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    Thread: TheApprentice's Workbook

    1. #1
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      TheApprentice's Workbook

      Hey. I had my first spontaneous unintentional lucid dream late 2015, and a while afterwards started training my mind to have them more frequently. I was fairly successful, worked super hard, and had several LDs in my second month of training. I was in China at that time. Now, I'm back in the UK, and with work and life changes, lucid dreaming dropped off. I was still keeping a dream journal, and I have had one or two lucid dreams without really trying, but my heart wasn't in it for some time.

      Anyway, now I'm back in the game. I thought I'd start a work book here to help track my progress, make a note of what works for me and whatnot.

      I know that daytime activity has a big effect on nighttime activity, but there's often a lag of days or weeks before a crossover occurs.

      Here's what my day work consists of:

      Dream Journaling
      I usually write down my dreams as soon as I awake from them. If it's in the middle of the night and I'm tired, I might write a few keywords rather than full sentences. I don't keep any other notes with my dream entries.

      Daytime Awareness
      I believe my first lucid dream was directly influenced by the mindfulness practice I was doing at the time. Essentially, it's coming to the present moment and examining closely what's happening right now. I might just focus on one sense, like touch, or other time I might process the context of my situation, i.e., know that I'm currently at work speaking to a colleague, just to see if it seems legit.

      Mantra
      I've just started doing this. Throughout the day, say to myself "I am dreaming." When I say this (usually mentally) I'll bring myself into the present moment, as above.

      Meditation
      I try to meditate daily for at least 30 minutes, one or two hours before I sleep. My method is to sit comfortably somewhere, close my eyes, and follow my breath. Whenever I notice that I've lost focus of my breath and I'm following some thought, I bring my focus back to my breath. I can go quite deep in some sessions where I might spend minutes in mental silence. Regardless of whatever benefit this has to lucid dreaming, I love meditation for this alone. Being in that emptiness is real respite from the noise of life. I also noticed that meditation somewhat improved my recall.


      In the past, when I had a lot of success, I would keep a spreadsheet of a bunch of stats, such as LD count, regular dream count, hours slept, time meditated. I'm not sure if I really want to do that again though, because despite it being somewhat useful, when you can see that you've gone a whole month without a single LD, it's pretty demotivational.

      Anyway, I shall be updating this workbook a lot. Thanks for reading!

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      Recall
      Lately my recall has been a bit on and off. Last night I barely remembered anything. When I started meditating before bed a few days ago my recall did shoot up, but at that time I was also staying in a hotel on holiday with curtains that let in a lot of light. It could be a combination of things. If I don't wake up at all throughout the night I usually won't remember anything. Setting alarms throughout the night isn't really an option because I share a bed with my spouse. I have woken up a few times either really thirsty or needing the toilet, and usually I'll remember a dream, so I think it would be a good idea then to drink lots of water before and during awakenings. Hopefully this will keep my sleep lighter.

      Awareness
      I don't like performing physical reality checks. I prefer to just come to the present moment and become acutely aware of myself and what's happening. This state is difficult to sustain. The times I find it most difficult are when:
      • talking to someone
      • driving
      • doing work
      • watching tv

      Inspired by Sensei, I've set up a reminder on my phone that beeps every 4 minutes to remind me to say "I'm dreaming" and heighten my awareness. Hopefully these constant reminders will keep me off autopilot.

      Stats
      Also, despite saying I didn't want to, I set up a new spreadsheet for myself to chart my progress. We'll see how it goes.

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      You have a nice set of practices here! If you maintain a focused effort, you can achieve many lucid dreams with these practices.

      Quote Originally Posted by TheApprentice View Post
      Inspired by Sensei, I've set up a reminder on my phone that beeps every 4 minutes to remind me to say "I'm dreaming" and heighten my awareness. Hopefully these constant reminders will keep me off autopilot.
      I think Sensei recommends doing this only temporary as it can be a lot to handle, but with focused effort you can carry a lesser degree of consistent awareness into the following days more naturally which would be good. Perhaps you can find a way to make it a long term condition of awareness which you eventually build up to being more and more of your day by starting with this method. It takes time and patience. Consider it a journey. I have seen improvement in bringing more awareness into my day, but it is still a work in progress.

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      Thanks for the reply fogelbise. So far I'm finding the repeat reminder to be okay, but I'll occasionally just ignore it when it goes off. It does take a conscious effort to focus my awareness once I've heard it. I'm not letting it stress me out though. Just doing my best to be aware as much as possible.

      The water trick has worked pretty well on the last two night that I tried it. Last night I drank a big glass of water before bed. I ended up getting up about 3 or 4 times throughout the night and woke up from quite a vivid dream.

      My recall could do with some work; I'll remember fragments of one or two dreams a night, sometimes none. I'll keep on journaling and setting intention before I sleep to recall my dreams. Hopefully my brain will get the message at some point!

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      Last night I recalled three dreams, which I'm quite proud about. One of them felt quite vivid and I was more aware of what I was doing than usual. I was picking coins of out of a toilet. Bizarre. I feel the meditation and awareness practice I'm doing are gradually having an effect on my dreams; the kind of heightened sensory awareness I'm trying to cultivate is seeping through. Also, the glass of water trick seems to be working still. Waking up throughout the night seems to be getting easier. It's funny, I imagine most people would hate that! I think I'm getting the hang of remembering dreams again. I forgot how fragile dream memories are. We're just so good at forgetting them because most people, for most of their lives don't consider their dreams valuable. Remembering dreams was so easy as a kid. Anyway, I'm happy with the progress I'm making in terms of recall.

      I've noticed my awareness suffers when I'm at work. I can't use my phone to beep to keep reminding me otherwise I'd piss everyone off haha. I could probably set up some kind of reminder on my work computer though.

      Right now, just having my first lucid in a long time would be awesome. My last one was a WILD on January 30th, and I wasn't really trying hard to have one at that time. I'd love to be having lucid dreams once a week and eventually have them every night, but I know that will take a lot of work.
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      Can't you put the phone in your pocket and let i vibrate. If that doesn't make to much noise.

      Also i would like to ask you what kind of awareness practice do you do. I am trying the same. Not that i would like to copy it l. Because every one needs their own way of doing it. Just curious :p
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      Quote Originally Posted by TheApprentice View Post
      Last night I recalled three dreams, which I'm quite proud about. One of them felt quite vivid and I was more aware of what I was doing than usual. I was picking coins of out of a toilet. Bizarre. I feel the meditation and awareness practice I'm doing are gradually having an effect on my dreams; the kind of heightened sensory awareness I'm trying to cultivate is seeping through.
      Nice, all of the above is a great sign!

      By the way, let me know if you would like regular input from me. In your OP you mentioned using the workbook to track what is working for you and that is certainly fine to just use the workbook as your personal log.

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      Quote Originally Posted by GameGamer View Post
      Can't you put the phone in your pocket and let i vibrate. If that doesn't make to much noise.

      Also i would like to ask you what kind of awareness practice do you do. I am trying the same. Not that i would like to copy it l. Because every one needs their own way of doing it. Just curious :p
      Yeah, I still let it vibrate but half the time I don't notice it. I think I just prefer hearing a sound.

      I first started doing mindfulness practice which I learned about from reading Eckhart Tolle's book The Power of Now. It's what I attribute to having my first spontaneous lucid dream. Mindfulness as he describes it, is simply living in the present, moment by moment. You can use anything to bring you to the present: your breath, the sensation of your body resting on a chair, the sound of a bird outside. It's especially useful to focus on what you're currently doing, for example when you're washing the dishes feel the water on your hands, hear the sound of the water splashing, look closely at the soap bubbles. Most of us do everything mindlessly like zombies. Anyway that's basically what I do. I come to the present, and then I sometimes say to myself "I'm dreaming". I don't just say it, but I try to actually become focused on my own perception of reality. I look around, observing my surroundings as if I were actually in a dream. I know I'm not in a dream, because I'm in tune with how reality feels compared to how a dream feels. The point is to keep up this awareness so that in dream we'll eventually start to focus on our perception and come to feel that it isn't actually reality. Hope that answered your question!

      Quote Originally Posted by fogelbise View Post
      Nice, all of the above is a great sign!

      By the way, let me know if you would like regular input from me. In your OP you mentioned using the workbook to track what is working for you and that is certainly fine to just use the workbook as your personal log.

      Thank you. I'd love regular input! I'll take all the help I can get.
      Last edited by TheApprentice; 05-02-2017 at 11:53 PM. Reason: Add more detail
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      Last night I didn't recall much. I woke up blank, but after some digging I remembered a few small fragments but that's about it. I know I dreamt more but the memories were out of reach. Whatever, I'm happy to have something. Something is better than nothing. I know that the more I make the effort to recall my dreams and the more I do recall, the better my recall will become.

      I felt quite tired upon waking. I think I haven't been getting enough sleep. Last night I planned to be in bed by 11, but I ended up getting in bed at 12 due to a job I'm currently doing. I'll aim to sleep earlier and see how that affects me. I also want to do more exercise during the day so that I'll have no trouble getting to sleep early.

      Last night I also tried out naiyas simple mild technique. But as I said, I didn't recall much. I have attempted visualisation techniques in the past with some success, so I think I will try to include this into my night time ritual.

      So far then, my ritual before sleeping is:
      • Lightly review the day, recall anything that stands out. Recall it as if I were recalling a dream.
      • Intend to have lucid dreams. This includes praying and repeating a mantra in my mind.
      • Visualise myself having a lucid dream. I decided to use the task of the month to motivate me, so I'll visualise that. I'll remember "I'm dreaming" as I'm visualising, look at my hands, touch objects, all as I would if I were actually lucid dreaming.


      I think I should also have a ritual whenever I awaken during the night. Right now I don't practice any WBTB techniques. I just go straight back to sleep. I'm thinking:
      • Try to recall dreams, even if blank at first. Type up tags.
      • Go use the bathroom, drink some water, whatever I need to do.
      • While out of bed, do five minutes of meditation, just to bring some awareness into the unconsciousness of the night.
      • Go to bed, fall asleep while doing MILD visualisation and affirming that I'm dreaming.
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      Quote Originally Posted by TheApprentice View Post
      Whatever, I'm happy to have something. Something is better than nothing. I know that the more I make the effort to recall my dreams and the more I do recall, the better my recall will become.
      Exactly, this is a great mindset.

      I felt quite tired upon waking. I think I haven't been getting enough sleep. Last night I planned to be in bed by 11, but I ended up getting in bed at 12 due to a job I'm currently doing. I'll aim to sleep earlier and see how that affects me. I also want to do more exercise during the day so that I'll have no trouble getting to sleep early.
      Yes, I am convinced that getting enough sleep will increases success rates and that moderate exercise is beneficial to lucid dreaming. Rigorous exercise should also be good in the long term but I do find that I sleep through many of my typical lucid dreaming opportunities the night of particularly rigorous exercise (which is always in the evening for me, league sports 2 nights a week).

      Last night I also tried out naiyas simple mild technique. But as I said, I didn't recall much. I have attempted visualisation techniques in the past with some success, so I think I will try to include this into my night time ritual.
      Her MILD and your visualization techniques are even more powerful after WBTB but it is certainly worthwhile to do when your first go to bed.

      So far then, my ritual before sleeping is:
      • Lightly review the day, recall anything that stands out. Recall it as if I were recalling a dream.
      • Intend to have lucid dreams. This includes praying and repeating a mantra in my mind.
      • Visualise myself having a lucid dream. I decided to use the task of the month to motivate me, so I'll visualise that. I'll remember "I'm dreaming" as I'm visualising, look at my hands, touch objects, all as I would if I were actually lucid dreaming.
      Excellent!

      I think I should also have a ritual whenever I awaken during the night. Right now I don't practice any WBTB techniques. I just go straight back to sleep. I'm thinking:
      • Try to recall dreams, even if blank at first. Type up tags.
      • Go use the bathroom, drink some water, whatever I need to do.
      • While out of bed, do five minutes of meditation, just to bring some awareness into the unconsciousness of the night.
      • Go to bed, fall asleep while doing MILD visualisation and affirming that I'm dreaming.
      Great thinking! This is good. I usually need at least 20 minutes up and often do more like 30-50 minutes (but going to bed early enough to make up for it), but everyone is different. If you fall asleep easily and quickly, a great trick is resting your elbow on the bed with your arm straight up perpendicular to the mattress. This can help you get to the HH stage of sleep where techniques seem to be more powerful…and HHs can be interesting too.

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      Quote Originally Posted by fogelbise View Post
      Great thinking! This is good. I usually need at least 20 minutes up and often do more like 30-50 minutes (but going to bed early enough to make up for it), but everyone is different. If you fall asleep easily and quickly, a great trick is resting your elbow on the bed with your arm straight up perpendicular to the mattress. This can help you get to the HH stage of sleep where techniques seem to be more powerful…and HHs can be interesting too.
      Thank you for your encouragement!

      Most of my LDs have come from either random DILDs in the middle of the night or chance WILDs in the morning before getting up. I've not had much success with WBTB. I'm not one to fall asleep quickly. I either stay up a bit too long and I can't fall back to sleep, or I don't stay up long enough and I just sleep through to the morning. If I could figure out the time that's right for me and perform MILD (with a healthy dose of persistence), I think I could really increase my chances of success. I'll try tonight!

      Thanks for the tip about the arm trick. I'll have to try it. I have tried sitting up in bed to fall asleep but I get too uncomfy and end up resuming my regular position.

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      You're welcome. You might save the arm trick and WBTBs for nights when you can sleep in, since you don't fall asleep quickly…at least until you figure out how much you can do (and how long) and still get back to sleep fairly easily. I saved WBTB for my weekends until I got comfortable with getting back to sleep fairly quickly after my WBTB time up out of bed and then more time doing MILD or SSILD. By saving it for nights when you can sleep in, it provides the additional benefit of removing the worry about falling back to sleep which in turn makes it easier to fall asleep.

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      It's so frustrating to wake up from a dream, knowing you've just awoken from a dream, and then to forget what you were dreaming about that very same instant. It happened the other morning. It's like the memory was hanging on by a tiny delicate thread. Move the tiniest bit, and the thread breaks, and poof, the dream memory flies away into the ether. I did recall a dream later in the morning though so it's all good.

      That dream was fairly vivid. I was dreaming about riding my bike around a familiar town. In reality I have recently bought a bike to cycle to work on. It beats sitting in traffic. There was a specific moment in the dream that I remember looking down and noticing that my bike had three chainrings. I sort of thought to myself, "That's weird, I thought I only had one. Cool, I guess I was wrong," and I just carried on in the dream non-lucid. In reality my bike has only one chainring. I just think this is noteworthy, that I'd even have the awareness in my dream to look down and contemplate something like that. I don't normally stop to just look. It feels like a positive sign, that my awareness practice is working its way into my dreams still. That's what awareness is about - just stopping to take it all in, stopping to look.

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      Wow. I recalled 4 dreams last night. One of them was even lucid for a brief moment!

      So here's what happened. I probably got off to sleep at about 1 AM since it was a Saturday night. Had two big glasses of water, quickly went through my daytime memories, prayed to become lucid, visualised myself lucid dreaming for a bit, then dropped off to sleep.

      My first awakening was at 6 AM. I'd awoken from a dream in which I had the power to astral project or remote view. I'd induce it by meditating. Someone asked me to AP right now. I said it takes time, that I have to meditate. I'm pretty sure I was meditating in the dream. I remember closing my eyes and breathing. Not lucid though, but it felt pretty close!

      When I woke up, I stayed up for about 15 minutes. Let the dog out, went to the toilet, then did some standing meditation until I felt it was the right time to go back to bed. I practised MILD in bed. I repeated the phrase "The next time I'm dreaming, I will breathe." I also did some light visualisation.

      I awoke again at 8:15, from some kind of messed up false awakening. I dreamt that I had gone downstairs and taken some pills to help me have a lucid dream. They were called "Cornea Kalms". (There's a real product over here called Kalms which is supposed to relieve stress. I think I'd seen an advert on tv about it yesterday. Also, I'd been looking up dream herbs that same day.) The "Cornea Kalms" did something to the eyes to let a person lucid dream, somehow. Anyway, in my dream I went back up to bed to do MILD. I had some app up open on my phone to track my sleep. It had a load of fancy graphs and data in real time. I was trying hard to fall asleep but I found it really hard to. Then, I felt the pills I'd taken start to have an effect on me. I started to panic. Then, I saw my mother's boyfriend next to me in the bed. He started to laugh. At this point I managed to figure out I was dreaming. I was still panicking and I tried to shout out, "Help me, I'm dreaming!" but my voice was very weak and hoarse. Then I woke up. When I realised I was dreaming I didn't really feel I was totally lucid like I have in other lucid dreams. Maybe it was semi-lucid.

      This is a really big boost to my confidence and motivation. I feel like the efforts I'm making are really starting to pay off, and I can see it working more and more every night! Can't wait for a proper lucid dream!
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      Quote Originally Posted by TheApprentice View Post
      There was a specific moment in the dream that I remember looking down and noticing that my bike had three chainrings. I sort of thought to myself, "That's weird, I thought I only had one. Cool, I guess I was wrong," and I just carried on in the dream non-lucid. In reality my bike has only one chainring. I just think this is noteworthy, that I'd even have the awareness in my dream to look down and contemplate something like that. I don't normally stop to just look. It feels like a positive sign, that my awareness practice is working its way into my dreams still. That's what awareness is about - just stopping to take it all in, stopping to look.
      Quote Originally Posted by TheApprentice View Post
      At this point I managed to figure out I was dreaming. I was still panicking and I tried to shout out, "Help me, I'm dreaming!" but my voice was very weak and hoarse. Then I woke up. When I realised I was dreaming I didn't really feel I was totally lucid like I have in other lucid dreams. Maybe it was semi-lucid.

      This is a really big boost to my confidence and motivation. I feel like the efforts I'm making are really starting to pay off, and I can see it working more and more every night! Can't wait for a proper lucid dream!
      Both of the above are very good signs! Congratulations on the semi-lucid or perhaps lucid for a brief moment that turned semi-lucid…this is nice progress!

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      Haven't posted in a while. Just been recalling dreams and working on daytime mindfulness. Nothing special happened, till last night.

      Last night I decided to switch up my bedtime routine. I felt like I needed something simpler. I just thought, I don't need some fancy technique, all I need is awareness throughout the night, so I repeated the mantra "I am aware all night" until I fell asleep.

      I woke up at about 5am. I felt it was a good time to try WBTB, and did about five mins of standing meditation, until I felt my awareness was "set" before returning to bed. It took a while to get back to sleep.

      I then had two false awakenings. In one of these I asked my other half if she was real because I suspected it might be a dream. She just nodded and I didn't get lucid. I also had a dream in which people were talking about having lucid dreams while out walking. I had the thought that that sounded a lot like the stories of people getting abducted by aliens.

      I don't think it's a coincidence that this is the second time I've had FAs on the second time I've meditated during a WBTB. There's definitely a pattern. I'm gonna take this as a small victory in making progress. I just need to keep working on bringing more awareness into my dreams.
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      Quote Originally Posted by TheApprentice View Post
      I'm gonna take this as a small victory in making progress. I just need to keep working on bringing more awareness into my dreams.
      I definitely see it as progress and also a sign that you are close to your next lucid dream. Bringing awareness into your WBTBs is very powerful.

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      Just a quick one... I had a lucid dream this morning! I was in some kind of public toilet and I was examining a strange looking hand dryer above a urinal. It looked like a brass instrument. Then I started to wonder where I was. I immediately became lucid! Unfortunately I got very excited and decided to exit the bathroom and then I woke up. Still, progress is progress! I'm so happy! It's just the confidence boost I need; sometimes it feels like it's never going to happen, no matter how many days I practice.

      Haven't changed much. Just been doing ADA/mindfulness as frequently as I can (which isn't that frequently really). I have a 30 minute bell set up on my phone to remind me to do a reality check and become aware. I find 30 minutes to be a manageable amount. I'm still meditating daily, an hour or two before bed time. Just need to remember to stabilise when I become lucid! Stop and stabilise. I need to make that a habit.
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      Congratulations on the LD! Progress indeed

      Quote Originally Posted by TheApprentice View Post
      Just need to remember to stabilise when I become lucid! Stop and stabilise. I need to make that a habit.
      I recommend both really stopping whenever you do your reality checks. Also, during some of the RCs every day, imagine that you are in a lucid dream right that moment and go through what you will do next (stop, then stabilize, then recall goals for example).

    20. #20
      Call me Dan :) Achievements:
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      Hello! Not been here for a while. I haven't had any lucid dreams since my last post here. Lately I've been going through a change in my life that has freed up a lot of energy for me and has given me a strong motivation to continue my practice. Namely, I have given up porn and masturbation. It (I say it because the two go hand in hand) has been sapping my will, ambition and motivation for the longest time. I don't know if there is any truth to the notion of sexual energy, but I have definitely felt a lot more vibrant and clear minded. I also noted that the first time I had a lucid dream a couple of years ago was actually another time in which I abstained from porn, while simultaneously practising mindfulness.

      Also, I just read Carlos Castaneda's The Art of Dreaming in two days. I don't know how much truth there is to it but damn, what an epic story! To be able to do half of what he did in that book would be a dream come true!

      I'd also like to confess some of the issues I have with practising lucid dreaming: I'm incredibly insecure about whether or not I'm practising correctly. I find it difficult to trust myself that what I'm doing will actually have an effect and so I feel I need a teacher whom I can trust.
      I think that this causes me to feel the need to incessantly search for information which confirms my own ideas and thoughts. If I get the idea to practise meditation for lucid dreaming, I would find myself searching for every possible scrap of information I could that confirmed the link between meditation and lucid dreaming. I guess that's what happens when progress is slow. I wish there were a way to make it faster!
      fogelbise likes this.

    21. #21
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      Welcome back! It sounds like you've made a positive shift for you.

      As far as your confession, I have found myself in the same boat, most commonly with something I don't enjoy or I'm avoiding, basically procrastinating. If you do a search for "preparing vs action" you may find some interesting ways to combat it. Another option is to find practices that are fun or make them fun.

    22. #22
      Call me Dan :) Achievements:
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      This morning I awoke at about 5 am. It took at least an hour for me to get back to sleep and during that time I tried to simply stay aware of myself. I must've lost focus during the transition to sleep and ended up having a false awakening. It consisted of me still in my bed but I was messing around on the computer which was at the edge of my desk (my desk is within reach of the bed). I awoke to find that my computer was actually in the middle of my desk. I was so sure I was awake!

      Feel very encouraged with this because I seem to have a lot of false awakenings when I'm on the brink of lucidity.
      fogelbise likes this.

    23. #23
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      I agree, that is a good sign

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