IGX "...overflowing with foulmouthed ignorance."

IGX "...overflowing with foulmouthed ignorance."
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:16 pm 
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The Mind Illuminated is by far the best book on meditation I’ve read anywhere, from ones I own to ones I’ve checked out at bookstores and online.

Written by a master, Culadasa, that also holds a PhD in neuroscience (Dr. John Yates). Very pragmatic, with interludes that tie the meditation exploration to science.

Very clearly talks about what you will experience, why it is absolutely normal, and how to overcome. Resonates exactly with my experience, “doing battle” with mind wandering, forgetting, etc.

Found out about it by listening to a podcast while sitting around waiting for my 20 year old car to get inspected, so plenty of time to waste. I think this is it.

https://batgap.com/culadasa-john-yates/

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:37 pm 
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This review summaries this Western idea that you should set a goal and stage the progress of everything you do. I want to emphasise some sentences, but then 90% of the text will be in bold. Very well said.
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LouiseK
1.0 out of 5 starsPitiful
October 21, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition

All this faux-science is nothing but excessive materialism overlaid on Buddhist concepts. It's sort of sickening.
All these precise instruction and elucidation of every baby step you will take and the effects and the progress
you will make -- what hogwash! Every person must find their own salvation and it is completely unique for
every person. There is no manual like there is for building a cabinet from Ikea! This whole approach is such
a grotesque misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the intention and purpose of meditation and practicing
Buddhism. Folks when you meditate it is about dropping expectation. It is about being in the moment. It is not
a goal-oriented activity. The fruits of your meditation are right there in the moment of your meditation. We are
not progressing from grade 1 through grad school with a set curriculum and expected outcomes. It's just all
so wrong. Buddhism does not need defending by academia or science. The Dalai Lama has put this thing in
motion out of his own insecurity that his Tibetan Buddhism is full of magic and sooth sayers and all sorts of
"non-scientific" filler. If you want science to answer your questions about yourself and the universe, take some
pills. What science knows about the working of the human mind fits in a thimble and will all be in the rubbish bin
of bad science history in fifty years. Buddhism is 2600 years strong. And if you want to learn about the science
of mind and psychology check out Vedanta and go look at the Vedas and the Bhagavad-Gita. There you will
learn something. This stuff here is Marin County pablum to read while you sip your Pumpkin latte after your
hot yoga class and before your mani-pedi.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:16 pm 
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I love one star reviews of all kinds.
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And if you want to learn about the science of mind and psychology check out Vedanta and go look at the Vedas and the Bhagavad-Gita.
The author of the book is making that same argument.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:33 pm 
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Whenever I see "stages" in a meditation manual I call bullshit. There are no stages and you can't set goals of meditation. Sit down, shut up and follow the breath. Some days it's bliss, and some days the head is full of stupid thoughts. What matters is not how you feel during meditation, but during the rest of the day.

I think it's a mistake to separate meditation from the rest of Buddhism. The purpose of that religion is to eliminate suffering, and meditation is just one, albeit extremely important, step. What's the point of meditating if an hour later you are get caught in unrealised desire or irritation when someone strokes your ego the wrong way?

Anyway, to each his own. I highly recommend Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen. No fluff primer on Buddhism and Zazen. Funny enough, his second book is called Sit Down and Shut Up.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:02 pm 
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I love one star reviews of all kinds.
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And if you want to learn about the science of mind and psychology check out Vedanta and go look at the Vedas and the Bhagavad-Gita.
The author of the book is making that same argument.
Then it really is bullshit, because Vedanta is bullshit. Also, Vedanta has nothing to do with Buddhism.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:11 am 
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I find one star reviews most useful - after you filter out stupid ones, like "my book never arrived" or "the cover was damaged", as well as straight forward trolling ones. When I buy books from Amazon I tend to check those reviews first.

Out of interest, why do you think Vedanta is bullshit? Buddhism is partially an offspring of Hindu philosophical and religious tradition, so there some similarities between them. Of course, both are about personal belief, hence my question.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:05 pm 
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Quote:
I love one star reviews of all kinds.
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And if you want to learn about the science of mind and psychology check out Vedanta and go look at the Vedas and the Bhagavad-Gita.
The author of the book is making that same argument.
Then it really is bullshit, because Vedanta is bullshit. Also, Vedanta has nothing to do with Buddhism.
Ok, to be clear, what he talks about is how much insight into the science of the mind can be gained “from the inside” as compared to the outside observation of neuroscience and psychology. I have no idea if he talks about Vedanta or Vedas or whatever flavor of Buddhism, he doesn’t push it, and I’m not interested in that.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:48 pm 
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Okay.

I'm very suspicious of any forms of meditation that purport to draw on Eastern religions or philosophies. In fact, the very term "mediation" has become so muddied as to be practically meaningless. Two people can discuss meditation and be talking about vastly different things, and both weighed down by our society's love affair with anything it perceived to be eastern mysticism and wisdom. Indians shit in the street and throw dead bodies in rivers; they don't have much to teach us.

I personally am initiated in Brahma-Madhava Sampradāya, can preach from the Bhagavad-gita forward and back, and I want to ensure you that a walk in the forest will do more for your mind and heart than any contrived form of meditation.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:05 pm 
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I personally am initiated in Brahma-Madhava Sampradāya, can preach from the Bhagavad-gita forward and back, and I want to ensure you that a walk in the forest will do more for your mind and heart than any contrived form of meditation.
I've meditated regularly, though really not all that much in terms of weekly duration, for the past 6 years or so....and I'm definitely different than when I don't meditate.

I've surfed or mountain biked or hiked in the woods my whole life....that has its benefits as well, but sitting through your impatience - at least for me - has changed me...and the more I do it in a week, the better off my mind set generally is.

Usually when someone tells me they don't need to meditate, because they already run, play music, read or something else that focuses/quiets the mind, they usually rage out a few minutes later because of some ridiculously insignificant event.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:52 pm 
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Quote:

I personally am initiated in Brahma-Madhava Sampradāya, can preach from the Bhagavad-gita forward and back, and I want to ensure you that a walk in the forest will do more for your mind and heart than any contrived form of meditation.
I've meditated regularly, though really not all that much in terms of weekly duration, for the past 6 years or so....and I'm definitely different than when I don't meditate.

I've surfed or mountain biked or hiked in the woods my whole life....that has its benefits as well, but sitting through your impatience - at least for me - has changed me...and the more I do it in a week, the better off my mind set generally is.

Usually when someone tells me they don't need to meditate, because they already run, play music, read or something else that focuses/quiets the mind, they usually rage out a few minutes later because of some ridiculously insignificant event.
YOU DARE DISAGREE WITH MEEEE?!!!1!

j/k

To each their own; it would be a terribly boring world if we were all the same. That said, does your "sitting through your impatience" really draw on any eastern tradition or is it simply sitting and practicing the mental skill of accepting things the way they are? Because my point is not that learning to use your mind skillfully is a bad thing, but rather that it doesn't require reference to Buddhism, Hinduism, or any other such claptrap.

Image

This is Wiratu, lifetime meditator and mass murderer. I'll be in the woods.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:03 pm 
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Meditation does not equal XYZ religion in my experience, it's simply a tool that one uses or not.

I also have an immediate distrust of white people who take on random names like Chupacabra or rock monkish robes, or say that their form of meditation is THE ONE, lots of ways to meditate.

"Beware any enterprise that requires new clothes." Thoreau

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:18 pm 
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Meditation does not equal XYZ religion in my experience, it's simply a tool that one uses or not.
No, it doesn't equal XYZ religion. That was the gist of what I'm saying. Remember, my sortie into this discussion was in reaction to the, "And if you want to learn about the science of mind and psychology check out Vedanta and go look at the Vedas and the Bhagavad-Gita" BS, and that's where my comments were coming from.

However, I also think that sitting meditation is not the final word on meditation either.
Quote:
I also have an immediate distrust of white people who take on random names like Chupacabra or rock monkish robes, or say that their form of meditation is THE ONE, lots of ways to meditate.
Absolutely, it's beyond pathetic.
Quote:
"Beware any enterprise that requires new clothes." Thoreau
Not a bad rule of thumb but would keep you from doing BJJ, scuba diving, or snowboarding if taken too far.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:22 am 
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Yeah sitting, standing, laying down, walking...I talked to the meditation group I had today about this. I guess the picture shows some senior citizen sitting cross-legged and they were worried they had to do that.

Awareness of your breath requires no certification, book, outfit, or religious affiliation.

Then some people say if you don't breathe through the nose then you're not doing meditation correctly, or you don't chant the name of some Hindu saint (which you paid 800$ to receive) you're not meditating. I've had a couple people who've never meditated with me, who I assume have no clue what I'm doing, tell me I'm not meditating correctly.....based on I'm not sure what.

And yeah good point on the weaknesses of my quote.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:45 am 
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The last part was just a joke, but where you're saying this...
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I've had a couple people who've never meditated with me, who I assume have no clue what I'm doing, tell me I'm not meditating correctly.....based on I'm not sure what.
...it gets to the heart of what I'm saying about the very term "mediation" becoming so muddied as to be practically meaningless. Just my opinion, but even the focus on breath is negotiable, and isn't even a central aspect of many types of Asiatic mediation.

So if it's not religion X or philosophy Y...

...And if it's not sitting, standing, lying, or walking...

...And it's not even following the breathing...

...what is it and why bother?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:46 am 
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By the by, I do have an answer to that question but I've never heard another soul mention it.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:07 am 
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I personally am initiated in Brahma-Madhava Sampradāya, can preach from the Bhagavad-gita forward and back, and I want to ensure you that a walk in the forest will do more for your mind and heart than any contrived form of meditation.
The tricky part is that meditation is practice for the sake of practice, something very difficult for the Western mind to accept. Sure, better sleep and lower blood pressure are nice side-effects, but long time meditators get an insight that is life changing yet cannot be set as a goal.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:16 am 
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The tricky part is that meditation is practice for the sake of practice, something very difficult for the Western mind to accept.
What no. People start a meditation practice with goals in mind all the time. The Relaxation Response was written in the 70's and there's nothing in it that is inaccessible.

Strongly agree with FC that there is an over-mystification that has a lot of appeal to people seeking "secret" knowledge. I think the Buddhists as a religious folk do a good job of giving people an active practice, which Western faiths generally do not. However, your historical Christian mystics had meditation instructions that were extremely simple and very accessible.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:17 am 
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I've had a couple people who've never meditated with me, who I assume have no clue what I'm doing, tell me I'm not meditating correctly.....based on I'm not sure what.
Just my opinion, but even the focus on breath is negotiable, and isn't even a central aspect of many types of Asiatic mediation.

So if it's not religion X or philosophy Y...

...And if it's not sitting, standing, lying, or walking...

...And it's not even following the breathing...

...what is it and why bother?
I agree that following the breath is not necessary for meditation, though controlling your breath to a slow and even pace certainly goes a long ways towards calming yourself down.

I fear that any definition of "what meditation is" that I come up with is going to sound contrived. And limited.

Compassion Meditation I find super valuable - where I'm visualizing people and directing thoughts, in the form of short phrases, towards individuals I like, don't know and find difficult...

And that is totally different than sitting on the beach and breathing slow with bugs crawling on my face or in a park with people behind me talking about whatever the hell is going on in their lives.

I think both kinds are different and offer good benefits, and so I do both.

The why is the easy part.....meditating makes me nicer and more patient, and subsequently I'm more likely to make decisions that are good ones and/or more in alignment with the better version of myself. Those things makes me happier.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:12 am 
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The tricky part is that meditation is practice for the sake of practice, something very difficult for the Western mind to accept.
What no. People start a meditation practice with goals in mind all the time. The Relaxation Response was written in the 70's and there's nothing in it that is inaccessible.

Strongly agree with FC that there is an over-mystification that has a lot of appeal to people seeking "secret" knowledge. I think the Buddhists as a religious folk do a good job of giving people an active practice, which Western faiths generally do not. However, your historical Christian mystics had meditation instructions that were extremely simple and very accessible.
And that is a very predictable response. :rolleyes:

Christian meditation is more of a reflection or a contemplation. Very different from Eastern meditation, which is in essence an exercise in attention.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:09 pm 
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Whenever I see "stages" in a meditation manual I call bullshit. There are no stages and you can't set goals of meditation. Sit down, shut up and follow the breath.
???

From the Buddha himself...via Wikipedia
Quote:
The Ānāpānasati Sutta (Pāli) or Ānāpānasmṛti Sūtra (Sanskrit), "Breath-Mindfulness Discourse," Majjhima Nikaya 118, is a discourse that details the Buddha's instruction on using awareness of the breath (anapana) as an initial focus for meditation.

The sutta includes sixteen steps of practice, and groups them into four tetrads, associating them with the four satipatthanas (placings of mindfulness).
Here’s a big preview of the book.
https://books.google.com/books/about/Th ... ead_button

I don’t care if you guys like it or not, but think you ought to at least read the forward and introduction yourself, rather than base it on a third party one star review. See where he’s actually coming from. A lot of your (Fatcat and Bram) thoughts could be lifted right from the book.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:24 pm 
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Fair enough. Ordered a copy from the library.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:46 pm 
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I personally am initiated in Brahma-Madhava Sampradāya, can preach from the Bhagavad-gita forward and back, and I want to ensure you that a walk in the forest will do more for your mind and heart than any contrived form of meditation.
The tricky part is that meditation is practice for the sake of practice, something very difficult for the Western mind to accept. Sure, better sleep and lower blood pressure are nice side-effects, but long time meditators get an insight that is life changing yet cannot be set as a goal.
This type of clownishness will not be tolerated! [-X

First, there's no such thing as "western" mind or an "eastern" mind. You are really sounding amateurish here.

Second, you say meditators gain a life changing insight. How do you know? You know this from personal experience or you believed it because someone told you that? Because let me tell you plainly, from a lifetime around Asians, they don't know much and certainly don't have any special insights on life.

Third, why would an insight be better than a good sleep and a healthy body? You're confused bruh.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:51 pm 
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Read the "words of the Buddha" (lol if you believe that): https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

"And among the brahman seers of the past, the creators of the hymns, the composers of the hymns — those ancient hymns, sung, repeated, & collected, which brahmans at present still sing, still chant, repeating what was said, repeating what was spoken — i.e., Atthaka, Vamaka, Vamadeva, Vessamitta, Yamataggi, Angirasa, Bharadvaja, Vasettha, Kassapa & Bhagu: was there even one of these who said, 'This we know; this we see; only this is true; anything else is worthless?'"

"No, Master Gotama."

"So then, Bharadvaja, it seems that there isn't among the brahmans even one brahman who says, 'This I know; this I see; only this is true; anything else is worthless.' And there hasn't been among the brahmans even one teacher or teacher's teacher back through seven generations who said, 'This I know; this I see; only this is true; anything else is worthless.' And there hasn't been among the brahman seers of the past, the creators of the hymns, the composers of the hymns... even one who said, 'This we know; this we see; only this is true; anything else is worthless.' Suppose there were a row of blind men, each holding on to the one in front of him: the first one doesn't see, the middle one doesn't see, the last one doesn't see. In the same way, the statement of the brahmans turns out to be a row of blind men, as it were: the first one doesn't see, the middle one doesn't see, the last one doesn't see. So what do you think, Bharadvaja: this being the case, doesn't the conviction of the brahmans turn out to be groundless?"


Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, whatever...they are all the same line of blind men that the Buddha refers to here. Talking about things they haven't seen, haven't felt, don't know, don't understand.

That's how people end up using mysterious sounding words to cover over their own lack of knowledge. Meditation has a real purpose, and nigga believe me, it has nothing to do with some special secret sauce.

Go back and start from the beginning. Why did Buddha meditate?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:56 pm 
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Quote:
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The tricky part is that meditation is practice for the sake of practice, something very difficult for the Western mind to accept.
What no. People start a meditation practice with goals in mind all the time. The Relaxation Response was written in the 70's and there's nothing in it that is inaccessible.

Strongly agree with FC that there is an over-mystification that has a lot of appeal to people seeking "secret" knowledge. I think the Buddhists as a religious folk do a good job of giving people an active practice, which Western faiths generally do not. However, your historical Christian mystics had meditation instructions that were extremely simple and very accessible.
And that is a very predictable response. :rolleyes:

Christian meditation is more of a reflection or a contemplation. Very different from Eastern meditation, which is in essence an exercise in attention.
Wrong again. What does "contemplate" mean except for to guide one's attention to a specific object?

con·tem·pla·tion
Dictionary result for contemplation
/ˌkän(t)əmˈplāSH(ə)n/
noun
noun: contemplation; plural noun: contemplations

the action of looking thoughtfully at something for a long time.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:29 pm 
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Whenever I see "stages" in a meditation manual I call bullshit. There are no stages and you can't set goals of meditation. Sit down, shut up and follow the breath. Some days it's bliss, and some days the head is full of stupid thoughts. What matters is not how you feel during meditation, but during the rest of the day.

I think it's a mistake to separate meditation from the rest of Buddhism. The purpose of that religion is to eliminate suffering, and meditation is just one, albeit extremely important, step. What's the point of meditating if an hour later you are get caught in unrealised desire or irritation when someone strokes your ego the wrong way?

Anyway, to each his own. I highly recommend Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen. No fluff primer on Buddhism and Zazen. Funny enough, his second book is called Sit Down and Shut Up.

The stages of meditation are parts of many authentic traditions. Buddhism has various 'maps' of both concentration and insight practices, Christianity has a mystical map too, (dark night of the soul and all that shit). So the stages aren't automatically wrong, modern or anything else. Go to the dharmaoverground for a decent resource on this, but also to see the unintended consequence of making hitherto teacher-student hand-me-down knowledge available on the web; every fucker in their discussion forum is now at stream entry or has experienced the arising and passing event. Hard to believe.

I do however totally agree that modern attempts to isolate meditation from its cultural and ethical context will produce some issues if it ever takes on in a meaningful way. It gets suggested that 'mindfulness', (btw this is a quality you bring to meditation not a practice in its own right) is unquestionably a good thing and will bring benefits to all who practice. It will bring nothing to a lot of people and at different times will royally fuck some people up too for a time. This is almost never mentioned in our health-first approach.

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