Why Our Souls Need Nature

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Why Our Souls Need Nature

This article was written by Jocelyn Mercado and was originally published by the Pachamama Alliance.

We have all felt it at one time or another. A call, a yearning. A deep knowing that we belong. And why does it so often happen when we have climbed for half of a day to reach a rocky mountaintop, or when we stand silent in awe beneath a sweeping blanket of pinprick stars and the beckoning moon? That feeling is our spirit, reaching back through time, calling us to return to the old ways of being.

As Arkan Lushwala states in The Time of the Black Jaguar: “What a magic world that was! Our ancient grandfathers had a mind very different than ours; their mind was really free and wise, naturally connected to the sacred motion of the cosmic forces.”

Arkan goes on to explain that the ancient people in Egypt, Guatemala, Peru and other places—where today we go to visit and marvel at their ingenious pyramids and sacred buildings—felt a burning responsibility to play music, dance, pray, and light fires in their sacred spaces. These rituals raised the vibration of the Earth and all beings on it. They activated consciousness and healed parts of the Earth that were hurting.

A Sense of Our Oneness

The ancient people understood that we are all interconnected. Recent studies show that humans, plants, animals, and the Earth are made of stardust. When stars are at the end of their life cycle, they collapse and then explode in a supernova. The elements—atoms and molecules—that were formed and then expelled as other stars died, later joined together in empty space to create our own sun and its solar system, and as a result, all life on Earth.

The rivers, the rocks; the eagle; giant redwoods and phytoplankton; the tiny infant, calm in her mother’s arms: all are intrinsically the same. When one life ends, another begins. This is our legacy, and our comfort, as living beings on the Earth. The circles and cycles of life extend out infinitely in all directions.

The Power of the World always works in circles,
and everything tries to be round…..
The Sky is round, and I have heard
that the earth is round like a ball,
and so are all the stars.
The wind, in its greatest power, whirls.
Birds make their nest in circles,
for theirs is the same religion as ours….
Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.

Black Elk, Oglala Sioux Holy Man

Listening to the Wildness Within Us

We cannot be separated from the natural world. Our bodies need to breathe the air, to drink the water, to eat the food that grows in the Earth. Even in cities, where it feels as if man has overcome the need to be connected to the Earth, the pavement is still supported by the ground beneath; weeds and grass shoot up, relentless, from the cracks in the sidewalk. The brilliance of a sunset glows from behind the skyscrapers. The wildness of nature calls to us, entreating us to open our hearts. It never gives up on calling us to return home.

And yet … So many people have turned away from nature. Turned a blind eye to the overflowing landfills, the oil spills and the disappearing wondrous plants and animals, each one of a kind, each a special and critical link in the whole of life. Indigenous languages are being forgotten. The forests are disappearing.

From David Abram in The Spell of the Sensuous: “It is likely that the ‘inner world’ of our Western psychological experience … originates in the loss of our ancestral reciprocity with the animate Earth … The animate powers that surround us are suddenly construed as having less significance than ourselves.”

Photograph by Diliff: Hopetoun Falls, Beech Forest, near Otway National Park, Victoria, Australia

Photograph by Diliff: Hopetoun Falls, Beech Forest, near Otway National Park, Victoria, Australia

How to Find the Way Home

Our souls feel this loss. Our hearts know it, deep within. That is part of the reason that many of us turn away—it is too painful to bear. But we must, instead, turn toward the pain. We must embrace it, as a way out, a way to the other side, where we will turn history on its head and run back to the source. We can still go back.

Human consciousness is shifting. The dreams of the Achuar people in Ecuador brought an alliance from the north, and the Achuar ancestral lands have been protected from oil drilling. Communities, activist groups, and organizations are springing up in record numbers, working to bring back peace, justice, and to protect the planet. An awareness of the cosmic cycles that move us are returning to the mainstream culture. Climate change, and an acknowledgement of its potentially harmful effects on the planet, is being recognized and people are increasingly taking action to heal the Earth.

We are attuned to receive the Earth’s wisdom, to feel Her heartbeat. We must strive to reconnect with our senses and our intuition, and to honor the sacred vibration of our planet once again.

For Meditation and Reflection

Here are two poems on which you can reflect as you sit outside, or near a sunny window. Imagine a world in which all people live in a mutually beneficial relationship with the Earth, a world sparkling with the magic of life and a shared respect for all beings.

Navajo Chant
The mountains, I become a part of it…
The herbs, the fir tree, I become a part of it.
The morning mists, the clouds, the gathering waters,
I become a part of it.
The wilderness, the dew drops, the pollen…
I become a part of it.

Kiss The Earth by Thich Nhat Hanh
Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Bring the Earth your love and happiness.
The Earth will be safe
when we feel safe in ourselves.

Featured image: Double Alaskan Rainbow

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A Glimpse of Heaven

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A Glimpse of Heaven

Tiny baby,

Growing in your mother's womb;

A miracle,

You appeared from nothing

When two cells joined.

Your tiny heart began to beat at only 18 days from conception;

And it beats strongly now, feeding your cells,

Which multiply as if by magic.

 

What are the chances of these incredible events?

 

When stars first collided in the Big Bang, had they already dreamt of you,

Tiny baby?

 

When the first life climbed out of the sea onto rocky shores,

Was the plan for human evolution

And your eventual birth

Already known to the Great Ones who guide our destiny?

 

For you are a ray of hope, tiny one.

You have been sent here with a special purpose.

You possess talents and insights and a unique perspective on the world

That no other human being, or any other creature, possesses;

And you are destined for greatness.

 

Babies are magical

Because they have just emerged, blinking,

From the Source of all creation.

 

Before they are conceived,

Babies are one with the Divine Source

They are sent to us in pure love

They are made of heavenly light

They exist in a blissful state

Of eternal trust, compassion, and peace.

 

When they are in the womb,

They are continually bathed in love:

The love of the Great Mother;

The love of creation;

The love of life longing for itself

That brought the two tiny cells together in ecstatic union.

 

Babies

Remind us of the mystery and wonder

That lies just beyond what we can see and perceive

With our five senses.

 

And because they are so close to the eternal and loving source,

They embody it

They radiate it

And they share this essence of love and light

With all who encounter them.

 

Babies are all the proof we need

That Heaven exists;

That God, the Source of Life, our Creator, loves us unconditionally;

That we will never die, but that we will go on to the next phase of our existence

By returning to the same blissful state from which the tiny baby just emerged.

We know this truth instinctually.

 

All that we seek

Can be found

In the light of the baby's eyes

And the enthralling sound of her laughter,

For those contain the essential magic

Of the miracle of creation.

 

And so, tiny baby, do you know that you are destined for greatness?

Do you know that you hold the key to all the world needs

In order to free us from pain and hurt?

You are the answer.

 

In truth, we are each the answer.

 

Each of us is the tiny baby.

Each of us came from heaven and pure light;

Each of us started out perfect, filled with peace.

 

We are still perfect, even today;

And anything that has happened in our lives so far

Has only made us more perfect

For exactly what we are destined to do.

 

And now is the time.

It is OUR time

To embrace who we truly are,

To wake up to this knowledge that yes,

We are magic.

We are each a miracle.

To awaken the ancient remembering

That we are each a messenger from heaven.

 

We each hold the key to unlocking some problem or challenge faced by the Earth and its creatures right now.

 

We each have the power to change history.

We each have the strength and the ability to make a difference.

 

We must seek inside;

Find what calls us

Find what inspires us

Discover the work that we can't NOT do in this lifetime,

 

And be the change

That we wish to see

In the world.

 

Believe that you possess magic.

Do not ever doubt it.

Be true to yourself,

Speak your truth,

Shine your light.

 

And live the live you have always dreamed of

Since the moment you were conceived

And sent here

From heaven.

 

Beautiful baby photo courtesy of peasap on Flickr.

 

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This Life

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This Life

Since I was a little child,

I felt I was destined for something bigger

Something greater

Than following the rules

And getting a job

And fitting in with everybody else.

 

For a long time,

I worried about what people might think

But now

I've been alive long enough

And I've experienced enough

And I've accepted myself to the fullest extent

 

And now, I don't care what they all say.

 

I want to shake things up a lot

I want to live life out loud

And speak my truth

And live my dreams

And find the deeper truth of my soul

And run wild and free

In this lifetime.

 

I want to transform my own life

And then I want to connect

With everyone else who feels this same way

Who longs for more

Who knows they are meant to do something amazing 

Who dreams of a different, brighter, more creative and more unlimited future

Because we just KNOW that it's possible;

It's an essential truth that cannot be proven or disproven;

It's based on ancient wisdom

And nature

And intuition.

 

This KNOWING is based on things that run deeper than facts and figures and rules.

 

I want to wake up every morning

With joy in my heart and 

Feel like I'm flying

When really I'm walking

Because my heart is so full

I can barely contain it

 

I want to teach my children

That there are no limits;

I want to encourage them to explore new things,

Every day,

Because you never know what will grab your heart and become 

Your most meaningful and compelling passion in this life.

 

I want to model for my children

A life fully lived;

I want to feel every emotion,

Explore unknown cultures,

Meet people that, if I had followed the rules, I would never have met.

 

I want to pursue opportunities that seem foolish

(When you look at them with logic)

But that are brilliant and perfect 

(When you look with your heart and soul)

 

I want to walk barefoot in the woods,

My feet wrapping around roots and feeling the crunch of the leaves

I want to feel the heartbeat of the Earth through my soles

 

I want to dive deep into the oceans

Exploring the realms that supported the first life;

The vast waters that stabilize our precious planet

 

I want to stare up at the full moon

And soak up its silvery glow

And know that its gravity pulls me too

Just as it tugs at the tidal waters 

 

I want to live for months in the Amazon rainforest

Where there are no roads

Immersing myself in the wisdom and undisturbed wildness 

Of every sacred thing that lives there

 

I long to visit the ancient ruins

Of Peru, Mexico, Egypt, and India;

Opening my soul to feel

The energy and power of those places

And I want to lay down on the ground there

So my body can soak up all of the knowledge encased in the Earth

Back from the times of the earliest civilizations.

 

I long to climb the tallest mountain I can find and 

Raise my arms to the sky and

Yell for all the world to hear,

A sound from the depths of my soul

 

I want to connect with compassionate hearts (like yours) all around the globe;

I want to use our intuitive powers

For the healing of all people, everywhere

And for the healing of our beautiful planet

Because if we can join our hearts together in harmony,

We can bring our wildest dreams to life.

 

I long to make profound

Transformational

Positive

Loving

Life-affirming

Change in the world

 

Just by being me.

 

I want you to join me.

 

We can change the world together,

You and I.

 

I invite you to join with me!

My mission is to share, with as many people as possible, how to break free from everything that holds you back.

To awaken your deepest awareness to ways that you can heal yourself, and at the same time, heal the Earth.

To reveal to you your unlimited, boundless potential, and guide you in building a new life centered around the work that you are meant to do in the world.

Why? Because when a person connects with their life purpose the absolute highest form of contribution that each of us can give, and also the most meaningful and fulfilling work that we can possibly do we reach a state in which we simultaneously live a life without limits, and dynamically create the brighter world that we know is possible.

Sign up for the Sacred Planet newsletter today and join our growing global community of people who KNOW in our hearts that the possibilities for our future are boundless & infinite.

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Set Your Soul Free

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Set Your Soul Free

We inhabit a living world

Of dreams waiting to be manifested

Continually on the brink of becoming reality

 

The possibilities sparkle all around us

 

Look at the trees ... If left alone to multiply, they stretch to infinity

Enlivening the entire Earth

Gifting us the oxygen we need to survive and thrive

Funneling nutrients through the soil to benefit trees and other creatures

Providing a habitat for countless plants and animals

 

Look at the endless blue sky

It encompasses us

It opens up for us

It brings us sunlight, or rain, or cleansing wind: Whatever we need most: All those blessings that the sun and our atmosphere can shower down upon us

 

Think of the animals

All over the planet

Growing, evolving, adapting, changing the surface of the Earth with their activities, 

Brightening our spirits just by existing

Think of how many different species

Exist across the globe

So many incredibly varied life forms

Millions that we have not even discovered yet

Each living in their own special way

Upon the same Earth as us

 

Consider our human brains:

Incredible computers that can process anything,

Receive divine inspiration,

Create new ideas never heard of before,

And come up with the technology and architecture to build something never seen before.

We are programmed to cradle and comfort a tiny baby

With the same ease that we communicate wirelessly

Or navigate outer space

Or paint a masterpiece

 

Think of the universe, stretching to infinity in all directions

And the wonders it holds!:

Planets of every size and description,

Comets and stardust and asteroids and moons

And exploding stars that are right now creating the matter that might make up our ancestors far in the future

Just as the explosions of billions of years ago created the elements that form our bodies today.

 

There are no limits to what we can do.

 

The universe and the vast expanses of sky and the happy proliferation of trees speak to this truth, if we would only listen.

 

Tune in to your intuition:

It feels like freedom.

 

Tune into the creative possibilities that you are capable of:

It feels like eternity.

 

Tune in to life itself:

It feels like magic.

 

It IS magic.

 

And all of this is within us

Within every cell of our bodies;

All of this is available at our fingertips.

 

Nothing is impossible.

 

We just need

To break free

From all expectations and perceived limits

And then we will soar

Higher than we ever dreamed

Connected to all that is

And living our truest, deepest, most potential-filled

LIFE.

 

By Jocelyn Mercado

Image by jeronimo sanz

 

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Now Is Our Time

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Now Is Our Time

Why do I do this work?

It is pure passion

Following my heart, soul, and intuition

It is a conviction that runs through the deepest parts of me

That these trees, these mountains, 

The lakes and rivers, 

The monkeys and rabbits and tigers and whales

The morning glories and the sunflowers

The herbs and the weeds

Are as much a part of me as I am a part of them

And if we let them perish, we will have nothing left, and soon we too 

Will die 

Of a broken spirit

If nothing else 

 

Money will not matter

A successful career will not matter

Retirement savings will be worthless 

If my children and grandchildren

Cannot travel to the Amazon rainforest, if they choose

Or see a living polar bear 

Or walk among the redwoods

Or hike the Himalayas

Or bask in a field of wildflowers in the summer, watching honeybees and butterflies flutter all around, performing their sacred nectar dances.

 

There are enough of us:

 

The ones who really care,

 

The ones who can see past the mistaken dream of the modern world.

 

And our numbers are growing,

 

Steadily,

 

Every day.

 

We were at COP21 fighting for indigenous rights and a 1.5 degree Celsius limit to global warming;

 

We are working in the rainforests every day to preserve the previous life that still flourishes there;

 

We are standing up to government, battling the policies and the politicians who would endanger our collective future for their individual gain;

 

We are activists marching in protest of fossil fuel use, or rallying to raise awareness around climate change;

 

We are scientists doing research and work to find out how migration patterns, plant growth, biodiversity, and weather patterns might change ... And what we can still do to keep them the same.

 

We are shamans, dreaming into existence a new era of peace and creativity and the fullest life.

 

We are writing, singing, dancing, praying, loving, journeying, meditating, working, and hoping for a better future.

 

We are the strongest force out there

Stronger than the lawmakers

Stronger than big oil

Or the mega-corporations

Stronger than the ones who think climate change is not real

Or not influenced by humans

 

We are so powerful

Because we are on the side of Nature

We are inspired and encouraged and motivated

By the voice of the Source of all life

By the spirits of the winged ones, and the four-legged ones

And the tree spirits, as well as all the collective energy of the forests everywhere

We are driven by our own intuition

Our fierce internal knowledge and wisdom

Passed down by generations long ago

Who lived in harmony and respect with this planet that we love.

 

Now is our time

We have a great opportunity before us

To honor the ancient wisdom

To reconnect with nature

To rediscover our own limitless possibilities

To fully explore what we are capable of 

To infuse this world 

This modern society

With peace, compassion, and understanding

To end the violence and suffering

Which are just symptoms of the overall global sickness

To restore humanity's faith in our own selves

And to heal the Earth by healing the minds and hearts of all of the people living on it:

To make unprecedented, transformational change in the world.

 

The sages and Mystics have said for millennia

That in this time, a time of overwhelming darkness,

A small but powerful group of humans would break through all limitations

And using love and sacred inspiration as their only weapons, 

Lead all humankind 

To a new beginning

A new consciousness

A new way of living upon the Earth

 

Now we are here in this precious moment

On the brink of great change

 

Will you resist the changes that need to occur? Will you uphold the status quo, seeking comfort in familiarity?

 

Or will you throw down your shackles, release all doubts and judgments,

And join in wholeheartedly

On the side of truth

Life 

Nature

Love

Honor

Respect

And a brilliant, beautiful, healthy planet for our future generations?

 

I invite you

 

To come

 

Along ...

 

Speak your truth

Shine your light

And change the world 

Forever.

 

Love and light to you in this promising New Year 2016!

 

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We Are the Universe Becoming Aware of Itself

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We Are the Universe Becoming Aware of Itself

“You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.”Eckhart Tolle

Ancient humans felt (and many indigenous people today feel) a burning responsibility to show their respect, honor, and gratitude to Nature, to the Universe, and to Mother Earth which gave them life. And so, they created rituals involving singing, dancing, lighting fires, and different types of prayer. These activities raised the vibration of the Earth and all life. Their actions, carried out with great love and gratitude in their hearts, reinforced and strengthened the forces of nature all around them. In turn, the Earth and the Universe protected and supported the humans, sharing with them the great abundance of existence.

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In This Season of Peace and Sharing

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In This Season of Peace and Sharing

May our eyes be opened to the magic and emotions

Of the other people around us;

May our words be kind.

May we see, when we look at others, all of their hopes and dreams,

How they try so hard to do what is right,

And may we see their inner light full of creativity and unlimited potential.

 

We are not our work, although it may seem so at times;

We are not what we buy or the value of our bank account.

Our worth is not determined by the power we exert over others,

Or the quickness with which we rise to fame and success.

 

We are each a beating heart;

We are a flowing river of emotions;

We are infinite possibilities just waiting to break free and become our highest potential.

We are in constant flow with the universe,

We are the very essence of abundance,

And the magical force of creation resides within every one of our whirring cells.

 

We are life

We are the miracle

We are the future

We are the consciousness of the universe.

 

And right now

At this time on Earth

We are called to transform

To become more open and aware than humans have ever been before

So that we can stop harming the Earth, Mother of all life

So that we can stop hurting one another

Stop the wars

Stop the violence in the name of religion

Stop the cruelty, to animals as well as to other humans

 

We are being called to reconnect on a soul level and join in community to help one another

 

And what better time than Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, December Solstice, and Ramadan

All our religions coming together in agreement that this time of year is sacred

 

What better time than the eve of a sparkling New Year

 

To make a commitment

Every one of us

To make positive, loving, life-affirming change

For ourselves

For all people and for all beings alive

For the planet

And for the future generations to come

 

The power is inside of us

To create a new way of living

Regardless of the politics,

The religious influences,

The governments,

Or the fears that make us pause and question our deepest convictions.

 

The greatest revolution of all must come from the people:

Every individual

Standing up to say "enough of the violence!" and "I choose love"

 

And so, in this New Year that opens up before us,

A blank slate just waiting for us to write upon it,

May we all take action

Each in our own way

To work toward and demand the brighter future

That we know in our hearts

Is possible

 

Much love, many blessings, and infinite light to you during this most wonderful holiday season. May you be surrounded by loved ones and experience the deepest peace in your heart.

 

Image: Winter Sunrise by Delirisdart

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We Are All One

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We Are All One

We feel alone

Because we are so separated from the source of all life

In our modern society

We live indoors, separated from the trees and animals 

That once were our brothers and sisters

 

We stare at screens

That black out our intuition, silence our deepest knowing, sever our link to infinity.

 

We hide our emotions, afraid that we will not seem "pulled together"

We push our feelings down, deep inside, where they won't get in the way of what society expects from us

 

But the truth, which we will always discover

If we listen to intuition

Feel our real feelings

And spend time reconnecting to nature

Is this:

We Are All One.

 

We are each a miracle.

 

We are boundless, eternal energy.

We are made of particles from exploded stars 

That recombined by chance here on Earth

In fantastic, miraculously complex life-forms.

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An agreement has been reached in Paris

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An agreement has been reached in Paris

Perhaps the most striking feature of the agreement is the goal to keep global temperature rise at or below 1.5 degrees lower than pre-industrial levels. While scientists have widely agreed that 2 degrees is the key to preventing major climate disasters, more recent consensus and research indicates that a more aggressive limit of 1.5 degrees may help to prevent severe and long-lasting effects such as the melting of the entire Greenland ice sheet and the inundation of island nations by rising seas.

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Engaged Ecology: Seven Practices to Restore Our Harmony with Nature

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Engaged Ecology: Seven Practices to Restore Our Harmony with Nature

We have the capacity to generate terrible suffering and the capacity to generate great joy. A new story is already seeded within us, ready to flower. Its truth is found in Nature, in the reality of Interbeing. We are not separate from Nature. Rather, we are a grace note in its vast intelligent symphony. We are not adrift in a cold lifeless Universe. Instead we are a confluence of its vital energies and forces. We are woven into the very fabric of a radiant, vibrant living design.

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Butterfly

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Butterfly

Butterfly

Symbol of transformation 

Of cataclysmic advances, of evolution in high velocity

 

Just as the caterpillar wraps up in its cocoon to wait,

So too are we waiting now

Humans

And all beings on Earth

 

We can feel the pull already

Inescapable, irresistible

It calls to us already from the depths of our soul

Telling us to get ready ...

 

We are all the caterpillars, being transformed within tight limiting shells

We are undergoing the metamorphosis

It is not easy

It is not comfortable

It feels intense and frightening

We think maybe we are dying

And we see glimpses of brilliance out there but we cannot yet let go of the old framework quite enough 

To grasp

The eternity

The possibilities

The magic

That has really been inside us all along ...

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Enhanced Consciousness: Theta and Delta Brain Waves

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Enhanced Consciousness: Theta and Delta Brain Waves

When we sink into the blissfulness of meditation, when we daydream, when we listen to soothing music that sets our soul at peace … What exactly is happening in our brain? And how can we use this knowledge as a springboard to spend more time connecting to the source, and experiencing a higher level of consciousness, to promote greater peace and happiness in our every day life?

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