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Workshops You Can Host

Workshops You Can Host

 

Workshops - General Information

Thomas Ashley-Farrand (Namadeva Acharya) (1940-2010) was the author of Healing Mantras, Shakti Mantras, and Chakra Mantras as well as The Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony in three volumes, and more than a dozen other audio and video programs. After searching for a spiritual home, he met Satguru Sant Keshavadas in 1973, moved into his temple and shortly thereafter became an ordained Vedic Priest, practicing and teaching mantra practices and performing Sanskrit ceremonies since 1973. He wrote the workshops listed below, and since his passing, his widow, Satyabhama (Margalo Ashley-Farrand) has been traveling and presenting them.
 
A standard workshop is two days in length with a preceding Friday night puja open to the general public. The cost of the workshop is $175.00 per person. For those who cannot attend both days, a single day rate is $95.00. While the Friday night puja is included for attendees of the workshop, the requested donation from the general public is $25.00.
 
The Friday night pujas are often 1,000 Names and Powers ceremonies with some variations. Those usually conducted are for Lakshmi, Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha, Dattatreya, the nine planets, Lalita, and Gayatri. Attendees are given an opportunity to participate in the ceremony which is a departure from traditional Hindu pujas where the priests alone conduct the ceremony with minimal participation even by sponsors.
 
To schedule a workshop in your area, you will need to have a minimum of twenty-five (25) paid attendees. Satyabhama arranges and pays all of her own travel and accommodation expenses, including travel, accommodation and workshop materials expenses.
 
One day workshops must have thirty-five (35) paid attendees at the rate of $95.00 each unless two, one-day workshops are scheduled back-to-back on the same weekend in the same location for a joint fee of $175.00. Then the number of attendees can be cut back to 25 required paid attendees.
 
Any scheduler of any workshop has complete authority to award partial or full scholarships to those who need it.
 
Each workshop attendee receives a detailed handout and an audio product with all mantras chanted during the workshop.
 
The first workshop below provides a good foundation for those for whom mantra practice is new. Although it is not necessary to start with it, many basic questions are addressed in this workshop. Thereafter, any workshop can be scheduled for groups of a varying levels of experience.

Two-Day Workshops

Mantra - A Path to Abundance and Spiritual Evolution

The mystical Sanskrit language works directly through the chakras. Directing energy into the subtle body, Sanskrit mantras prepare us to receive higher amounts of kundalini energy into the spine. This energy solves problems, eradicates karma, and aids us in fulfilling our desires. During the workshop, you will learn mantra methods for addressing life’s problems in the areas of health, relationship, abundance, employment, family issues and others. In addition to solving problems, most us want to advance spiritually. Mantra methods for quickening spiritual evolution will be presented. Group Mantra practice will take place at all sessions.

Highlights: Participants will…

  • Learn details for constructing your mantra practice and methods for reaching Mantra Siddhi, (the beginning of upper levels of attainment with a given mantra).
  • Hear mythical stories that are combined with powerful mantras for manifestation in the subtle and physical realms. Some mantras will be presented that do not appear in any of his books.
  • Understand the mystical underpinnings of creation of Ganesha by Parvati and the interdiction of Shiva.
  • Learn mantras for removal of various classes of obstacles.
  • Learn the great mantras for healing a variety of ailments and illnesses.
  • Understand how the creation of Subramanya and mantras lead one to become a spiritual adept.
  • Understand the Eastern teaching that the very nature of power is feminine. Whether from the Shiva Sutras or the Lakshmi Tantra, the message is the same: The Nature of Power is Feminine. Various feminine mantras and their results will be taught including advanced mantra for Saraswati, Lalita, Kali and others.
  • The creation of the Cosmos and its evolution into our physical universe will be discussed from the Eastern point of view.
  • Learn about great rishis created long before their appearance on our physical plane. These great beings have interacted with our plane of existence since its inception. Why? Surprising answers will be given as well as explanation of the work of the Avatars of Vishnu and human evolution. Saints, sages, gurus, sadgurus, siddhas and masters and others will be discussed.
  • Learn the great master mantra for enlightenment, the Gayatri Mantra.
  • Hear a discussion of the great work done by the Buddha and learn a selection of Buddhist mantras and archetypes.
  • Participate in a healing session of Dr. Wright's Cleaning Out Technique.
  • Have the opportunity to ask questions.

The Adventures of Sita and Rama, Co-Starring Hanuman

Seven thousand years ago, the Seventh Avatar of Vishnu arrived on Earth to restore divine order by defeating two demons repressing saints, sages and the general population. Rama and Sita, representing the Divine Self and the Pure Kundalini Shakti, manifested to defeat the evil ones and show the way for individuals to live a truly spiritual life while living in the world. This workshop will give the set-up of Rama's appearance that occurred thousands of years before his arrival and then convey the adventures of these Divine Ones.
 
The allegorical lives of Sita and Rama, with Divine Servant Hanuman, are filled with adventure, mystical mantras and dramatic struggle. Rama is the Self within. Sita is the Kundalini Shakti. Ravana (the villain) is negative, selfish ego. Bharata, Rama's brother, is the mind. Hanuman is the Prana, or life force within.
 
The entire program is a fun, entertaining way to learn many new mantras and solve problems.

Mantra Discipline Taught to Attendees

Attendees will learn the Secret Bala Atibala Mantra Discipline for great strength of spirit. You will not find this mantra in books about the Ramayana in English. Texts by saints, sages and scholars refer to it, but do not divulge it.

General Description

  • Hanuman Mantras for physical strength and to combat attacks on our Prana.
  • The mantra that made Kubera the Guardian of Divine Wealth.
  • The Aditya Hridaya Mantra and verses that Sage Agastya taught to Rama to banish spiritual darkness even under the most harsh conditions.
  • The great Healing Mantra of Rama.
  • Several classical mantras for liberation.
  • And more than 20 other mantras to charge our bodies with positive energy, heal afflictions and bring divine blessings into our lives.

Other Highlights

  • Mantras to help solve common problems.
  • Mantras for guidance and protection.
  • Mantra to remove energy blockages.
  • A Vedic Ceremony to send great positive energy to a dear departed one. This ceremony, performed by Rama and Lakshmana for their beloved departed father, is still practiced in India today. Those who attended this ceremony at workshops have reported a profound sense of closure with the soul remembered during this ceremony.
This workshop is usually second in a series after: Mantra - A Path to Abundance and Spiritual Evolution. The story is terrific and the mantras especially healing.

Myths and Mantras of Ganesha

Ganesha is the pot-bellied, benevolent son of Shiva and Parvati that is a favorite among many who read or are told the mythical stories from India. For the advanced sages and mystics, he takes on epic proportions.
 
He is the entire universe contained in a single form. He is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva unified into one figure. In some of the Puranic scriptures, he is an aspect of Krishna as Parvati's older brother. When Brahma can't create the universe, Ganesha comes to his aid. When Vishnu is asked to destroy demons, it is Ganesha who shows him how to accomplish the task. In us, he sits at the base of the spine where every energy channel in the subtle body is connected to his location there.
 
This workshop will teach Ganesha mantras that even experienced practitioners have never seen before. These mantras to invoke his help in every aspect of life will be taught while folded into enjoyable myths and stories from a variety of scriptures, along with Bhajans and Kirtan.
 
Here is a sampling of what kinds of mantra attendees will learn:
 
  • To stop someone trying to do harm to you.
  • For immediate assistance on some matter.
  • To brings things around you under control (so long as it concerns you).
  • To tune into angels, the prophets, and beings in higher realms.
  • To remove energy blockages.
  • To bring healing to a group.
  • To bring success to your endeavors in this time of spiritual winter.
  • To realize that all this is divine drama.
  • To fix some situation that is not working properly.
  • To become empowered to work with color & perform Color Therapy…
  • …and much more.

Gurus, Avatars, Siddhas and Masters

All the great gurus and teachers want us to reach our highest potential. They dedicate their lives to our advancement. And they teach that we are divine. But what do we really know about these beings? By popular request, this program will address this topic.
 
What is a guru? How does a guru work with us? How do I know a supposed guru is genuine and not a fake or pretender? What are differences among gurus, sadgurus, and jagadgurus? What is an avatar and how is this being different from the others? And how are all of these different from siddhas (perfected beings) and masters?
 
As part of it the activities of the workshop, the life and teachings of Avadhuta Sadguru Dattatreya, reputed to be the very first Sadguru, will be discussed. There will also be material drawn from the works of Sadgurus Maher Baba and Sant Keshvadas, as well as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
 
Here are some of the other topics also covered:
 
  • Various types and categories of initiation, including mantra, shaktipat, shambhavi, sparsha, and others.
  • The upaguru - the enlightener without form.
  • The twenty-four teachers of Dattatreya, and his esoteric mantras.
  • Divine Beings in human affairs.
  • Frequencies of consciousness.
  • Spiritual laws, including the Law of Prana, Law of the Last Thought, Law of Compensation, Law of the Spheres, and others.
  • The Ego-Mind-Personality: Our vehicle of advancement.
  • The Personal Spiritual Mosaic: Our unique individual journey.
  • Practice of a classical spiritual discipline centered on the guru of one's choice, or to attract a genuine guru.
As is the custom with workshops created by Thomas Ashley-Farrand (Namadeva), there will be extensive group chanting of mantra formulas and kirtan (devotional singing). One of the highlights of the program will be chanting and discussion of the Avadhuta Gita by Dattatreya in Sanskrit with English translation. Satyabhama will teach the Guru Spiritual Discipline.

The Mysterious Kundalini

Coiled three and a half turns at the base of the spine is the power of the universe operating under deep cover within each and every one of us. Silently, blissfully, intelligently and purposefully this feminine expression of immense power operates every aspect of our lives. From the movement of the planets to the cry of a baby, Divine Mother calls out to us. She is Maha Lakshmi, Maha Saraswati and Maha Kali or the incomparable Parvati. She is the sweetness of a smile and the ferocity of a tornado.
 
Both the Shiva Sutras and the Laksmi Tantra resound with the concept that in our state of ignorance, the kundalini is She who binds. But she can also be She who sets us free, if we will but become aware of Her. In this workshop, we will explore the subject of kundalini shakti from the esoteric point of view with the objective of increased empowerment for all attendees. There will be mantra chanting, teachings, and meditations to promote greater understanding and increased depths of spiritual attainment.
 
The workshop begins with a Lalita Puja Ceremony (Invocation and Celebration of She of a Thousand Powers). Experience the 1,000 names and powers of Lalita through her ceremony. It has been taught for centuries in the East that the very nature of power is feminine. Called Shakti in Sanskrit, this great universal feminine power has it counterpart in each of us, sitting as an atomic-like power cell located at the base of our spine. For millennia, methods for invoking this power into our lives have been taught through the use of Sanskrit Mantra and ceremony. In tune with these ancient methods and traditions, the Lalita Puja Ceremony helps awaken and invoke this power into everyday life.
 
Celebrating the primal power of the kundalini shakti at the base of the spine, this ceremony involves participants in mantra chanting and other ceremonial activities. During the ceremony, the chakras become charged with more energy and the depth of one's consciousness increases. Subtle changes take place in attendees that will continue to accelerate spiritual growth for months after the ceremony.

Other workshop highlights:

  • Learn and practice the largely secret Pancha Dasi Mantra invoking Supreme Knowledge.
  • Learn and practice the powerful shakti mantra taught to Parvati by Shiva in the Maha Nirvana Tantra.
  • Learn and practice two esoteric methods for stimulating activity of the kundalini shakti.
  • Learn how the power of shakti guides our evolution both individually and as a species.
  • Learn and practice many esoteric mantras of the Great Feminine.
  • Chant the fourteen esoteric mantras of Lalita that accelerate spiritual growth and personal spiritual resources.
  • Feel the power of the special verses of the Great Feminine created for individual protection in life.
  • Hear the ancient story of how transcendental shakti has saved humanity again and again over the millennia.
  • And more…
  • The Great Acharyas and
  • Mysteries of The Lakshmi Tantra
(This workshop has no sexual teachings or practices)
 
Hindu texts agree that that nature of power is feminine. Shiva has Parvati (with Durga and Kali as well). Even the venerable Shiva Sutras state that all power derives from the Matrika, the Sanskrit Alphabet: She who binds and She who sets one free. Brahma's power comes from Saraswati. Vishnu's power is Lakshmi. Just as Vishnu is the Beingness of this cosmos, yet lies beyond, Lakshmi is the power of His Becoming, the primordial Kriya Shakti whose activity leads souls back to their source.
 
This workshop presents easy to grasp mystical underpinnings for the creation of the universe. Not just philosophically oriented, the workshop will teach ancient and practical mantras and techniques for addressing life's difficulties. Disciplines for spiritual advancement from the Lakshmi Tantra also will be covered in detail.
 
The first part of the workshop will focus on development of a platform of understanding for the ideas and methods of the Lakshmi Tantra. This will be accomplished through examination of the philosophies and practices of three great thinkers from India's rich history: Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya and Madvacharya. Then the philosophy of Pancharatra will be summarized. With this as an in-depth preparation, study of the Lakshmi Tantra will commence.
 
This workshop will teach and include group practice of mantras rarely seen in print. Attendees will receive a workbook and extensive practice in these powerful mantras, as well as background understanding of the inner meanings presented in the Lakshmi Tantra. Finally, a Lakshmi puja incorporating mantras and special Lakshmi chants will be performed.

Lakshmi: Shakti (Power) of Success, Abundance, Royalty, and Realization

The ancient rishis of eons past and present-day sages worship the Great Feminine. It is She who powers and empowers everything and everyone. There is no dispute about this among all the diverse Eastern paths to spiritual and material attainment.
 
Today, we seek to improve our lives in every way. Why not go directly to the source of all improvement? Whether it is spiritual or material abundance, success in running our lives or a corporation, protection of ourselves or loved ones, healing though elimination of obstructing agents, or realization of the Supreme Truth, Lakshmi mantras present an easy, expeditious, pleasant and effulgently fulfilling way to achieve whatever end we have in mind.
 
In the Laksmi Tantra, Laksmi teaches us in the first person. There she makes an amazing statement: “When you look out at the world, it is really me looking at myself through your eyes. So why not identify with me and become . . . everything?”

Attendees will learn:

  • A variety of known and esoteric Lakshmi mantras for every aspect of our life, including prosperity and wealth, for gaining children and protection of them, enough food to eat, development of courage, the power of victory over the problems of life, and more.
  • Mantra for invoking each of the eight aspects of Lakshmi.
  • A Lakshmi Mantra used by the great Brahma Rishi Vasista.
  • Mantra for the companions of Lakshmi.
  • Sudarshana Chakra mantras found in the Lakshmi Tantra.
  • Lakshmi Mantras for knowledge and invoking the power of Cosmic Mind.
  • A unique Maha Lakshmi Spiritual Discipline that can bestow Spiritual Realization
  • Satyabhama will teach the Lakshmi Spiritual Discipline

The Kalki-Krishna Connection: Strategies For Protection
and Advancement in Kali Yuga (Spiritual Winter)

In Kali Yuga, Spiritual Winter, things are grim. Eastern scriptures written hundred of years ago tell of a short life, physical and mental diseases, fighting for food, and other difficult conditions. According to those scriptures, are in the beginning stages of Kali Yuga. We currently live in an oasis of plenty, but most of us are looking over our shoulders at a host of potential personal and world problems.
 
When Krishna left just over 5,000 years ago, he said that he would not leave us adrift. He would send help in a variety of ways. Temple icons would be empowered. Saints and sages would take birth to help humanity survive and evolve. And spiritual formulas would be available to bring help to individual, families and nations.
 
This workshop will go into depth about Panduranga, the Vishnu/Krishna energy in spiritual winter. There are stories about what Panduranga is, how to invoke Panduranga's energy, the connection of this energy to the Kalki Avatar, and how he is connected to Krishna.
 
Additionally, mantras for Subramanya, Venkateshwara and others who have promised to help during Spiritual Winter will also be presented.

Attendees will learn:

  • Mantras for rapid spiritual advancement in Kali Yuga.
  • Mantras for protection in spiritual winter.
  • Mantras for attunement with Panduranga energy.
  • The history of the Panduranga-Rama-Krishna connection.
  • How saints have realized God — with form and without form — through Panduranga.
  • Mantras to activate the Sacred Heart, located just below the Heart Chakra.
  • Mantras for healing a variety of problems and conditions.
Attendees will receive a CD and a detailed handout of all mantras taught. The workshop will contain a special Panduranga-Vishnu Yagna (Fire Ceremony) for spiritual and material advancement in this Kali Yuga or spiritual winter that humanity is now experiencing.

Samadhi, Enlightenment and The Gayatri Mantra

Is enlightenment literal? If it is “literal” what kind of light operates in us, what is its nature, where does it come from, and what effects does it have? What have very advanced spiritual beings said about it? Can we achieve enlightenment here, in this life? Or is it a just a metaphor? A catchphrase for peak experience?
 
Samadhi is a term that the great yogi Patanjali made popular through his Yoga Sutras, but what is it, really? It is a form of enlightenment? Is it a state of Love? Can it be understood at all? What have very advanced spiritual beings said about the various forms and types of samadhi, and how can they be attained? Comments by Maher Baba, Sadguru Dattatreya and others will be explored.
 
The Gayatri Mantra is called by many scriptures, a “master mantra.” It is written that all states of consciousness and all powers are contained within it. What does this mean to us in the here and now? What do the individuals parts of the mantra mean? What is their significance to us? What have many spiritual leaders from India had to say about the Gayatri Mantra and its benefits?
 
Through this workshop you can tap into internal resources that are your spiritual birthright. The workshop takes participants through meditation and detailed mantra instruction and explanation, and leads specific practices that will enable you to move in the most safe, speedy and expeditious way toward your great spiritual destiny.
 
Satyabhama will teach the Gayatri Spiritual Discipline.
 
An initiation into the Gayatri Mantra, for those who desire it, will conclude the workshop.

Health, Healing and Reduction of Karma

In spiritual circles we often hear, “everything is karma.” But we don't think about it much until or unless something unpleasant happens. Then it's all we can think about. Health problems, a streak of unfortunate incidents, the dissolution of happy life conditions, job-related problems, relationship problems, living condition difficulties — the list can seem endless. What can be done?
 
Both Western and Vedic astrologers can project periods when hindering planetary conditions — a part of Prarabdha Karma — have great power. The planets may be unleashing or triggering conditions that change everything. How can these undesirable conditions be ameliorated?
 
In both Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism there are techniques that can soften karma and even heal conditions. There are meditation techniques, breathing exercises (pranayama) and mantras that can affect health problems specifically and karma in general.
 
Namadeva will combine teaching, mantra practice and breathing exercises into a powerful workshop that will give you tools you can take home and apply anytime.

Attendees will:

  • Learn and practice planetary mantras for reduction in difficulties associated with planetary influences.
  • Learn and practice Hanuman mantras to offset karmic difficulties.
  • Learn and practice mantras for dissolving specific negative conditions.
  • Practice Dr. Wright's powerful cleaning out technique.
  • Practice Tibetan Buddhist mantras for reduction of difficulties.
  • Participate in a 1,000 mantras Planetary Puja to reduce their karmic effects.
  • Have a chance to ask questions about specific problems.
Attendees will receive a detailed handout and a Mantra CD.

Mantra Workshop for Yoga Teachers and Advanced Practitioners

Yoga teachers are growing in scope. To help with a variety of issues, this short course is offered to enable you to recommend mantras and mantra disciplines. You will be able to see what mantras will be useful for a variety of common problems that plague us all, from time to time. You will, of course, find the right way to let your students know that you are available to recommend beginning mantra remedies for certain life issues. The ancient practice of mantra is easy to do and reaps rewards by altering our karma. It is another service you can offer your students and clients.
 
Advanced practitioners can promote their own spiritual development and solve karmic problems through application of mantra formulas. A variety will be taught in this workshop to aid the advanced student to work through karmic blocks and issues that have been dug up through deep work in their personal practice.
 
This two-day course is no substitute for the in-depth Teacher Of Mantra course offered through Saraswati Publications, LLC, but it will provide a beginning foundation for mantra work that can help certain problems and situations.

Problems Covered (In Brief):

  • Abundance
  • Health
  • Addictive Behavior
  • Relationship
  • Mantras for Guidance and Protection
  • Spiritual Advancement and Illumination
Attendees receive a detailed handout and CD.

Legends and Stories of India

This workshop will consist of fourteen stories that reflect the wisdom and spiritual history of India. Each story has mantras associated with it that workshop attendees will chant as a group, with limited Q & A following individual stories.
 
Saturday’s program will consist of original stories written by Namadeva Acharya. Sunday’s program will consist of seven traditional legends from the spiritual history of India.
  • Hear how gurus sometimes use unusual methods to pass their lineage on to a successor.
  • Sometimes great beings come in disguise. Barbers along the Ganges River in Hardwar and Rishikesh serve a wide variety of spiritual seekers.
  • A well-regarded but small village restaurant can become quite popular with the spiritually advanced through the attempted theft of single superb dish.
  • Even a thief can receive the Grace of the Supreme.
  • Sincere young people often get amazing assistance from the Great Ones.
  • Hear the amazing story of how young Markandeya was granted immortality.
  • For King Vishwamitra, raw ambition became the road to great spiritual attainment.
  • Shiva and Vishnu are buddies. A negative being learned this the hard way.
  • And much more…
Those who attend will also receive a handout containing the mantras chanted for each story.

One-Day Workshops

Maha Shakti Puja Ceremony
(Invocation and Celebration of the Great Feminine)

It has been taught for centuries in the East that the very nature of power is feminine. Called Shakti in Sanskrit, this great universal feminine power has it counterpart in each of us, sitting as an atomic-like power cell located at the base of our spine. For millennia, methods for invoking this power into our lives have been taught through the use of Sanskrit Mantra and ceremony. In tune with these ancient methods and traditions, the Maha Shakti Ceremony helps awaken and invoke this power into everyday life.
 
This eight (8) hour ceremony is not for the timid or impatient. Celebrating the primal power of the kundalini shakti at the base of the spine, this ceremony involves participants in extensive mantra chanting and other ceremonial activities. During the ceremony, the chakras become charged with more energy and the depth of one's consciousness increases. Subtle changes take place in attendees that will continue to accelerate spiritual growth for months after the ceremony. Attendees will receive a handout of all mantras used for group chanting.

Mantras for Common Problems

A saying from the Vedas, the world's oldest scriptures, claims that, “Speech is the essence of Humanity.” All of what humanity thinks and ultimately becomes is determined by the expression of ideas and actions through speech and its derivative, writing.
 
Mantras are so powerful that the Dalai Lama has proclaimed in his book The Kalachakra Tantra, “Therefore, without depending upon mantra, Buddhahood cannot be attained.”
 
There are millions of mantras, each for a different purpose. In this workshop, mantras for healing oneself or others, immediate assistance in a difficult situation, unleashing creative expression, improving prosperity and abundance, and other common problems will be presented and practiced.
 
There will be ample time for questions and answers about your personal problems, issues and concerns. You will also receive a detailed handout and an audio product for pronunciation of the mantra formulas imparted during this class.

Mantras for Guidance and Protection

Modern life presents us with a maze of tasks, schedules and objectives. As part of this, there are arrangements to be made, plans to be formed, supplies to be obtained, and travel. We travel a variety of ways — walking, trains, buses and air. We want to be safeguarded in all of our activities.
 
Sometimes there are important decisions to be made. They can be about the health care of a loved one, or the proper kind of job — including where to look and when to say yes or no. Questions and situations come up in our relationships or on the job. We need our intuition to be guided to correct conclusions and decisions.
 
But what if we discover we have made the wrong decision? How can we change the course of decisions we have made? How can we avoid making incorrect decisions in the first place? In the midst of fulfilling our tasks and duties, how can we carry with us an aura of protection? An aura of confidence that we are on the right path? In the midst of fulfilling our tasks and duties, how can we develop an aura of protection, and an aura of confidence that we are on the right path?
 
The ancient science of Mantra from India addresses these issues. This workshop will feature mantras for intuition, protection, guidance, and personal empowerment that kicks in when we need it. There will be ample time for questions and answers about your personal problems, issues and concerns. You will also receive a detailed handout and an audio tape for pronunciation of the mantra formulas imparted during this class.

Mantras, Obstacles and Abundance

Abundance issues in our lives have to do with our karma. Using mantra formulas, we can reduce karmic obstacles and invoke the abundance of the universe in its different forms of manifestation: income, job, friends and relationship, peace and prosperity. Enjoy group chanting of mantras and Kirtan, along with some classic stories from the East. The CD, Mantra Therapy for Prosperity, will be given to attendees and practiced by the group.

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