I am open to sharing resources of which I am aware.

–Marya Wheeler

Life As An Emerging Force

Writing a newsletter article during tax season is a challenge. I was excused from the rotation through April 15, not anticipating that the deadline would be extended to May 17. So, my name came up again. And then I realized that I would be able to share part of my final presentation for the Roots class as my article. So here goes …

For Roots, we studied Emerson, Troward, and Hopkins. I was struck by their focus on the insistence of life as an emerging force. I had an onion in the kitchen that had sprouted, and I was growing it. I showed everyone on Zoom. I do not have a green thumb and, sadly, it did not transplant well.

Another example of emerging life was a trip to White Water Draw to see the Sandhill Cranes. The website estimated that there were 20,000 this year, a record. We had been talking about the Sandhill Cranes in morning meditation and at the Community Envisioning. We had a map of the sites where they usually fed. On March 13, Saturday, Chris and I were up and out of the house at 4:45am. Immediately before we arrived at White Water Draw, we saw formations of Cranes flying away. When we go to the Draw, it was empty. We spent the morning going to the locations on the map with no luck. A breakfast burrito in Willcox and we were back home. The following Monday, we arose at 3:00 and were on the road by 3:45. We arrived at White Water Draw at 5:30 and could see the Cranes before they left for the day. Over the next hour, the noise of the roosting Cranes grew and grew as they began to take off for the day. Although there were campers parked up in the parking area, we were the only ones at the pond watching the Cranes. It was magnificent. I share a 3:47 minute video of our experience. It was wonderful. We saw them later in the season. There would be more if we had gone one month earlier. That is the plan for 2021/2022.

Finally, I shared the following Spiritual Mind Treatment. Rev. Janis had asked us to write a treatment about a challenging area of our lives. I thought of Finances but knew that even when I feel financially secure, there is another deeper issue that arises. I decided that my real condition, which often attaches to finances, is my belief in conditions as real. If I truly had faith, I would relax.

Here is my spiritual mind treatment.
Condition – I believe in matter when none exists.
Purpose – I grok All as Spirit.
Recognition – I recognize the Divine as the Source of all creation. I recognize It as harmony, ease, love, liberation, beauty, order, and health.
Unification – Harmony, ease, love, liberation, beauty, order, and vibrant health flow through me, in me, as me, for me.
Realization – I grok All as Spirit. Even though I forget All as Spirit and tense and worry, I remember and smile and relax and pull in peace and ease. My body softens, my spirits lift, and I feel contentment. I realize that I possess the power to manifest, and I create my vision. Although fears crop up in my day, I act, the answer appears, and the fear evaporates. I salute my competent self.
Thanksgiving – I feel thankful for Divine guidance I receive organically or through others.
Release – Trusting the Divine to work brilliantly, I live the life of my dreams. I release these words to law. And so it is.

–Marya Wheler

Course Correction

I have had some experiences lately that have pulled me way off my spiritual path. Negative thinking about myself, and my situation, have caused me to stop and reconsider my life, and take another look at solutions.

Recently, I ran across 3 pages of notes from Rev Janis’ class on affirmations while shuffling through some paperwork that really reminded me of all the possibilities that there are available to me.

A quote from The Art of Life by Ernest Holmes:

“Life works by direct affirmation.
There is no other way for it to work.
That is why we are told to be still and know that all things are possible to God.
We are told to affirm, positively to assert, to declare this truth,
in the face of all apparent opposition;
to claim abundance in the midst of poverty;
to affirm health in the midst of sickness;
to declare joy in the midst of sorrow;
and to announce the Kingdom of God here and now.”

Affirmations are positive statements that help me to challenge and overcome self-sabotage and negative thinking, which come from my Ego. When I repeat them often, and believe them, I can start to make positive changes.

Also, my attitude is a choice. I have decided I won’t be pushed around by my fears, and worry about what I can’t control. I can shift my energy to what I can create. I can become my own life coach via regular meditation and prayer. Repetition strengthens and confirms whatever I wish my conscious thought to tell me.

Meditation helps me in so many ways, especially in bypassing my monkey mind chatter and generally puts me in a more receptive way of seeing my life. I have participated in enough workshops and courses to know how to get to the solution. I am so grateful for the teachings and beliefs in Science of Mind.

I am back on the road to recovery from my scrambled thinking.

Namaste, Janie

 

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