What's a "pure tradition"?

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amanitamusc
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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by amanitamusc » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:26 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:45 am
amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:20 am

You are giving a lot of information.So just to be clear what is your pure tradition?
Also does your tradition believe that HH Dalai Lama follows a pure tradition.
This is mainly for the newbies so they are not mislead.
A non answer speaks volumes.
It doesn't matter whether I believe that my tradition is pure or not, or if you believe it is not, I am giving objective criteria for saying whether a tradition is pure and we can all judge our own traditions accordingly.

I don't know about other people's tradition, that's for them to judge.
Would you take teachings from a Nyingma Lama or would that be against your
so called pure tradition? Would your Lama approve?
Lastly do you believe there are pure traditions other than yours?

Bristollad
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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Bristollad » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:18 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:52 am
appearances are deceptive and our own opinions are unreliable'
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:52 am
our Guru will appear to have faults but we understand these to be the projections of a faulty mind
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:52 am
If a Guru engages in misconduct, we can use the Dharma to judge whether their actions are correct or not.
If appearances are deceptive, our minds unrealible and faulty then whatever behaviour appears are our projections and so there is nothing to check...meanwhile students are abused, teachers become addicts and the Dharma falls into disrepute

You suggest that our aspirations and motivations become less mixed and “purer” over time...at what point are they pure in your opinion? Before entering the path? After developing uncontrived bodhicitta? On becoming an Arya? The pure grounds? Pride is mentioned as one of the most pernicious afflictions for yogis, so easy to fall into and so devastating for our practise. Pride in the purity our practise, view, tradition, teacher can blind us as effectively as a red hot poker applied to the eyes.

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:44 pm

amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:26 pm
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:45 am
amanitamusc wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:20 am

You are giving a lot of information.So just to be clear what is your pure tradition?
Also does your tradition believe that HH Dalai Lama follows a pure tradition.
This is mainly for the newbies so they are not mislead.
A non answer speaks volumes.
It doesn't matter whether I believe that my tradition is pure or not, or if you believe it is not, I am giving objective criteria for saying whether a tradition is pure and we can all judge our own traditions accordingly.

I don't know about other people's tradition, that's for them to judge.
Would you take teachings from a Nyingma Lama or would that be against your
so called pure tradition? Would your Lama approve?
Lastly do you believe there are pure traditions other than yours?
What I would do is irrelevant - what we are discussing is what makes a pure tradition. I've offered my own view, but you haven't said whether you agree or disagree.

I believe there must be pure traditions other than mine but I don't know other traditions and have not assessed them or their Teachers, therefore I cannot say for sure, I only know what I know.

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:54 pm

Bristollad wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:18 pm
If appearances are deceptive, our minds unrealible and faulty then whatever behaviour appears are our projections and so there is nothing to check...meanwhile students are abused, teachers become addicts and the Dharma falls into disrepute
Generally our perceptions are faulty (mistaken) but not completely wrong and therefore we can make correct judgements about things - in others words, there is valid cognition.There is undoubtedly misconduct in the case of certain Teachers but what you are saying sounds a bit nihilistic - are there no pure Buddhist teachers or teachings anywhere from your point of view?
You suggest that our aspirations and motivations become less mixed and “purer” over time...at what point are they pure in your opinion? Before entering the path? After developing uncontrived bodhicitta? On becoming an Arya? The pure grounds? Pride is mentioned as one of the most pernicious afflictions for yogis, so easy to fall into and so devastating for our practise. Pride in the purity our practise, view, tradition, teacher can blind us as effectively as a red hot poker applied to the eyes.
This is a good question. I think we can have a pure motivation if we try to generate even fabricated renunciation or bodhichitta. Love is generally a pure mind. If we see an image of Buddha or any holy object we receive a karmic imprint that is a cause of liberation regardless of our motivation, so we can create pure actions even without a pure motivation, so my assertion is that purity exists even from the beginning of the path.

I agree that pride is a danger, but this is dispelled by compassion and working against the self-cherishing mind, which are essential steps in the development of bodhichitta. There is no pride in bodhichitta.
Last edited by Tsongkhapafan on Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Grigoris » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:54 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:52 am
I respectfully disagree that it's not possible to have a pure motivation in samsara because we can train in renunciation and bodhichitta and our motivation, which might not initially be pure, becomes purer and purer.
Angulimala had pure motivation and absolute faith in his teacher too...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:57 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:54 pm
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:52 am
I respectfully disagree that it's not possible to have a pure motivation in samsara because we can train in renunciation and bodhichitta and our motivation, which might not initially be pure, becomes purer and purer.
Angulimala had pure motivation and absolute faith in his teacher too...
Yes, true, but he didn't have the wisdom to check the validity of what his teacher was telling him. We also need wisdom to distinguish pure teachings from impure or wrong teachings, an essential quality of a sincere student.

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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Grigoris » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:59 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:57 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:54 pm
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:52 am
I respectfully disagree that it's not possible to have a pure motivation in samsara because we can train in renunciation and bodhichitta and our motivation, which might not initially be pure, becomes purer and purer.
Angulimala had pure motivation and absolute faith in his teacher too...
Yes, true, but he didn't have the wisdom to check the validity of what his teacher was telling him. We also need wisdom to distinguish pure teachings from impure or wrong teachings, an essential quality of a sincere student.
Nobody starts with wisdom, it is one of the two accumulations.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Tsongkhapafan
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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:07 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:59 pm
Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:57 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:54 pm
Angulimala had pure motivation and absolute faith in his teacher too...
Yes, true, but he didn't have the wisdom to check the validity of what his teacher was telling him. We also need wisdom to distinguish pure teachings from impure or wrong teachings, an essential quality of a sincere student.
Nobody starts with wisdom, it is one of the two accumulations.
Yes, true, so paradoxically we need to find a valid Teacher to start with who can give us valid teachings so that we can develop wisdom. I guess if we find the wrong teacher then we might end up like Angulimala, if we have no innate wisdom from previous lives.

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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Grigoris » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:52 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:07 pm
Yes, true, so paradoxically we need to find a valid Teacher to start with who can give us valid teachings so that we can develop wisdom. I guess if we find the wrong teacher then we might end up like Angulimala, if we have no innate wisdom from previous lives.
Luckily wisdom accumulates over lifetimes (for some).
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

Bristollad
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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Bristollad » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:19 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:54 pm
Bristollad wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:18 pm
If appearances are deceptive, our minds unrealible and faulty then whatever behaviour appears are our projections and so there is nothing to check...meanwhile students are abused, teachers become addicts and the Dharma falls into disrepute
Generally our perceptions are faulty (mistaken) but not completely wrong and therefore we can make correct judgements about things - in others words, there is valid cognition.There is undoubtedly misconduct in the case of certain Teachers but what you are saying sounds a bit nihilistic - are there no pure Buddhist teachers or teachings anywhere from your point of view?
You suggest that our aspirations and motivations become less mixed and “purer” over time...at what point are they pure in your opinion? Before entering the path? After developing uncontrived bodhicitta? On becoming an Arya? The pure grounds? Pride is mentioned as one of the most pernicious afflictions for yogis, so easy to fall into and so devastating for our practise. Pride in the purity our practise, view, tradition, teacher can blind us as effectively as a red hot poker applied to the eyes.
This is a good question. I think we can have a pure motivation if we try to generate even fabricated renunciation or bodhichitta. Love is generally a pure mind. If we see an image of Buddha or any holy object we receive a karmic imprint that is a cause of liberation regardless of our motivation, so we can create pure actions even without a pure motivation, so my assertion is that purity exists even from the beginning of the path.

I agree that pride is a danger, but this is dispelled by compassion and working against the self-cherishing mind, which are essential steps in the development of bodhichitta. There is no pride in bodhichitta.
There is undoubtedly misconduct in the case of certain Teachers but what you are saying sounds a bit nihilistic - are there no pure Buddhist teachers or teachings anywhere from your point of view?
Nihilistic? I might as well say, you sound as if you think there is a truly existent pureness. Yes, Shakyamuni Buddha is a pure teacher, the teachings of the Shakyamuni Buddha are pure teachings. As for the flesh and blood teachers we have with us now: there are good teachers, effective teachers, honest and ethical teachers but pure...no. There are good teachings, effective teachings, but pure... The teachings we have are mediated by teachers who are not fully enlightened, how can these then be pure?

Purity exists even from the beginning of the path...
I'm not suggesting otherwise, however there is a big difference between having some purity and being pure. Though I work towards developing perfect uncontrived renunciation and bodhicitta, my aspirations and motivations are not pure. They are mixed with all the mundane thoughts of the eight worldly dharmas.

I agree that pride is a danger, but this is dispelled by compassion and working against the self-cherishing mind, which are essential steps in the development of bodhichitta. There is no pride in bodhichitta.
According to the Abhisamayalamkara, the hindrance of manifest pride is separated from with the awakening of the Mahayana lineage, with the development of great compassion so this is prior to generating the mind of enlightenment, uncontrived bodhicitta. Manifest pride is having pride in qualities that one does possess... which of us can say that we honestly take no pride in our achievements and abilities? And if we do, then by this measure, we have not even awakened the Mahayana lineage.

we can create pure actions even without a pure motivation
We can create pure karma without a pure motivation? Hmmm, here was me thinking that intention was important, not just the activity. So if I give a large donation of money to a hospital in order to further my political standing, I'm creating pure karma and practising perfect generosity? Are you sure that's how it works?

I repeat, claims of pure teachings, pure traditions, pure teachers are for me a red flag. They sit alongside claims of being racially pure as being divorced from reality and a hindrance to being a decent human being never mind a buddhist practitioner.

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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by smcj » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:33 pm

The teachings we have are mediated by teachers who are not fully enlightened, how can these then be pure?
Good question.

Don’t assume there is no answer. Do the guru yoga practice and see if the answer comes to you.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that, through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

Bristollad
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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Bristollad » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:43 pm

smcj wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:33 pm
The teachings we have are mediated by teachers who are not fully enlightened, how can these then be pure?
Good question.

Don’t assume there is no answer. Do the guru yoga practice and see if the answer comes to you.
It's a rhetorical question actually. And yes, guru yoga is part of my practice.

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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Grigoris » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:25 pm

What about the fact that the Kadampa tradition developed out of the Nyingma. Does that mean mean that it is an "impure" tradition?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Mantrik » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:42 pm

Bristollad wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:19 pm

There is undoubtedly misconduct in the case of certain Teachers but what you are saying sounds a bit nihilistic - are there no pure Buddhist teachers or teachings anywhere from your point of view?
Nihilistic? I might as well say, you sound as if you think there is a truly existent pureness. Yes, Shakyamuni Buddha is a pure teacher, the teachings of the Shakyamuni Buddha are pure teachings. As for the flesh and blood teachers we have with us now: there are good teachers, effective teachers, honest and ethical teachers but pure...no. There are good teachings, effective teachings, but pure... The teachings we have are mediated by teachers who are not fully enlightened, how can these then be pure?

...................

I repeat, claims of pure teachings, pure traditions, pure teachers are for me a red flag. They sit alongside claims of being racially pure as being divorced from reality and a hindrance to being a decent human being never mind a buddhist practitioner.
If we regard our teacher as Chenrezig incarnate then all that follows is also regarded as pure. Having seen some feel that way about HHDL there seems to be quite a little industry going whereby cults follow suit and identify their leaders as 'pure' living Buddhas.

They may begin the con by claiming the guru as a highly revered teacher reborn, say Tsongkhapa, and once the seed is sown, start to describe them to the faithful as, say, Manjushri. It clearly works like a charm and to those who consider their teacher 'pure', the lineage he has created and the teachings, the sexual predation etc. all become 'pure' and beyond challenge, beyond even karma itself.

So, we can discuss the concept but the reality is that people will interpret Buddhadharma to fit what they desire, and if they desire to see their Guru as pure, that is a 'reality' for them, and what that Guru teaches is incontrovertible Buddhadharma too.

So why should we dare to challenge the notion that a particular tradition is not 'pure'? Perhaps because compassion includes helping others when they are in the grips of a very 'impure' and harmful 'tradition' which would rather nobody from outside gave a perspective to their smoke and mirrors.
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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:03 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:25 pm
What about the fact that the Kadampa tradition developed out of the Nyingma. Does that mean mean that it is an "impure" tradition?
Is Nyingma impure? I didn't think so. I don't think it developed from the Nyingma tradition, it came from Atisha.

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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:26 pm

Nihilistic? I might as well say, you sound as if you think there is a truly existent pureness. Yes, Shakyamuni Buddha is a pure teacher, the teachings of the Shakyamuni Buddha are pure teachings. As for the flesh and blood teachers we have with us now: there are good teachers, effective teachers, honest and ethical teachers but pure...no. There are good teachings, effective teachings, but pure... The teachings we have are mediated by teachers who are not fully enlightened, how can these then be pure?
It sounds like you are saying, indirectly, that Buddhas cannot help all living beings because they cannot appear as Spiritual Guides. How do you know that these flesh and blood teachers are not enlightened, just because they appear as ordinary? This would imply that there is a break in the lineage, because although there might be a lineage of scripture, what you're saying is that there is no lineage of realisation. I don't believe that. Even at the time of Buddha, some people saw him, a fully enlightened being, as a very limited being so their perceptions were wrong. You can't believe everything that appears to your mind. Naropa saw Tilopa as an old man who fried fish alive, Asanga saw Buddha Maitreya as a dog, etc. Even in the golden age, people got it wrong!

I'm not suggesting otherwise, however there is a big difference between having some purity and being pure. Though I work towards developing perfect uncontrived renunciation and bodhicitta, my aspirations and motivations are not pure. They are mixed with all the mundane thoughts of the eight worldly dharmas.
One of the benefits of death meditation from the lamrim is that it prevents the eight worldly concerns and makes our Dharma practice pure, therefore I would say that if we have a realisation of death, our Dharma practice will be pure.
According to the Abhisamayalamkara, the hindrance of manifest pride is separated from with the awakening of the Mahayana lineage, with the development of great compassion so this is prior to generating the mind of enlightenment, uncontrived bodhicitta. Manifest pride is having pride in qualities that one does possess... which of us can say that we honestly take no pride in our achievements and abilities? And if we do, then by this measure, we have not even awakened the Mahayana lineage.
Again, I would say that if you have love, compassion and humility through exchanging self with others, pride will not be a problem because we're doing our practice for others.
We can create pure karma without a pure motivation? Hmmm, here was me thinking that intention was important, not just the activity. So if I give a large donation of money to a hospital in order to further my political standing, I'm creating pure karma and practising perfect generosity? Are you sure that's how it works?
In general, we need a good motivation to create good karma, but due to the power of the Three Jewels, simply beholding Buddha's image is a cause of liberation, even if you look at it with an angry mind. This benefit comes because of the power and purity of the object, not from our motivation. In Heruka Tantra it is said that just by seeing a sincere Heruka practitioner we purify our negativities and attain liberation. We don't need a special motivation because we receive the blessings of Heruka abiding at the heart of that person.

In the example you gave, you're right - if our motive is selfish we do not create good karma, even if our actions looks ostensibly compassionate.
I repeat, claims of pure teachings, pure traditions, pure teachers are for me a red flag. They sit alongside claims of being racially pure as being divorced from reality and a hindrance to being a decent human being never mind a buddhist practitioner.
Okay, fair enough but I still disagree :smile:

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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by smcj » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:28 pm

Bristollad wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:43 pm
smcj wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:33 pm
The teachings we have are mediated by teachers who are not fully enlightened, how can these then be pure?
Good question.

Don’t assume there is no answer. Do the guru yoga practice and see if the answer comes to you.
It's a rhetorical question actually. And yes, guru yoga is part of my practice.
It does have an answer. Actually it has several answers, depending on who’s doing the answering. So you might want to go over that question with your mentor.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that, through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by DGA » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:34 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:07 pm
Yes, true, so paradoxically we need to find a valid Teacher to start with who can give us valid teachings so that we can develop wisdom. I guess if we find the wrong teacher then we might end up like Angulimala, if we have no innate wisdom from previous lives.
What is innate wisdom in your view? If wisdom is something that is accumulated, how can it be innate?

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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by DGA » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:35 pm

Bristollad wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:19 pm
I repeat, claims of pure teachings, pure traditions, pure teachers are for me a red flag. They sit alongside claims of being racially pure as being divorced from reality and a hindrance to being a decent human being never mind a buddhist practitioner.
^^^This is an important insight.^^^

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Re: What's a "pure tradition"?

Post by DGA » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:41 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:26 pm
In general, we need a good motivation to create good karma, but due to the power of the Three Jewels, simply beholding Buddha's image is a cause of liberation, even if you look at it with an angry mind. This benefit comes because of the power and purity of the object
Would you please describe the purity that inheres in an image of Buddha? Is purity a characteristic, a function... or a lack of some characteristic or function? How does purity work in this example, to your mind?

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