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    Thread: Zach's workbook

    1. #1
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      Zach's workbook

      Background:
      I am 29. I had a couple lucid dreams when I was a kid which let me know they are possible. Before 5 years ago, I had no clue how to intentionally have lucid dreams. Until I stumbled on to a website with how-tos for lucid dreaming. I instantly had a huge interest in all things dreaming. I spent about a year reading about dreaming, practising different techniques, and had about 12 lucid dreams(I would get the exact number but I threw away all my dream journals). About 4 years ago, I stopped dreaming due to smoking ruining my dream recall. I have since quit smoking but I have been focused on other activities. Over the past 3 months, I have had 6 unintentional lucid dreams, 1 fake lucid dream, and some very useful non-lucid dreams. I don't have any issues any more with dream recall. I normally remember 2-3 dreams a night without a dream journal but I don't like dreams occupying my mind. So, I have decided to start up recording dreams in a journal again. This is so I can get them on paper and out of my mind. I don't keep my new dream journal by my bed as making noise at night/morning annoys my spouse. I just write down whatever is still in my head sometime in the morning. I know this is not the most optimal way to accurately record my dreams but it is what it is. Lucid dreaming is an extra in my life and not my main focus. I really enjoy dreaming and find it at times very useful. But if it starts to consume too much time, I am going to dial it back. For now, I'm going to more intentionally try to lucid dream for a couple of reasons: to notice mind trends, to peak into my subconscious, for useful insights, and because it's pretty fun. I'm completely open to any advice from others if someone notices something I could change to help with my lucid dreaming practice.

      Current Practice:
      Daytime State Check- I work from my computer so I created a simple script to randomly(between 20-60mins) make a sound. When I hear the sound I check to see if I am dreaming or not. I verify this by checking text to see if it changes and checking my hands to see if they are normal or not. I also check to see if I am dreaming when something odd happens(ie. switch doesn't work, light flickers, something stops working, car driving in the wrong lane, etc.)

      Night/Morning- Before bed, I normally drink some water and eat a banana. Drinking water helps wake me up after dreams and the banana somehow helps with dreaming(I'm not sure why but it does). Then sometime in the morning I write down my dreams.

      Extra- I normally do 1-2 hours of meditation a day depending on how long my kids will let me. And much longer meditations on the weekends. (I know some people don't think meditation helps with lucid dreaming but I would say they are not mediating correctly. Meditation improves concentration, memory and awareness just like exercise improves strength, endurance, and flexibility. If that doesn't help lucid dreaming I don't know what would.)

      Aspirations:
      Continuous practice without being too frustrated by not getting desired results
      Last edited by Zachlew; 04-17-2015 at 07:22 PM.

    2. #2
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      Welcome, Zachlew!

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to your first post! It sounds like you know what your goals are and have a good practice to go about it.

      I generally also do not record now in the middle of the night, but what I do is keep a mental running list of dream key words/images that I try to maintain all the way to the final waking of the day. With every new waking and more recall, I add to the list and run through it a few times before heading back to sleep. I find that more often than not, a lot of the dreams survive until morning this way, and I think it's a really great workout for dream recall as well.

      If you're doing *one* to *two* *hours* of meditation a day, you're at the front of the pack day-work wise. I don't think you'll find anybody here on DV who thinks meditation doesn't help with LDing. Many in fact promote it as *the* primary waking practice for all the reasons you mentioned.

      What sort of meditation do you do, out of curiosity?

      Most of the day work you mention shouldn't take up much time. Neither does setting intention at night time to notice the dream state when dreaming. On nights where you're feeling well-rested and you can sleep in, you might try setting intention to notice the wakings in the night and to re-set intention to get lucid, and/or perform DILD/WILD.

      Feel free to your your workbook here to track your progress, set goals, and of course to ask any questions you may have!

      Good luck!
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      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
      FryingMan's Dream Recall Tips -- Awesome Links
      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

    3. #3
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      Thanks FryingMan!

      Good to know other members promote mediation. I must have read a few uncommon threads. I would spend much more time doing it if I had the time. Meditation is a holiday for the heart, it can be very enjoyable. My main meditation object would be mindfulness with breathing. I have a few others I cycle through if my main object starts getting dry or I am just spinning my wheels though.

      Do you have any links to threads about the intentions you are talking about? I don't really do anything with intentions right now.

      I'll try to update here as I go. I feel it may keep me going until I'm settled into a useful practice for me.

      Here's a first quick update:
      Only have the last 3 days in my new journal right now but I noticed 2 very common dream signs. At least they are things that have happened in a lot of dreams I can remember. Something about writing things down seems to help me notice obvious things I've been missing. First is driving in a car. I seem to do this a lot in my dreams. Second would be when other people are rushing me. I seem to have very pushy dream characters.

    4. #4
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      I can't point to any threads about intentions, but it's pretty simple: you just repeat a phrase to yourself to try to "set" in in your mind as something you want to do during the night. Sort of like autosuggestion. LaBerge talks about this in Exploring The World of Lucid Dreams. He recommends the following ones, which I've more or less used during my entire practice every night:

      + "I have interesting and meaningful dreams" [modifications: particular kinds of dreams I want that night]

      + "I remember my dreams" [modifications: vivid dreams, long dreams, remember dreams completely, etc.]

      + "I notice wakings during the night, remain still, and recall my dreams" [this is my variant, the original one says "I wake up after every dream" but it can lead to actually fully waking up, and as I have issues from time to time with insomnia, I use my variant now]. I don't always do this one as it can be exhausting if done a lot, but it can lead to really great recall, since the best time to recall a dream is immediately after waking from it.

      If your dream signs are particularly reliable, spending some time before bed (or throughout the day as you have time) reviewing dream signs and doing "daytime MILD" on those signs can be beneficial. Basically, bring up the dream scene in your mind's eye, and see yourself noticing the dream sign and getting lucid. Tell yourself "<XYZ> is a dream sign, it means I'm dreaming, if <XYZ> happens, I may be dreaming, …" etc. Or simply visualize the dream sign and tell yourself "I'm dreaming! I'm dreaming! I'm dreaming!….".

      I had good luck with doing this when I went through a very regular phase (practically every night) of appearing in my childhood home. It can also set up a sort of feedback loop of incubating the sign to make it happen more, which would allow you to get lucid more as you get better at recognizing it.
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      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
      FryingMan's Dream Recall Tips -- Awesome Links
      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

    5. #5
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      I give that a try this week and see if it helps any. Thanks!

    6. #6
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      I figure I should try to do the long updates once a week since this will probably take a while. I'm guessing it's going to take a couple months before I start seeing noticeable changes.

      Here's some tweaks to my practice:
      -For state/reality checks I ask myself 'Am I dreaming or am I awake?' and then I try to prove it. It is basically the same as before but with a subtle difference in wording and action. This seems to work a little better for me.
      -Before sleep I am taking a b-6 100mg vitamin when I run out of bananas. It seems to have the same effect.
      -I added in the recommended intention method before falling asleep. I make sure I'm good and relaxed and then say to myself 'I will do a reality check and remember I am dreaming'. I say that about 3 to 5 times until it feels genuine and I also visualize myself doing a reality check in a dream from the day before. Then go to sleep.
      -I also have tried 4 WBTB/WILDs.
      -I also started to leave the room when I do a WBTB and record any dream recalls. It kills some time.

      Progress:
      My dream recall has already increased from recording dreams in a dream journal. I have been remembering 2 to 5 dreams a night depending on what your definition of a dream would be. Because I would say I have 3 good dreaming periods a night which I seem to have multiple different dream scenes or dreams in one dreaming period.

      I've been consistently waking up twice during the night(not really trying to do this...it just seems to happen after dreaming periods). Once at about 1.5-2hrs in which I normally remember a short dream. I will just remember my dream then repeat the intention method as before but this time adding in the visual of the recalled dream. Then I wake up again at about 5.5-6hrs in which I have been remembering very long dreams(normally multiple dreams inside one big dream). Since this was happening consistently I started trying a WBTB/WILD. The first 2 times I wasn't up that long (less than 5mins). Those 2 WILDs I would lay in bed for 1hr perfectly still but no luck. I tried extending the WBTB time from less than 5mins to about 15-20mins which was about the time it takes for me to record a long dream/dreams. Trying the other 2 WILDs after the longer periods seemed to help and I was starting to enter a dream but then fell asleep. I'm going to need a lot more work on WILDs but I don't think I'm going to be trying WILDs every night. Maybe WBTBs but probably not WILDs.

      I did have a lucid dream last night though! This seemed to work a lot faster than I thought it would(I'm guessing newbie luck). We'll see how things progress in the future.

      Here's my short lucid dream from my dream journal (I kind of just ramble when I record my dreams so just bear with me):
      I was going somewhere on a bike with a friend and it was pretty late at night and then I noticed the sky was getting brighter and it kind of looked like a drawing and I thought that wasn't right and then I knew I was dreaming and I jumped off my bike and started flying. My friend asked what I was doing and I said it was a dream. Then I flew up and there were some floating words which I flew though. Maybe this dream was a book?. The words were kind of like floating stacks of paper which slowed my down when trying to fly though them but then I got though and flew in between a telephone line and landed back on the ground. I looked up and there seemed to be too much stuff in the sky to fly but the sky did look really amazing so I started walking but wanted to go faster so I tried to zoom forward which I have never done before which was kind of like teleporting but I felt more like I was pulling the area in front of me to me. When I did this I took a deep breath and tried to zoom forward and when I did this I made a loud breath noise which startled my spouse and she woke me up thinking I was having a nightmare
      Last edited by Zachlew; 04-23-2015 at 03:59 PM.

    7. #7
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      Sounds great, keep up the good work! Sticking with it without quitting is really important as all the effects of the daytime and nighttime work accumulates slowly over time.
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      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
      FryingMan's Dream Recall Tips -- Awesome Links
      “No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.”
      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

    8. #8
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      Thanks FryingMan! I'll still working at it. Just doing 10+ state checks a day, a little intention before sleep/after awakings, and recording my dream recalls in my journal(about 2-3 a night). No new lucid dreams but did have a few useful non lucid ones.
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    9. #9
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      Update:
      Since my last update, I've been consistently recalling and recording 2-4 dreams a night. I have had 5 dreams where I noticed something was odd but ended up justifying the oddity with some reason (ie. saying my hand looked weird because it was injured). If only I did a reality check instead up justifying those I could of had few more lucid dreams but I guess hindsight is 20/20. I did have one dream where I did start to become lucid but it ended as soon as I noticed it was a dream. I'm slowly inching my way along though. I have noticed that the intentions do make a difference.

    10. #10
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      Hi Zachew. You seem to be on the right track. The only things I can think to add are in regards to your reality checks and setting intentions. On the reality checks gab recommends not flat out answering yourself "yeah…I'm awake" as it is more likely to also happen when you RC in a dream and just go on non-lucidly in your dream. I think she suggests when setting out to do RC's throughout the day, after RCs that indicate that you are awake, simply saying 'hmmm…the next time I am dreaming I RC and realize I am dreaming' or some variant.

      On the intention setting, some feel it is important to remove "will" from your statement so that you mind doesn't consider it as 'I will do it at some point' versus something that you always do. Instead of 'I will do a reality check and remember I am dreaming' use instead 'I do reality checks and remember I am dreaming.'

      Keep up the good practices!
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      Taking out the 'will' does make a little more sense than what I was doing. I'll give that and the added bit to the RCs a try. Thanks fogelbise!

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      Update:
      I tried a new method I read about on here called SSILD last night and it worked first try! And not only did it work, it worked great! All of my lucid dreams up to this point have been between 1-5mins of lucidity but this one was about 30mins (but really it felt much longer). I'm going to figure out later today how to write a dream journal entry and link it here. It's a bit long and I don't want to put it all in here. The second try of SSILD last night didn't work but I think I was way too excited from the first lucid to do it correctly. The person who wrote up the SSILD method seems to think the method will improve chances of lucidity for anyone at any level. I think I'm going to test that out and use this as my main WBTB method now.

      I had a few interesting dream characters that I kind of wanted to ask about. I don't know what is the norm...if there is even a norm in dreams lol. I'll add those a little later too and see if anyone has any thoughts.

      2nd Update:
      Here's the link
      http://www.dreamviews.com/blogs/zach...5-lucid-65888/

      So there's 3 dream characters that seemed to stand out (see the link for more details):
      Dark creepy guy- He stayed in the shadows and wouldn't let me do what I was trying to do. What the heck?
      My dad- He didn't say a whole lot but helped me do whatever I was trying to do. Do some DCs become side kicks? None of the others were helpful.
      Glowing girl- She knew I was dreaming and could read my mind???
      Last edited by Zachlew; 05-15-2015 at 07:54 PM.
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    13. #13
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      Congratulations Zachlew!! SSILD was what really got me started LDing in adulthood. 30 minutes is a great achievement!! I will move over to your DJ link and maybe respond more about the dream characters there but in general I am pretty much in the camp that they are just part of our subconscious. There are a number of people on here do think that they can be something more including members like sivason and PercyLucid.
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      Thanks fogelbise!

      My rational side says that it is mostly if not all part of my subconscious but I am open to other possibilities too. I also kind of see the mind like a wireless device where in can receive external data if tuned into it. I don't think there will be a way to prove it one way or the other so I am not going to spend a whole lot of time speculating. I would rather just experience it and see for myself!

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      First month recap
      This is what I have recorded in my journal.
      Dreams recalled: 71 (there were a few days where I didn't record anything)
      Lucid dreams: 2 - DILD
      WBTB: 21
      WILD attempts: 4

      Current Practice:
      Daytime Reality Check- When I hear the sound from my random alarm I do a reality check. I genuinely check my surroundings to see if something is off. Then I check text to see if it changes, checking my hands to see if they are normal or not, and/or think about what I was doing 15mins ago. I check to see if I am dreaming when something odd happens or seems dream like. I have also been doing reality checks for no reason at all. If I see some text or a digital clock I'll test it out. (I haven't really got the hang of thinking 'hmmm…when I am dreaming I do reality checks and realize I am dreaming' but I try that too)

      Night/Morning- Before bed, I normally drink some water, take a b6 vitamin, and/or eat a banana. Then right before sleep I repeat the intention 'I do reality checks and realize I am dreaming' a couple of times. I normally visualize lucid dreams where I actually did this to make it feel more genuine. Then about 5 hours in I wake up naturally after a dream. I do a WBTB then by getting up and recording any dreams(this is normally only 10-15mins). Now, I have started doing SSILD after the WBTB since it seems to work for me. Then record any other dreams sometime in morning.

      Extra- 1-2 hours of meditation a day. I also do mindfulness with breathing as often as I can remember it throughout the day.

      Aspiration:
      Since this seems like a long term practice my aspiration hasn't changed.
      Continuous practice without being too frustrated by not getting desired results.
      Last edited by Zachlew; 05-17-2015 at 02:13 PM.
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      Nice! I like your current practice! I recommend posting the exact steps that you used for that first SSILD session that was so successful…not only so that you don't forget exactly what you did, but also for others to learn from! I may even want to tweak how I do it. I tweaked SSILD and have my own way of doing it but I would recommend that you try to replicate what you did since it was so successful hitting right away and with the length of your lucid. It sounded like you only did a few cycles on that occasion, which sounded like it was shorter than the standard technique as posted and that may be a key for you. There could have been some other variables though.
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    17. #17
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      Good idea fogelbise!

      My first session of WBTB + SSILD:
      I unintentionally woke up a little earlier than normal. It was about 4 hours into sleep but I normally get up at about 5 hours in. I got up and walked into the other room to record my recalled dreams (about 15mins up). I came back to bed. I calmed my body down and got into a comfortable position on my back. I then cycled through each of those three senses about 5 times (I wasn't counting so it might have been more). First cycle was about 5-10secs on each sense and by the last was 30-45secs each. For each cycle, I went slower and more relaxed. So for the eyes, I would look forward into my eye lids while feeling my eyes sinking deeper into the eye sockets each time. For the ears, they would pop a little and then I would listen to the ringing tinnitus noise which would get louder each time(side note this is actually a meditation I do sometimes called 'nada yoga' or 'sound of silence' but I didn't stay focused on it). Then for the body, I would relax all my muscles and feel my body sinking deeper into the bed each cycle. Each cycle was slower, deeper, and more relaxed than the one before. Each cycle was done really lazily and I was not really trying to notice anything. I also didn't expect this to work at all so I didn't have any thoughts about the future (ie. excited about becoming lucid, what I want to do when I become lucid, etc). Then after about 5 cycles I just rolled over, got comfortable and tried to sleep.

      I felt like I was awake for about 10-15mins and not really sleeping. So I checked my alarm clock and it was an hour (I must have fallen asleep). I did one more cycle then rolled over to try to sleep again. After what felt like 1min I checked the clock again and it was all messed up. I was then lucid and it must have been right at the beginning of my REM cycle because it lasted for about 30mins of lucidity.

      Here is the link to the DV SSILD tutorial for anyone that wants to try it.


      This is the updated tutorial but I couldn't find it posted on DV
      Last edited by Zachlew; 05-19-2015 at 02:10 PM.
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    18. #18
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      That is a nice overview of SSILD with your own little flavor added for each of the senses! I like the sinking eyes adjustment and especially the relaxing body for the tactile sense! Being able to tie in your nada yoga meditation experience for the hearing sense definitely seems like a bonus. I also find that the initial cycles can set up an easier transition after the next awakening if it doesn't produce a result in the sleep cycle you enter from the initial cycles.
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      Week 5 update:
      I was pretty busy last week. I did continue to do RCs and record dream recalls but not much else.

      DJ question:
      I have a good number of dreams recorded now. Recording has definitely improved my recall and it has helped me notice my most common awakenings(1 and 3 am). Is there anything else I should use my DJ for?

    20. #20
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      They can be fun to look back at but also can help you to identify general or specific dream signs to improve your ability to catch dream signs and realize that you are dreaming more often when other elements are also in place and going your way.
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      How do you work with dream signs that you never see in normal day to day life?
      ie. I see friends from my home town a lot in dreams but I haven't actually hung out with any of them in years.

      Some of my common dream signs:
      skateboarding
      driving a car
      hanging out with old friends
      pushy DCs or DCs trying to fight me
      things multiplying (noticing one plane in the sky and then seeing 5 others things flying and then 20 others)
      really weird weather
      being in a mall, hotel, school, city, arcade/casino, hometown neighborhood (rarely every here in daily life but very common locations in my dreams)
      back in the army (been out for 6 years but another common theme in my dreams)
      huge 20-30ft waves whenever near the ocean
      just the 'feel' of a dream (a lot of the time things just don't feel right but normally justify it with some excuse)
      Last edited by Zachlew; 05-29-2015 at 05:10 PM.

    22. #22
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      How do you work with dream signs that you never see in normal day to day life?
      Visualize/daytime "MILD" practice!

      Picture the scene in your mind, either from a recent dream or just imagine a scenario involving your dream sign, and see yourself noticing the dreamsign and becoming lucid. Tell yourself while you're visualizing, "I'm dreaming! I'm dreaming! This <the dreamsign> means it's a dream! I'm dreaming!"

      It's also beneficial to review dreamsigns before bed in this way, I know that fogelbise does this quite a bit to great effect.
      fogelbise and Zachlew like this.
      FryingMan's Unified Theory of Lucid Dreaming: Pay Attention, Reflect, Recall -- Both Day and Night[link]
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      "...develop stability in awareness and your dreams will change in extraordinary ways" -- TYoDaS

    23. #23
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      ^Agreed! Additionally, if you aren't doing SSILD on a particular night, you could also do what FryingMan suggested during WBTB where it seems to be very effective. That said, I also enjoy thinking (during day practices) of all the fun things I could be doing if this very moment were a dream and I will sometimes also simulate an RC showing that I am dreaming.
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    24. #24
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      Thanks guys! Great tip! I've been doing MILD as my intention method before bed but I didn't even think about using my dream signs in my visualization.

    25. #25
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      Week 6 update:
      Another busy week. My sleep schedule keeps getting messed up. I have noticed this kills my recall and sleeping in general. Even my RC's during the day were kind of weak so I'm not too surprised no new lucids.

      I did try SSILD a few times but they only ended in FAs or very vivid dreams. I found I need the right balance of being too awake and too sleepy after the WBTB for the SSILD to be useful.

      I was looking over my DJ and I noticed when I'm able to keep a good consistent sleep schedule my recall started to improve. Both the number of dreams recalled and the detail of those dreams would increase. I also noticed that my lucids came after having consistent improved recall. I don't know yet if the lucids were caused by being able to remember more detailed dreams, having more detailed dreams gave me more chances to become lucid, combination of those, or just something unrelated. Nevertheless, I still have a good amount of confidence in the fact that I will have more lucids if I just keep going.
      Last edited by Zachlew; 06-01-2015 at 06:03 PM.

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