Archive for September, 2011

This is the last blog in a series from a Chapter in the Goddess and Golf book-

Chapter 7 from the book-

“How to Become a Golf Goddess”

Mother Earth -Gaia

Continued Teachings and Ceremony with Dave Courchene Jr.


Sunday July 30, 1995

Dave begins to tell us about the first time spirit came to him. He was a young boy and was very sick with pneumonia and the doctor said he couldn’t do much. Then one night three grandfather spirits came as he slept. They told him not to fear them, they were there to help him get well. They told him to trust them and they instructed him and no matter what happened to trust them. They told David to take the beaver pelt from the other room and to place it on his chest so he did this but there was a lot of pain and he started moaning and yelling.

His parents came into his room and David was clutching his chest and crying out in pain. His parents removed his hands to see what was wrong with his chest and found the beaver pelt.  Not knowing how or why he had it there they took it off him. In the morning David was well again. His fever had broken and he had no other symptoms. He told his parents about the grandfather spirits coming to visit him to make him well. His parents didn’t believe him as they had been raised Christian and didn’t know any of the old ways. He kept trying to tell them and everyone he met, but they just took it for childhood fantasies.

As he got older he started having visions and he would tell people but they looked at him with disbelief in their eyes. So David stopped telling people of his experiences. But that is not what the spirits intended him to do when they came to him when he was sick. He was shown through visions that the higher being wanted him to teach the indigenous peoples the old ways. As an adolescent he was shown how to talk to his people so they would listen and learn. Now he is being shown that he has to teach all humans, even with the disapproval of his own people. He feels an urgent need to inform people to stop harming Mother Earth. Humans have to start giving back, all they do is take. David says that people don’t realize the seriousness of our situation, especially if they live in the city. Those who live in the city get caught up in the fast pace, there’s not much time for yourself to sit and reflect. So with his closing he asks us all to take time to pray.”

Over the years my personal experiences with Dave have been closely linked to helping children, I had a vision for children and golf because of Dave and it happened in 2002.

Sacred Fire Ceremony- November 17, 2002.  

Dave came to Ontario just before the Iraq war. He told us he was called by the world leaders of Peace to light a scared fire to burn for 40 days and 40 nights. The request came for Dave and the Elders to smoke their pipes in prayers for peace. The fire was started in Manitoba and he lit one with us in Ontario. He assured us there were many sacred fires all over the world burning at the same time. This was part of his teachings at that time.  

“Help the children discover spirit. They need all the spiritual people helping them. They are our future. He cannot fathom all the children dying of disease and starvation while money is spent on destruction. Stop living in denial. We live in very challenging and exciting times because we are accelerating through spiritual growth that used to take yogis their whole life to achieve. We are now in an era of the time of truth. Look to the Native Spirituality for the proof of the strength of spirit to survive. The ancestors and the way they lived, sharing with everyone, loving everyone – that is why they invited the foreigners among them to share what they had. (We still celebrate this at Thanksgiving)  But they were only interested in the land and they could not understand the teachings. The sacred fire had to go underground. He was so grateful to be able to light one today and anytime.” 

This is what disturbs him the most about schools today, the lack of respect for the Indigenous people, that their children do not learn we are all brothers and sisters – everyone, even the people in Iraq, because we are all born from Mother Earth. The land, air, fire, water, we are a part of all these things. He likes to talk to the Grandmothers because he learns from them. He feels sorry for the youth. There are not many spiritual teachers teaching how sacred women are.  The girls are being shown the message that they are only good as marketable, not to  bring out their dreams. We are all here to fulfill the Creator’s dream of us. We as a society are not showing the girls how to connect with their inner beauty only the outer. Great Spirit has created a dream for each and every one of us. The dark forces need a balance. What can we do? Look to the Natives and how their spirituality has survived. Everything was taken from them, the white man tried to eliminate them. We  need to get back to the land, we live only for comfort not for Creator, we love comfort more then the Creator.”

Dave had a letter that he wrote for the Peace Leaders, which he shared with us that day. As he was reading it I was getting choked up, this is one of the times I did not record what was being said because spirit moved so strongly through me I had what can be termed as a kundalini awakening. Or what I termed an orgasm of the heart. I was opened up. I don’t remember what his words were but I saw words in my own head. Brigham, Young and I saw a Golf Teacher named Sam Young and I was told to work with him. Now I knew Sam had a great reputation for his junior golf program  because it was in our local paper quite often. When Dave finished talking he asked if anyone had anything to share. I said I did and it took a while to come out because I was crying, now my rational mind was judging me and couldn’t figure out why I was crying.

I said to the group that I had a vision I am to work with children in regards to golf and I had asked for their prayers at the time to help me follow through with it. I then had to go outside, I couldn’t be with people, and I couldn’t be with sound. I went out into the woods and I had no thoughts in my head for the first time in my life. Unfortunately, if you are not in a place like an ashram where you can just sit and meditate and have people are taking care of your daily needs like cooking it is not such a fun experience living in the daily grind. I had a very hard time functioning when I went home. For the next 3 days I could not work, I could not even cook a meal. I was ungrounded, floating outside of my body, which many people thought sounded so cool, and which many yogic people aspire to. But it wasn’t fun, from this experience I would only agree that it was cool if like I said you could be taken care of. I tried every way I could think of to ground myself and come back into my body but nothing helped but getting my menstrual cycle. This brought me fully back into my body. For the first time I really appreciated my monthly flow. My insight for this experience and others that I have gone through is that Grace descends down but that doesn’t mean you live in the blissful state for long periods. We are part of the Earth and we are Spiritual Beings and the two can come together but then we can also fall back to sleep by living back in our conditioning. After I was grounded, I did my best to working with Sam Young but it was not the right time. Even though I had the vision and I was pushing, it came but not my time but the universes time. It was three years later when I was blessed to work with junior golfers and to give them some of these steps to learn how to coach themselves to play great golf from the inside out. One summer I had an hour with 20 juniors from ages 8-18. It was definitely a challenge to convey my message in a way that each age group could grasp. I ended up writing a story for them and giving it to them as a workbook; “Humble the Bumble bee and the Magical Golf Course.”I really love teaching golf as a metaphor for life and how the principles of yoga and other traditions with respect for earth like the native tradition really help for both.

Sharing this one Chapter of the book was a beginning step to more..I will be sharing more of my story and co-creating a journey with the listeners and guests the second edition of the Goddess and Golf book on a radio show in Oct 2011..in the meantime you can connect on Facebook

Goddesses.Golf. Yoga Book Community-


The Book Chapter turned into 4 blogs. Here is the order if you wish to read it from the beginning.

  1. https://sacredconnections.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/gaia-a-greek-earth-goddess-and-playing-golf/
  2. https://sacredconnections.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/respect-for-mother-earth/
  3. https://sacredconnections.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/women-are-very-sacred-and-lucky-to-have-menstrual-cycles/

This blog has video links to hear Dave’s Story of a Vision he was given



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Third day of posting on Chapter 7 how I learned to love & respect myself, women and the earth from a Native Elder.


Chapter 7  Mother Earth ~ Goddess Gaia-

Connect to Your Inner Core with Yoga for Golf and so much more!

This Chapter is one aspect of the so much more…written from my journals of  my experiences with Native Spirituality.

I have worked with Native  Elder Dave Courchene Jr.  off and on since 1995.

Chapter 7  Mother Earth ~ a Greek Goddess Gaia

Gaia is a known as earth or mother earth. The Greek common noun for “land” is GE or GA

Saturday, July 29, 1995 

I awoke crying and did not want to go to the morning ceremony and cry all the way through it, so I went into the forest beside my tent instead. Later that morning I began menstruating. I was very upset, I thought, of be careful what you pray for you just might get it. I prayed to be able to cry and it was only by getting my menstrual flow that I could release tears.

Speaking with Dave, he explains about the Moon Time.

“I began by sharing how I just got my  moon cycle and it wasn’t supposed to come until next week” He said, ”It is just more proof how unbalanced Mother Earth is right now with something as dependable as a women’s cycle which is to take place every 28 days: It  is not so dependable anymore. He went on to say; “Women are very sacred because they are the givers of life. Women are to be honored. He said our moon time is a very powerful time for a woman. It affects the energy around her and of others.  When women live together nature brings their cycles at the same time, or if you were to live in a tribal community where ceremonies are done frequently as in the old ways. All women would be together and have their own ceremonies. A group of women on their cycle would overpower. David has seen dancers collapse from the energy being taken from them when there were women on their cycle in the same group. The vision quest ceremony is a very positive one, the sacred fire is positive, the sweat lodges are positive. What is discharging out of a woman’s body on her cycle may be viewed as negative in the sense it is all the old waste. That is why I need to sit surrounded by cedar as it holds in that energy.

These are the laws of nature, man did not write the law. It was set in place since the beginning of time.  Women are blessed in the sense, as it is a cleansing of their bodies. Women are lucky they go through a cleansing every month. It is something that should be rejoiced about. And all humans should respect that. If men want to cleanse their bodies they have to do a piercing. Do not look upon it as a burden. Look upon your cycle as a time for giving life and a cleansing of the body. And remember how much closer woman is to mother earth in the sense that they are both givers of life and nurturers.”  He then directed me, that I had to go get cedar and put it all around my tent.

When I picked the cedar I was to sprinkle tobacco on the tree and to tell the spirit of the tree why I needed it. The spirit of the tree will be happy to give me what I need. He told me I could only leave my tent to go to the bathroom and I could only go back to the fire for the last feast because the ceremony would be over then. He told me I was blessed to be able to go to the sweat lodge last night.  

  • I learned how to eventually love and have respect my flow….What I also learned about the Native Culture and I ask you to ponder this…How would modern women (and the world) be altered if we carried their ancient practices..of going into a moon lodge with other women the whole time we had our menstrual flow and others took care of us while we were there! Could you see a more powerful future as we women connect deeper to our intuition, Visions and Dreams in this Sacred Space?

Luckily this is last night I was able to attend and we were finally having a meal after fasting for days. The first plateful of food was given to the fire as an offering. It was very hard to wait while all food was being brought out and then a plate made up for the fire, were all so hungry, but what a great feast we had and how thankful we were for it.    After we ate David stood up to talk.

Dave told us: “We should give another prayer of thanks to the Great Spirit, Mother Earth and all the spirits that helped lend their strength to us these past few days, in order to be able to find spirit ourselves. When we have found spirit we have to keep working at holding onto it. It is a feeling within us of love and warmth. Someone told me that they tingled all over and that is the spirit with them. People will try to take your spirit away from you. When you go home, that  will be the real test, but try not to give in, pray everyday. Pray for strength, pray for  other people who want to kill the spirit within you, ask that they be shown how to find their own spirit. It is especially hard in the city to remain peaceful and loving. Pray more. People will try to take the sparkle from your eyes. Try not to give into anger or to the darkness.

 The creator made four different colors of people. Each race has a certain gift that the creator gave to them. The white race has the gift of fire. That can easily be seen by all our inventions. The lights, t.v., phone, oven, computer etc. We have everything we need to survive. Mother Earth offers us the essentials. All our inventions are to make life easier, to have more time to pursue spirit. But when are we going to stop our inventions. We don’t need anymore then we have now. But the people in the cities just keep coming up with bigger and better things. But at what cost to the Earth, and bigger and better for whose well-being.  It is a destructive path we are on with only a few people getting the message out that we are in serious need to stop destroying the planet. David tells us how he’s been to  the rainforest and how sad it is to see it disappearing. For we know what trees do for us, they give us oxygen to breathe.

The government in this country is just as bad if not worse by looking down at other countries for destroying the forests but we do it all the time. He tells us a story that in Manitoba there is a mill. There is a type of tree they use but it had some kind of disease attacking these trees. With the government’s approval they close off part of the forest and spray chemicals. Then they post a sign saying the forest has been sprayed, contaminated for a week. DO NOT ENTER. But  meanwhile they’ve killed all the other plant life in that forest; the insects, the animals  and birds that eat them. David says an elder came up to him and asked; “When did the bears learn to read?”, as they would be eating the berries from the forest.    This was all done in the name of progress. Humans have no care when they are on the road to progress. It doesn’t matter what’s in their path, be it mountain, river, animals  or other humans.

All our lives we are conditioned to think about the progress we must make now and in the future. We have to recondition our thinking to realize that everything we need to survive is provided to us by mother earth. We have to relax and enjoy each day at a time; stop rushing around and stop trying to fulfill the useless saying; “He who has the most wins” What do you win? You can’t take it with you when your time has come.

Then he tells us; “I don’t want you to quit your jobs and go live off the land or anything drastic. We all need money; it can be used for good. If we didn’t have money this weekend couldn’t have taken place. We all needed transportation to get here. It’s just a shame humans can’t say okay, we have enough. Let’s just sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor and start to recognize other humans again. Recognize the spirit in people, in animals and start sharing the earth with everything that has a purpose for being here.”

One more day of teachings still to share from this ceremony I did in 1995.

Dave Courchene Jr. his native name is, Nii Gaani Aki Inini, in English it translates to ‘Leading Earth Man” Creator of “The Turtle Lodge” A place for all races to heal and connect back to Mother Earth through Ancient Native Teachings.


Its interesting look back now that while I did this Ceremony in /95  while at the same time that year I was taking a Yoga Teacher Training Course and bartending at a golf course….hmmmm the Goddess knew what she was creating before the idea of the book was even a seed thought.

To All my Relations,

Margarit Brigham


Book on Amazon-


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Chapter 7  Mother Earth ~ Goddess Gaia-continued from book “How to Become a Golf Goddess”

Gaia is a Greek goddess known as earth or mother earth. The Greek common noun for “land” is GE or GA

Within this book are many paths  the Author walked that went into the make up of a new yoga for golf program, a Golf Goddess Yoga..this chapter is from a Sunrise Ceremony with a Native Elder.

I have worked with this Elder off and on since 1995. Also during that year I was  taking a Yoga Teacher Training Course and bartending at a golf course….hmmmm the Goddess knew what she was creating before the idea of the book was even a seed thought.

My spiritual mentor who awoke me again to the importance and connection to nature is, Dave Courchene Jr. his native name is, Nii Gaani Aki Inini, in English it translates to ‘Leading Earth Man’

I used my journal to introduce his teachings  in my golf goddess book.  The writing of the GG book helped reveal a gift to me that was always there but I did not fully recognize until now. That I am a recorder, a record keeper or I would have been called a story teller in Native tradition. You see when Dave gave his teachings it was around the sacred fire, one does not write while in ceremony it is a time for being, listen, learning. As another elder taught me, “learn to listen, listen to learn.” We went to the fire each morning and evening for teachings and then I would go back to my tent and write down what Dave had said. Whenever I have revisited this journal I always see the truth of his words and  now recognize him as a visionary. Over the years I have had an opportunity to be in ceremony with this wonderful holy man many times and each time is more powerful then the last.

Sunrise Ceremony in Ontario Excerpts – from my Journal

Thursday, July 27th 1995 – Evening Ceremony around the fire.  

“This world we live in is not in harmony. Humans have forgotten about the Great Spirit and how Spirit is in everything. The spirit in us, in the animals, in plants and all living things from Mother Earth. All the while man is taking from her, raping her. Humans think material objects will bring ultimate happiness. But in reality it is nature and all she has to offer. We have to get back in touch with nature, with Mother Earth. We are her children, she provides for us even when we treat her with no respect. Somehow humans have grown apart from spirit.  When we were just spirit the creator asked us if we would like to walk Mother Earth, we all agreed. The only thing the Creator asked of us was not to forget our spirits. When we are born into this world we give a cry of joy that we made it. But as we are growing up there are so many negative things in our way that make us forget about our spirit. The indigenous people have been trying to show other humans the way they once lived and are starting to again. They are having visions and the spirits are telling them that we have to change our ways and start getting back to nature and all the spirits in nature.”

We are outside, in the North country, around a sacred fire as David is giving his teachings over a period of days, it is dusk at this teaching and we are being eaten by mosquitoes, and we are all slapping at them.


David says to us: “There is a reason for everything on the Earth; before killing the mosquito asks its spirit what its reason is for being here. Humans don’t try to understand anymore. If they don’t understand something, they destroy it. He asks us to go into the trees tomorrow and feel Mother Earth. As we cleanse our bodies with the sweat lodge and fasting we open ourselves up more to hear spirit. We are giving up eating and drinking for a weekend for the spirits to help us, and they will reward us. It might not be this weekend but we will be rewarded.” David explains when he talks about spirit he means it’s not just seeing signs and visions, it is also about feeling. That is what spirit really means. It’s about love. A very strong love you can feel. Happiness is the Light, Caring, Sharing and Love. That is what all humans need and crave. But we have forgotten how to reach for the love. There is too much darkness in our world right now.”

David teaches us how to pray to the directions with our tobacco.

Friday, July 28th /95

It rained throughout the night and we had to keep the fire burning day and night for the whole ceremony.  

David begins the morning talk by saying, “we should say a prayer of thanks. We were  blessed last night with the rain. It was a cleansing for us to start us on our journey. As he is speaking there is a distant sound of thunder. David says it is the Thunderbird.  Thunder is the voice of God that we hear to give us proof of a Higher Being. Nobody is listening to God or praying anymore. The indigenous peoples have been having visions. The spirits are telling them that the Earth has to be cleansed. That there will come a time when the Thunderbird will use water and wind as a way of cleansing this land, and no human army or force will be able to fight against the Thunderbird. Spirit is calling people and they feel the pull to get back to nature and women are being affected by it the most. The spirits are drawing them in that direction.    A lot of people don’t understand what is happening to them, but they should not be scared. Mother Earth is bringing the woman back to spirit, back to nature. Women are the bringers of life. Women are sacred. The world will become a much happier and loving place when we all join back together with Mother Earth and all her creations. But the dark side will always put tests in our way. It is easier to be led into temptation. So if we learn to not follow the dark side since our spirit always longs for love, we will be looked after when the world is made new again.  It’s just like giving birth. First comes all the pain of labor, then the water comes, which is a cleansing, then the baby. If we pray for guidance or strength or whatever we need at the time to find love and tolerance, as long as we ask for it, we will get it. We come to pray instinctively when someone we love is ill or dying; we must learn to pray everyday and to thank the great spirit in the sky for everyday we are alive and to thank Mother Earth every day for all that she provides for us”. 

David finishes the morning ceremony with his pipe.   

I am feeling very weepy and don’t know why. One of the girls tells me to ask for a release so I can cry. Crying is a good thing she tells me, it is a cleansing. For me I was brought up with three brothers and was taught crying was wrong.

That night we do a sweat lodge.  David started talking when all the stones were in and the door was closed. He said: “The sweat lodge represents the mother’s womb and we are cleansing our bodies, thus making it easier for the spirits to communicate with us. Some people might be feeling very emotional and that was okay. Once again he told how mother earth is very sacred and how she takes care of her children. When the time comes when there is no water left on the surface that is drinkable, no matter what humans do to fix it with chemicals, she will show the humans that respect her and all of the world that are one with spirit where the water is. Mother earth is storing fresh water now beneath the Earth.” 

I have learned to connect to back to nature in oneness from him and I hope by sharing his words you will begin to learn the joy and wonder of being connected as well.I offer you his teachings near the end of this book to keep you encouraged and hopeful that we are shifting to a balance and harmony and he is getting the message out that as we respect the Earth, women and children we will also gain personal power to add our own part to Earth’s healing……

Blessings in Oneness and Harmony,

Margarit Brigham

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 This Chapter is the part of my journey in my book with a Native Elder  I have worked with on & off since 1995.

 Dave Courchene Jr.  was my connection back to Nature and the Sacredness of Mother Earth and how I translate the sacredness into my golf games and how others can too!!!…..I joyfully share this chapter over the next few blogs..with both women and curious men!!


                              Goddess Gaia representing the Front Nine

                                                       Hole 7 – Mother Earth 

                Gaia is a Greek goddess known as earth or mother earth.

                              The Greek common noun for “land” is GE or GA  

Gaia Symbols– Earth, Grounding, Foundation, Our Bodies, Connection to golf – Beauty of the golf courses, the different grass and shapes of the fairways and greens. Feel the Earth beneath our feet, feel the earth when replacing divots  

The Sacred Earth  “The goddess is the earth itself, the personification of Nature. She gives birth to all her children, feeds and nourishes them And takes them back to her body when they die.   Through the generosity of the earth mother the land is fertile and food is  Plentiful.”


Gaia-“She is the gentle caretaker of planet earth. Scientists have proven that the earth is a living, pulsating breathing organism.  Earth as a living entity, earth has its own rhythm and its own divine magic within it.We all have the ability to communicate with non-human entities and the earth is the oldest and the wisest.”

This ability already exists for each of us. Especially as women, we are closer to the earth and it only needs be discovered and used. When you play golf you are playing the game upon the Mother Earth and it is important to connect back to the land and learn from her as much as we can. The lessons from the earth can give us directions to playing the game of life. Let’s think of the golf courses as feminine, because they are, they are the Earth. This is a magical planet we live upon and we can experience magical golf games if we approach the golf course with an open heart to learn from Gaia.  

“If you pay no attention to the cycles and seasons of life and the energies they call into play, you will be constantly surprised, and not always happily, with what “Lady Luck” brings you.”         – Carol Bridges 

We in the west are conditioned to go after the direct line to the next step to success. However, this is not the lesson we learn from our Mother. And as my own mother always said to me: “Life is one-step forward two steps backward.” When we start believing in the signs from spirit it gives us courage to face the backward steps. As we ground our intention that we are playing upon our home, our ultimate mother, golf games can take on a more respectful and loving approach making our golf sacred play. I am happy to mention that golfers are raising the awareness throughout the world today for preserving the land and our home. One company, Audubon International, is supporting golf courses to be eco-friendly. There are now 50 golf courses in Canada that are eco-friendly supporting a natural environment for waterfowl by cutting back on watering and the use of pesticides and herbicides. To learn more go to about becoming a green golfer go to www.audoboninternational.org   

 “I am only one, but still I am one, I cannot do everything, but still I can do something, I will not refuse to do the something, I can do.”   – Helen Keller

When you begin to feel a connection with the earth and all the kingdoms within it, you will recognize you are never alone. This planet, our ultimate home, is really a friendly place. We’ve just lost touch with this truth or perhaps we were never taught to think this way. We only have to look to the animals to see that the earth does provide for them with everything they need. The same is true for us and we only have to wake up to this fact that everything we have and even our bodies our made from the earth and her elements.

Since I moved to British Columbia and taken time out to write, I have been more in tune with nature. One little bird that sings, I believe it is a finch. It keeps teaching me to be right here. Its song is one of chirping a bit and then it ends with a long two whistles that sound like the words “Right Here”. This is such a great message, the few little chirps is a reminder to me that my head can go off chattering and then I must bring it back to Right Here. A common message from many spiritual teachings is to be in the now, the present moment. That is always your point of power since the past and the future are out of our control and it is hard to enjoy being in nature if our head is bent on thoughts like, doing chores, the shopping, paying bills, or any number of things we can choose to worry about throughout the day. Give yourself permission for a time-out when you are out in nature. Look, listen and learn from Nature – she has many secrets to reveal.

First Steps in trusting my intuition

I have always loved being in nature and I was reintroduced to the magical connection of Mother Earth from a Native Elder many years ago. I resonated immediately with his teachings that centered around having a great love and respect for Gaia and also for women and children. I was first introduced to this Elder and the Native Ceremonies in 1995 while I was also taking my Yoga Teacher Training. I just had a physic reading a few months before meeting him and I was told that I was a native in my past life and it would help me quicker along my path in this life time if I was to study the Native Traditions. Now I was open to this because I was learning about reincarnation through the yoga path. Someone in my yoga class brought in a flyer about a three-day weekend to learn from a Native Man who would lead us in the sweat lodge and sunrise ceremony. I did not know the people running the event and it was a good two hours from my home. The woman who brought in the flyer could not go and I was scared to go by myself, but my intuition kept pushing me to go. I gathered up all my courage and went away for the weekend, all on my own. This was a big step for me back then, leaving my former husband at home with the kids and not even taking a friend with me. I came away from  that weekend realizing I had just taken the first big step in trusting my intuition and it became the beginning of living a better life for me. I discovered a whole new way of perceiving life around me. Most of what I experienced could not be explained intellectually it was more of a feeling of coming home.

Over the next few blogs I will be adding the rest of this Chapter from the Goddess and Golf book  and Introduce you more to Dave Courchene Jr. and our sacred connections.

To all my Relations,

Margarit Brigham

The Book can be purchased on Amazon


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