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Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

mermaid and angel

For my “Be Inspired” series of blogs, I have invited kindred spirits from a variety of backgrounds and specialties in life.  Today, I am happy to feature a Guest blog post from my partner in life and love today, Kevin.  I have known Kevin for over thirteen years, after our spiritual lives began bringing our lives together.  Our shared values and interests continue to be source of inspiration and nourishment for us both.

INSPIRATION

Stepping out in a world blustery with expectations and demands, it can be easy to overlook essential inspiration. We remember to take our next breath, but even now, are we inhaling slowly and deeply… appreciating the gift of life itself, grateful for the simple pleasures and sustenance all around us? When the power goes out, we feel at a loss, but what do we feel when we forget to appreciate art, music, nature, or the value of relationships? The soul can silently wither, until the day we wake up, perhaps wondering… what happened?

So it is with great joy that I write this, recalling elements that inspire me and invite my mind to soar and dream of yet-unseen possibilities. May everyone who reads these words answer their own inner invitation to reconnect with feelings and memories that raise their eyebrows, lift their hearts, and spark the imagination.
lothlorien3

THE WONDERS OF NATURE

Whether walking by the seashore or trekking through distant lands, tranquil moments in nature provides an endless source from which to fill myself with appreciation. Watching flying fish soar great distances in the Galapagos Islands, and snorkeling with penguins and hammerhead sharks. Gliding over feet of fresh powder on Copper Mountain. Basking in the glow of fireflies and chirping frogs at Fort Shantok State Park. Enjoying sunset after sunset with my beloved. The list is endless!

Gpgs penguinsA few friendly penguins keeping me company in the Galapagos.

SunsetThe wonders of nature are a gift, when our eyes are open.

LEARNING

I am so grateful to my parents and teachers for my education. I love libraries and bookstores for keeping their doors open as long as they are able. Throughout life, my worldview has been illuminated by inspiring treatises such as The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell, Dawna Markova’s No Enemies Within, Shunryu Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, and Anodea Judith’s essential Wheels of Life. These greats show us pathways to live more fulfilling lives.

DELICACIES

Like a lemon tart that makes the tastebuds sing. Or homemade gourmet pizza on cornbread crust that is pure comfort. Cooking, and cooking together, is a wonderful creative experience. I love appreciating the sunlight, rainwater, and care and tending of the thousand unseen hands that helped deliver the bounty of ingredients to my countertop. And the sights, sounds, tastes and experience of preparing a meal are all joys to be savoured.

food-blogHomemade delicacies. The fun is in the making!

FORTUNATE COMPOSITIONS

I’m inspired by movies like Groundhog Day, that remind us that our actions make a difference. Foreign films and films like Julie & Julia that remind us that life may be full of recipes but is not a formula, and every life has something valuable to teach and to tell. And they also remind us to follow our dreams.

ThereIsNoSpoon

Music can comfort the soul, and beautiful artwork reflects meanings and emotions that provide healing and guidance along the way. Literature, like A Confederacy of Dunces, dances with a musicality of language, with the authenticity of well-worn clothes and vulnerable humanity. And artworks and architecture stir the soul, from Monet’s Water Lilies at the Musée de l’Orangerie, to timeless gardens of the Shinto Palace above Kamakura, to the jewel box of Sainte Chappelle.

The Jewel Box of Saint Chappelle // Lórien Eck’s Water IV

INNER WORK

Throughout my life, I’ve been fortunate to experience spiritual awarenesses firsthand, such as the lotus flower experience, where the awareness of one’s body drops away, and one experiences their life force as a phosphorescent flower rising up the spine and blooming through the crest of the head, unfolding endlessly like a holographic chrysanthemum. There is definitely more going on here than meets the eye! This directs my life toward valuing inner work… defining and redefining my own life, and realizing the qualities that give rise to a better world. Encouraging myself to dream in this way, with a sense beyond limitations and boundaries, can give our lives meaning beyond this fleeting existence, knowing we are threads in a much grander, greater tapestry.

innerwork

LOVE

At the end of the day, there are the relationships that make it all worthwhile. The love of family and friends, and a partner in life to walk along the shores of life, share the vistas, and enjoy every step along the way, each and every day. Reflecting on this, I feel as though I’m fulfilling the hopes of my dear, departed Aunt C, who still reminds me “do good things, not dream them all day long, and so make life one grand, sweet song.” Living life fully is a grand adventure. I am thrilled beyond words to have a magnificent, extraordinary partner to share it with. Let’s do this!

 

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BIO

A lover of life, adventure, and understanding it all the best we can, Kevin Helms brings a true appreciation to the life around him. He is a gentle guide through the dark waters of modern times, helping others see their own light and shine brightly. His calling includes work as a writer, editor, and meditation teacher.  Connect with Kevin at Copy Caravan.

 

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Happy New Moon Monday all!  I met John in Northern New York where I worked and studied for my M.Ed. degree from St. Lawrence University, a beautiful country setting along the US-Canadian border.  Knowing and witnessing John evolve and grow over the years has been such an inspiration to me! I had the pleasure and privilege to teach Reiki to John and his mom Diane, as well as support John in becoming a Reiki Master Teacher.  He is a gifted healer and wise beyond his years, if you are in the SF Bay Area and require a transformative healing session, I highly recommend John, his hands are angelic, intuitive and compassionate beyond words.  A hearty thank you John for an inspired blog post!

 

I was recently asked: What inspires you?

I have to admit…it’s a somewhat difficult question… but not for the reasons one might think. It’s not that I have difficulty finding inspiration; in fact it’s much the opposite! There are SO MANY sources of inspiration for me I don’t even know where to begin! The world is filled with so much beauty, so much love, and so much joy, if we just open our eyes and hearts to see and feel it!

Personally, one of the biggest inspirations for me is when I see other people living their truths, and creating the lives they want to live! I’ve had, and have SO many amazing people in my life! My mother Diane was one of the biggest inspirations in my life! Although she passed on over a decade ago, her memory continues to inspire me. She was a loving, kind person, who would not speak down to anyone, but would speak out and stand against injustice, with such a HUGE heart, that she would always give to those in need, if she could, while keeping just enough for herself! As a result, I have never felt *poor* no matter how few material comforts I have.

mom DianeMy mom Diane on her wedding day.

I’ve been inspired by many others, including my friend Relani, who helped me to see myself as whole and beautiful as I am at a young age, helping me be comfortable with myself as a queer and gender fluid person. Through Relani I was introduced to Lórien!  Seeing all the beauty Lórien has put out into the world through her art, her organizations that give back to communities in need, and the healing work she does has propelled me down a path of not only self-healing, but the healing of others and the planet! From her I learned Reiki, and was introduced to MANY other amazing spiritual and inspirational people! Today I am working as a Massage Therapist helping people ground and heal their bodies with manual manipulation and Reiki, as well as teaching about plant-based nutrition, juice fasting/cleansing and detox, as well as working for human rights issues, and protections for animals and the planet!

reiki hands image

This brings me to something else that inspires me: Gratitude. Whenever I see people giving thanks for the things they have, especially those who have little, inspires me to feel grateful for all I have, and reminds me that I’m here for a purpose, which is to share my Light and Uniqueness with the world, and add to the collective healing of our planet and all its inhabitants! Having and expressing gratitude every day brings more abundance and beauty into my life, as the focus gets shifted from *not having* to being truly *rich*! Even though I don’t focus on material wealth, I’ve found the more I express gratitude, the more I receive the things I need and desire. The law of attraction is very powerful and can give us everything we need, if we are grateful, and open to receive!

reiki

There are so many other people in my life who inspire me on a daily basis: I could go on and on! I recently was introduced to an amazing spiritual man who has become my mentor, helping me with self-care (something we healers often forget about in our passion to help others). Because of his support I am now actualizing my dreams and moving forward at lightning speed after a few years of struggle, and am now creating new and amazing things! He continues to inspire me to challenge myself, and work through the difficult times with great joy in my heart, and with Love!

DanawithMissLoveDana and John

I’m inspired by my friend Dana Morrigan who has chosen to live her life authentically, and also hosts karaoke in the SF Bay Area, which is therapy for me. When I’m feeling stressed or down, there is little that can inspire me to great joy more than belting out one of my favorite tunes, while being surrounded by other folks who are also expressing their loving authentic selves in silly, serious, and playful ways!

karaokeJohn singing at Dana’s karaoke event

JezebelDelilahLove(Photo credits to  Nye Lyn Tho http://nyelyntho.com/ )

Although I have not formally met her in person, I feel incredibly inspired by my Facebook friend, Jezebel Delilah X (Vanessa Rochelle Lewis) who shares so much Love, insight, and truth, with such a degree of vulnerability and authenticity, she makes me want to do the same. I learn so much reading all of her insightful posts. She truly is a real life Magickal Mermaid Goddess, sending out waves of Love on a daily basis, showing me what true beauty really is!

 

NatureGorgeous Nature

I’m also greatly inspired by Nature having grown up in rural upstate New York. I love getting out and exploring the forest, going to healing hot springs, and immersing my body in the waters of Life; whether it be in a lake, river, or the beautiful ocean, for which as a Pisces, I am grateful to be living within sight of, from my bedroom window, just a short trip away! I always feel the most whole when I am surrounded by trees and plants away from the din of the city. It’s what balances and grounds me, helping to reset while living in a heavily populated city can be a bit chaotic at times, but still full of Love and amazing beings!  Going on a hike, alone or with friends is truly a walking meditation, as I connect deeply with all the wild plants and animals around me, and realize that I too am a part of nature, not separate, but one with!

healthynutrMy home fridge filled with all of my fave fresh, organic fruits and veggies

Seeing other people make positive changes in their lives also inspires me! I’ve had so many friends recently decide that it was time to no longer just sit and wait for things to happen, but actually get up and put the effort into making their goals and dreams come to fruition! Sometimes it’s something very small, for example, going to bed at a certain time to be well-rested, or practicing daily meditation, even if it’s just for five or ten minutes a day, or once a week with in a group setting. The point is, these people have started making changes, and working towards their goals, even if with baby steps. Seeing this, and the eventual fruition of some of these goals is extremely inspirational to me, which proves that I too, can achieve my goals, even if I need to start small and take things moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day and so on! There is so much Light and Beauty, and Abundance in the world for everybody! We just must take that baby step, and start healing ourselves, and manifesting our realities. I was touched and honored last week when Lórien asked me to be a part of this blog, having been inspired by something I had written. Even just doing this guest blog has inspired me to create my own blog on healing, healthy food, spirituality, joy, and creating the Lives we want, while being authentic and loving to ourselves!

With so many sources of Love, Creativity and Joy everywhere, how can I not be inspired?

John Bio pic 1

~ ~ ~ ~

John Graves has been practicing massage therapy, Reiki and energy work for more than ten years, having received his training at Sonoma College (formerly Western Institute of Science and Health) in San Francisco, under the tutelage of many wonderful teachers with varied backgrounds in many massage modalities, acupuncture, chiropractics, yoga, eastern thought, and natural healing!

John has received over 735 hours of training in advanced massage therapy, including Swedish massage, deep tissue, reflexology, energy work, pregnancy massage, pre- and post-event sports massage, and triggerpoint therapy. He is initiated and ordained into the Essene Way, studying Essene Mystical healing techniques and meditation and continues to study other styles of massage and healing work, including nutrition, herbal medicine, meditation and yoga, and looks forward to branching out into many different healing modalities.

***CAMTC Certified as an Advanced Massage Therapist in the State of California, ABMP Insured

Massage and Reiki With John: http://johngraves.massagetherapy.com

His blog can be found at: https://peacelovefoodbliss.wordpress.com/

 

Resources:

Connect With Dana Morrigan: https://danamorrigan.wordpress.com/

Swim With Jezebel Delilah X at: http://www.jezebeldelilahx.com

 

 

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fire I 95%Fire I, close up, 3’x4′, Mixed media on canvas, ©LEAD

Love is particular.

When you love someone,

A tangible, touchable someone,

The whole world opens up.

If you want to know the universe,

Dare to love one person.

All the secret teachings are here–

Go deeper, and deeper still.

The gift of concentration

Is the spaciousness that surrounds it.

Focus illuminates immensity.

Sutra 99

The Radiance Sutras: 112 Gateways to the Yoga of Wonder and Delight

(English and Sanskrit Edition, Lorin Roche, Ph.D.)

To love is to pay attention, to give attention, to tend to the being that is YOU or the being/s in front of you.  As I read this sutra above and allow its essence to permeate my awareness, my thoughts and feelings vacillate between the Self and the “other.”  Daring to love me, to know thyself through loving, tending to my own rich tapestry of intricacies is a day to day practice of tending my lifelong journey of wonder, magic, delight and actualization.  The word attention itself is derived from the words tender, tenderness, to tend to it.  Paying attention to the soul, the Self can be as natural as breathing, and is by default, a way of loving the Self.  We love ourselves as we pay attention to our physical needs, our emotional shifts, our thoughts about ourselves and our longings and yearnings in this life.  This way of perceiving how I love myself has been a refreshing, compassionate, kind and gentle way forward as I move forward on my life path.

Self love is the foundation for all other types of love.  Through my own deepening practice of Self love, I am progressively learning to love all else in a more attentive way… from my love for others, for the planet, for what I do, what I create, and everything else that I pay attention to that is outside the boundaries of this being that is Lórien.

love yourself_photog. unknown

Isn’t this perspective an exciting, beautiful and interesting method of loving the Self ?  Since this discovery, I have been in a constantly deepening state of awe, spaciousness and curiosity in love and life.  Awakening to loving myself in this way is transforming all of my interactions with others, from drivers on my morning commute, to my art students, to my more intimate connections, like family and close friends, and of course touching the details and entirety of my life existence in a way that is immeasurable, yet tangible at the same time.

I especially enjoy this line from Lorin Roche, “Love is a state of perceiving great value in the beloved.”  Love can therefore be a practice of paying attention and appreciating the layered nuances of the Beloved Self from the first moments of awakening in the morning to the last moments of alertness before falling into sleep and dream at night.  Aaahhhhhh…

Cast aside the ten thousand things,

And love only one.

Don’t go on to another.

Engage your lively awareness

With this one focus–

One object, one thought, one symbol.

Now go inside,

Find the center.

The soul, the heart.

Right here,

In the middle of the feeling,

Attend the blossoming–

Attention vast as the sky.

Sutra 39

The Radiance Sutras, Lorin Roche, Ph.D.

fire III palette_fuschia

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear your comments here, reach out via my facebook page, or email me at lorien@lorieneck.com.

May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love, creativity, adventure and play!

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

Personally Experienced and Recommended Resources

Gently Moving Forward

Change Your Energy, Change Your Life with Kathleen Nelson Troyer

The Radiance Sutras

Paths to Enlightenment in Everyday Life

as translated by Lorin Roche, Ph.D.

Elixir

Songs of the Radiance Sutras

Sample Track: Go There

www.lorieneck.com

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darkskiesDark/Light Sky ©LE Art & Design

“You have the opportunity to drink in this energy of Balance and allow it to transform the very atoms at the core of your being.”  ~Archangel Michael via Shanta Gabriel

Happy 1st Equinox of 2014!  This day is significant in that there is an equal measure of lightness and darkness (or shadow) in our Earth and Sun dance.  This “outer” balance of dark/light reflects our own delicate balance of our inner light and inner darkness.  And, in the northern hemisphere, the light is getting brighter and stronger day by day… building towards our Solstice in June.

How can we work consciously with these outer energies in a way that is favorable for us?  For me, doing some sort of ritual to honor the light/dark balance in a simple way is my charge today.  Lighting a candle on my alter in the morning with prayers and meditation and later in the dark of the evening, I will create a simple ceremony again with fire as the central element.  For more ideas on rituals and ceremonies, check out Mystic Mamma’s ideas.  (scroll down on that page to Rituals)

harlesdon_flowersHarlesden Spring ©LE Art & Design

The power of clear intentions is a sure way to move forward and harness these cosmic energies. We are also in the “new year” in the astrological world, moving from Pisces, the 12th sign of the cycle into Aries, the powerful first fire sign.  So, to my many astrologer/y friends and Persian friends, “Happy New Year!”  To quote one of my favorite online resources for charting the annual cycles as well as wisdom of the “Mamma”:  “This symbolic point of balance has been celebrated by our ancestors since the beginning of time. In cultures across our planet this period marks an initiation and symbolic integration of the forces of light and dark.

For more insights on the meaning and significance of this transition time/space, see this link and many many Bright Blessings in this new season!

Ciel:Mer XVCiel/Mer XV ©LE Fine Art

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear from you via this blog, my face book page, or email lorien@lorieneck.com.

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

www.LorienEck.com

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Blue PearlBlue Pearl 9X12 inches Mixed Media on Paper

What nourishes you from your inspiration?
What ever nourishes and inspires you fully can be the starting point for Living your Life from the effortless Flow of Being, from the Inside out.
~Cass Phelps

Did you know that if you follow what inspires you, you will become more of you essentially are, your authentic self, stripped down to the core to your eternal being?  I love this!  Yes!  What if your daily practice was to simply follow your inspiration?  Similar to following your bliss, look inside and outside to  what inspires you, take a breath inhale and exhale deeply, inhaling spirit, in-spir-ation…  Observe what in-spirits you, gives you energy, makes your heart sing with joy, gives you goose bumps, gets you excited, discover and follow that.  Touch it and follow it like a butterfly….

Experiment with this focus and see where your inspirations lead you and what expressions, creations and visions emerge out of this process.  Trust your inspirations and take note, mark your musings and new awareness throughout~ whether in writing, sound, video, photos, drawings, or all, it’s your choice.  The exciting bit is that you will discover magic and brilliance within and without… You’ll feel satisfied, experience more causeless joy and pleasure!  And, our world will benefit through the sharing of your inspirations through your new manifestations in the material realm!  Play with this and see where the bread crumbs take you…  I wish you all love, light and blessings on your quest and path of exploration!

I look forward to your comments and questions … would love to hear from you via this blog, FB, or email lorien@lorieneck.com.

In love, gratitude, and beauty,

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Recommended Resources

Awake-One

Cass Phelps is an amazing individual and his inspired body of work and offerings have been a

phenomenal resource for me! His work is comprehensive and rich…

“You Have The Energy Of The Sun In You.”
~Rumi

“Inspiration is always a surprising visitor.”
~ John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

www.lorieneck.com

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Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas Mixed media original on paper 9×12 ins  ©LE Art & Design

“Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” ~ Chuang Tzu

Wonderful warm April greetings to you!  The big theme right now in my life, what is inspiring me, and where I am being drawn into is all about what is known as “the flow“.  The flow of life, the flow of love, the flow of the dynamic present moment…  It’s easy for us to think of the “now” as a static moment, however, as a wise friend recently reminded me, the present moment is one of our paradoxes!  The “now” is an ever-changing, fluid, dynamic awareness… in other words, the flow.  Feeling into the flow, the present moment and dropping down into that golden, quiet, still place within where eventually time, space and form dissolve is where the nectar resides.  This very personal  practice has enveloped my daily life and for this I am grateful, truly humbled…  It’s a deep sea dive into the lushness of Self.

And, so my days now look a little bit like this:  The day opens with the first moments of awakened consciousness, taking in some deep breaths, I relish and nourish in this still, silent, fertile place within…tapping in, diving deep into my inner world whilst still lying in bed.  As the flow moves me, I move my body slowly from the bed into the various morning rituals in a pace that feels good…. Each activity throughout my day seems to lead to the next with a new sense of grace, joy, ease and gentleness that I am finding to be most comfy and ssllloooowww.  It’s wonderful!

I am really loving my pace of slow in the flow and if you have noticed, there is a “slow movement” in effect from slow food, to slow money, to slow sex, it seems “slow” is what’s trending now in American culture!  Hopefully, it’s not just a passing fad or a fleeting counterpoint to our “fast food nation” so to speak, that has been the norm of US culture and exports for decades now.  My hope is that slow merges and slows down everything and everyone on a grand scale, breath by breath, thought by thought, action by action, person by person, day by day…  One of my teachers told me all that I must do is breathe, simply be breathed, that’s it.  All of the rest will take care of itself.  And, then another one of my teachers echoed the same, live each moment breath by breath.  Hmmmm I think that I am finally getting the message!  So simple, yet our ego mind loves to complicate things! ha ha ha  🙂

My inspiration to slow down into the flow has been an inside job, I assure you and has organically be born out of my own inner response to the self-imposed career and lifestyle change that began June 2012.  Now, that I am coming up soon on the year cycle, I have noticed that I am slowing down even more, stepping off of the merry-go-round, and loving the languid life that I am leading…  The beauty of all of this is that I feel as “productive” as ever and yet more satisfied, fulfilled from within through a practice of listening in and respecting my own flow and tuning in as best I can to the larger life flow that we are all moving within.  Remaining true to Self and this pace whilst keeping my word to worldly time and space based commitments can be a challenge when everyone around is zipping around so quickly!  I have even started driving the speed limit (which is considered slow it seems) and get all sorts of looks and honks… it’s okay by me.

So to close, I invite you to experiment with your own version of slowing down and going with your flow, inwards and outwards, the flow that feels true and yummy to you!

I look forward to your comments and questions … would love to hear from you via this blog, FB, or email lorien@lorieneck.com.

In love, gratitude, and beauty,

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Recommended Resources

Steve Gold Experience

I love this singer/songwriter/entertainer/mystic!

Steve is living the dream! Living his “gift” and sharing it with our world!  So inspiring! I had the chance to see him live in April and was moved beyond….

zenhabits

I stumbled upon this blog and love it! Leo Baubuta is awesome! Check this out-all of his work is uncopyrighted and he writes on many of my fave topics!

(this is where these great quotes came from too!)

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”~Thich Nhat Hanh

www.lorieneck.com

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Earthscape II ©LE Art & Design

“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege is it to be alive, to think,

to enjoy, to love.”

~Marcus Aurelius (121-180)

Roman Emperor

This month I want to explore the simplicity and power of gratitude.  What makes being grateful such a simple, yet profound affective act?  From my experience, it is the counting of the most minute and mundane
aspects of life.  For example, being thankful for basic things like shelter, food, water, clothes, etc… that create more of what we desire and create more abundance in all areas of life.

As Thanksgiving time is at our heels, it is the time of the year when we collectively reflect on what we are grateful for.  Consider starting now and continuing throughout the year.  Combine gratitude with desire.  What does your heart truly desire?  What are you truly and simply grateful for?  Write it down.  Experiment and see what miracles unfurl…

Let’s  practice every day, let’s count our blessings, and actualize our dreams…  Gratitude is the gas that moves our life forward.

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear from you via this blog, my face book page, or email lorien@lorieneck.com.

Until Next time…

In love and gratitude,

Recommended Resources

•Embrace Life International

A place for nurturing mind, body and spirit.

•Deepak Chopra’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge

Even though this event already has begun, it’s free for a limited time and full of

wisdom and resources. Each day is a 15-min meditation.

•Elizabeth Gilbert

Your Elusive Creative Genius

•The Magic

by Rhonda Byrne

Amazing transformative book on the magic of thank you.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “Thank You”, that would suffice.”

~Meister Eckhart

www.lorieneck.com

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