Shikantaza

Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:18 pm

Actually in Dogen, or Keizan writtings is almost impossible to find "instruction" on shikan taza.. only one is probably HISHIRYO what contains only 3 kanjis, if it is any "instruction" :)

I guess it is really utmost difficult to find any instruction... actually it is difficult to fathom ST and basically one needs really realized master for this..

As for Uchiyama.. well might be he did some effort to give "instructions" on ST.. but I am not 100% sure... it would be anyway amazing. How to make instruction for buddha nature? is it possible? and any comparison of ST to shamatha, rising/falling etc. and so on, just poorly fails the attempt.
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:11 am

Yes, it is hishiryo for Dogen, as stated in the "Popular Fukanzazengi", and that corresponds to the following in his "Tenpuku Fukanzazengi" and Zongze's Zuochanyi (see correspondence here: PDF):

"When thought arises, be aware of it. When you are aware of it, it will disappear. Put aside everything outside continuously, and make yourself into one piece."

This also goes back to the earlier teaching of Zongmi (Chan Prolegomenon), Huineng (no thought) and Zhiyi (neither walking nor seated samadhi). As for Uchiyama, there is a complete book by him: Opening the Hand of Thought. Again, he says nothing different from the above. Or here's the instruction from his disciple, Okumura:

"In zazen we simply allow any thought, feeling or emotion to come up and then we simply let them go away; we actually do nothing. In sitting, any thought or condition of mind is like a cloud in the sky."

Also, on the official Soto Zen site, in an essay on hishiryo the same source (Tenpuku Fukanzazengi) and the same explanation is used by Tsunoda:

"When a thought arises during zazen and we become aware of it, it disappears by itself. And when another thought arises, we again become aware of it and it disappears. If we maintain this process, we naturally put aside everything outside and become one with ourselves. This is exactly the state of mind during zazen and the content of hishiryo."
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:03 am

Thank you for interesting answer.. specially I appreciate the material gethered from 6 different translations...
However I can only repeat what I have said before.. none of those are ST instructions. Really not... Even HISHIRYO is not actually any real instruction, it is only a hint to particular question of someone who could not go beyond idea that one is thinking in zazen... so it is more a particular medicine to specific disease... so it is not a universal-life-energy filling healthy body of ST... I go more poetic now :D it is only joke..

To put it more straight.. ST rather lies in the opening words of Fukan zazengi which otherwise as if unfolds drops or maybe sinks more and more into obscurity, due to beings' minds obscurity... so the words DO MOTO ENZU are the key point.. the rest are only sundry kanjis in response to apparently obscured minds. they are helpful, but they are not ST.. it is clear.

Really none of the paragraphs you do propose contains ST instructions, those are only responses to problems when one does not know what ST is, and is actually given some help or support.. but the suport is not the core...
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:36 am

All the above sources are presented as instructions and definitions of shikantaza. You claim they are not. Can you substantiate that with reliable sources?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:39 pm

Astus wrote:All the above sources are presented as instructions and definitions of shikantaza. You claim they are not. Can you substantiate that with reliable sources?



so you simply think so?
there is one qutation in English I found, but still it is not any instruction, it is only support for those who have problems to undestand something what is rather pretty unfathomable:

Shikantaza is the mind of someone facing death. Let us imagine that you are engaged in a duel of swordsmanship of the kind that used to take place in ancient Japan. As you face your opponent you are unceasingly watchful, set, ready. Were you to relax your vigilance even momentarily, you would be cut down instantly. A crowd gathers to see the fight. Since you are not blind you see them from the corner of your eye, and since you are not deaf you hear them. But not for an instant is your mind captured by these impressions.. it is from Yasutani Hakuun...

other sources are in Japanese so not much use for you...
but one is more then simple:
堂頭老師の室に入る。僧はわし一人、在家が何人かいた。
[とにかく坐ってみる、なにしろ坐ってみることじゃ、ただ坐る、只管打坐と云うな....]

this statement from the shitsunai or private instruction room, with a master in a Japanese traditional zen monastery.. he just said ONLY SIT WHATEVER HAPPENS JUST SIT IT IS CALLED SHIKAN TAZA... still it is pretty much said.. Hakuun roshi advice is so nice, but long compare to this one, isn`t it?
The above Japanese quotation is from here... http://www17.plala.or.jp/tozanji/unsuinikki.html anyway it is very interesting diary.. and probably one of the few first hand information from the Japanese zen monasteries...
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:32 am

What you described with the example of a duel is an aware and unattached mind. I don't see the difference here between that and the above descriptions of hishiryo, aside from the dramatic metaphor.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Lindama » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:52 am

Astus wrote: ...
As for Uchiyama, there is a complete book by him: Opening the Hand of Thought. Again, he says nothing different from the above. Or here's the instruction from his disciple, Okumura:

"In zazen we simply allow any thought, feeling or emotion to come up and then we simply let them go away; we actually do nothing. In sitting, any thought or condition of mind is like a cloud in the sky."
...


Opening the Hand of Thought is a wonderful book ... recommend it!
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby WuMing » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:37 pm

This is a good description of shikan taza, I guess:
Shikan-taza, on the other hand, is the sky the bird flies in. ... Shikan-taza is out of the reach of most of us when we begin to practice because it is the realized-practice of ungraspability.

from http://wwzc.org/dharma-text/tiny-book-stopping-and-looking

and THIS one:
... many people seem to have become quite confused about what shikan-taza really is. Some even consider just sitting quietly like a good little boy or girl and watching the breath, or just "being mindful," to be shikan-taza. Dogen zenji exclaimed that shikan-taza is "just sitting," it is "dropping the bodymind." This does not mean sitting in some state of dissociation from body and mind, nor does it mean that this dropping bodymind only happens when you sit. It means that when you experience each experience as it is, when you penetrate into your True Nature, when you realize that there is no body or mind, time or space, then your sitting is "just sitting." Shikan-taza is a wordless release of all gestures of grasping. It is like opening a fist or opening the eyes. It is not the closing away of attention from any state of experience. "Wordless" does not mean that one artificially induces a state of blankness, is holding one's tongue, or has gagged the mind. It is a questioning so subtle and penetrating that it occurs before and between, around and within all thoughts, impressions, sensations and differentiations, whatsoever. .... In Soto Zen, shikan-taza is the root of all practice and so, although we might have to work our way through these other four orientations to some extent, some realization of shikan-taza is necessary for us to actually begin practising, if we are going to practice Soto Zen. This means having some sense of being Buddha, even if only on a feeling or intellectual level, a deep sense that no matter how screwed up you can be, you are basically sane after all. No matter how you might find yourself getting caught up in things, there is still a basic clarity that's available to you. ....

from http://wwzc.org/dharma-text/begin-here-five-styles-zen

and this one from Kobun Chino Otogawa:
... Too much talk about zazen or shikan-taza is not so good for you. It's impossible to teach the meaning of sitting. Until you really experience and confirm it by yourself, you cannot believe it. It has tremendous depth, and year after year this gorgeous world of shikan-taza appears. It's up to you to cultivate it. Because you are Buddhas yourselves, you can sit. Dogen named this sitting "great Gate of Peace and Joy". Simply, it is peaceful, eternally peaceful, pleasurable and joyful.
Shikan-taza doesn't have the name of any religion, but it is, in its quality, a very true religious way to live. ...


Shikan-taza is a quite advanced practice, if it can be called a practice, at all. Maybe more a kind of realization of a natural/primordial state of mind. But to quote Kobun Chino Otogawa again
Too much talk about zazen or shikan-taza is not so good for you.
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai 弘法大師 in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
new translation: Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
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- Anzan Hoshin Roshi
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Matylda » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:20 am

It is extremely easy to misunderstand hishiryo or example of duel, specially that they are not about shinkan taza itself. they are rather suport for people with particular problems. is it so difficult to grasp?
And what is the point to compare it with different meditation technincs which completely shadows ST? it is just pure nonsense.. and profound misunderstanding what ST is...
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:09 am

They are about shikantaza, they claim so in those writings. That is, none of them are for specific problems. Keizan in the Zazenyojinki gives specific instructions for specific problems, but he also simply says: "Be beyond thinking. This is the essence of zazen." Just as Dogen in the Zazengi: "Nonthinking. This is the art of zazen."

From one of the teachers at WWZC comes this explanation of hishiryo:

It's all very simple. So simple that we don't know what to think about it. We sit. The longer we sit, the more we see that any thought that comes up is just another thought and that all thoughts arise within the vastness of Awareness. When we think, we are experiencing thinking. Depending on the extent to which we are practicing, there is some awareness of the thinking. If we are not practicing at all, we have withdrawn, obsessed with our stories, recoiling from present experiencing into fabricated labyrinths that lead us nowhere and teach us nothing. When we practice, we can allow the thoughts to rise and fall and know simultaneously that they are only thoughts, without substance, and allow them to be simply a movement, like a breeze rustling through leaves.
(Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho: Thinking About Not Thinking)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby LastLegend » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:03 am

...fix the mind in “wall meditation”, understand that there are neither self nor others, that mortals and saints are equal and one—abiding this way without wavering, clinging not even to the scriptures, then one is implicitly in accord with the Principle. Being non-discriminative, still, and wu-wei is to Enter by Principle.

http://ctzen.org/sunnyvale/enBodhiDharm ... tation.htm

Is Shikantaza limited to just sitting in one place or "sitting" here means the mind sits undisturbed anywhere?
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby WuMing » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:55 am

Astus wrote:... From one of the teachers at WWZC comes this explanation of hishiryo:

It's all very simple. So simple that we don't know what to think about it. We sit. The longer we sit, the more we see that any thought that comes up is just another thought and that all thoughts arise within the vastness of Awareness. When we think, we are experiencing thinking. Depending on the extent to which we are practicing, there is some awareness of the thinking. If we are not practicing at all, we have withdrawn, obsessed with our stories, recoiling from present experiencing into fabricated labyrinths that lead us nowhere and teach us nothing. When we practice, we can allow the thoughts to rise and fall and know simultaneously that they are only thoughts, without substance, and allow them to be simply a movement, like a breeze rustling through leaves.
(Ven. Jinmyo Renge osho: Thinking About Not Thinking)

True. Or course, it is simple! But not easy to do. Such a statement (as all other such similar statements do) comes from a person with a long history of practice, years of practice, the exchange with a teacher. It "requires" and demands a lot to come to this place.

I would like to quote Kobun Roshi again:
The great pleasure, the great accomplishment of your way-seeking is in the realization of sitting. This form of sitting, this place to sit on this earth, this time to sit, the twentieth century, all have lots of problems. The shikan taza way is giving birth to the Buddha seed. ... Awakening, continuous awakening is nothing but our basic nature. ... When you jump into the Buddha's world, you place yourself in the center of annuttara-samyaksambodhi. That is shikan taza's real meaning, real action. Shikan-taza is immeasurable, it's unthinkable.
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai 弘法大師 in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
new translation: Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Our life is very simple, very direct, very beautiful, very vast and very terrifying, but it is not at all convenient.
- Anzan Hoshin Roshi
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:23 pm

LastLegend wrote:Is Shikantaza limited to just sitting in one place or "sitting" here means the mind sits undisturbed anywhere?


Dogen writes in the Fukanzazengi, "Don’t think about “good” or “bad”. Don’t judge true or false. Your mind, intellect, and consciousness are spinning around – let them have rest. Give up measuring with thoughts, ideas, and views. Have no designs on becoming a Buddha. How could that be limited to sitting or lying down?"

And in the Zazenshin, "Then there is another type of person [who says,] "To pursue the way in seated meditation is a function essential for the "beginner's mind and the latter-day student", but it is not necessarily an observance of the buddhas and ancestors. 'Walking is Zen, sitting is Zen; whether in speech or silence, motion or rest, the substance is at ease.' Do not adhere solely to the present concentrated effort [of seated meditation]." Many of the type calling itself a branch of the Linji [lineage] are of this view. It is because they are deficient in transmitting the right life of the buddha-dharma that they speak thus. What is the "beginner's mind"? Where is there no "beginner's mind"? Where do we leave the "beginner's mind"?"

And in the Shinjingakudo (tr. Nishijima-Cross), "As we continue, moment by moment, to give up the body and receive the body—whether for three great asaṃkheyas of kalpas, for thirteen great asaṃkheyas of kalpas, or for countless great asaṃkheyas of kalpas—the momentary state of learning the truth is always to learn the truth in forward steps and backward steps. To do a prostration and to bow with joined hands are the moving and still forms of dignified behavior. In painting a picture of a withered tree, and in polishing a tile of dead ash, there is not the slightest interval."
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:31 pm

WuMing wrote:True. Or course, it is simple! But not easy to do. Such a statement (as all other such similar statements do) comes from a person with a long history of practice, years of practice, the exchange with a teacher. It "requires" and demands a lot to come to this place.


I doubt that she's talking about of herself. It was meant for Zen followers. As for whether it is difficult or easy, there is a nice story of Layman Pang and his family.

The layman was sitting in his thatched cottage one day. "Difficult, difficult, difficult," he suddenly exclaimed, "[like trying] to scatter ten measures of sesame seed all over a tree!"
"Easy, easy, easy," returned Mrs. P'ang, "just like touching your feet to the ground when you get out of bed."
"Neither difficult nor easy," said Ling-chao. "On the hundred grass-tips, the Patriarchs' meaning."
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby LastLegend » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:00 pm

I see Astus.

Hui Neng said to Hui Ming, Since the object of your coming is the Dharma, said I, "refrain from thinking of anything and keep your mind blank. I will then teach you." When he had done this for a considerable time, I said, "When you are thinking of neither good nor evil, what is at that particular moment, Venerable Sir, your real nature (literally, original face)?"
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby WuMing » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:18 pm

Astus wrote:
WuMing wrote:True. Or course, it is simple! But not easy to do. Such a statement (as all other such similar statements do) comes from a person with a long history of practice, years of practice, the exchange with a teacher. It "requires" and demands a lot to come to this place.


I doubt that she's talking about of herself. It was meant for Zen followers.

I think she does!
Or do you want to imply that Zen teachers do not speak from their own experience when they instruct their disciples and followers, just words out of the blue?
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai 弘法大師 in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
new translation: Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Our life is very simple, very direct, very beautiful, very vast and very terrifying, but it is not at all convenient.
- Anzan Hoshin Roshi
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:42 am

WuMing wrote:Or do you want to imply that Zen teachers do not speak from their own experience when they instruct their disciples and followers, just words out of the blue?


What I mean is that when anyone wants to teach another person, one tries to say things that are meant for the student. So, if the teacher says something is simple/complicated, easy/difficult, etc., it is meant for the listener, and it is neither bragging about one's own greatness nor complaining about one's former hardships. It is meant for the student to understand it in this way or that way. Teaching, as I see it, is not a therapy session where one talks about personal memories in front of others, especially when it does not benefit the audience.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby WuMing » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:58 am

Astus wrote:
WuMing wrote:Or do you want to imply that Zen teachers do not speak from their own experience when they instruct their disciples and followers, just words out of the blue?


What I mean is that when anyone wants to teach another person, one tries to say things that are meant for the student. So, if the teacher says something is simple/complicated, easy/difficult, etc., it is meant for the listener, and it is neither bragging about one's own greatness nor complaining about one's former hardships. It is meant for the student to understand it in this way or that way. Teaching, as I see it, is not a therapy session where one talks about personal memories in front of others, especially when it does not benefit the audience.


Speaking out of experience has nothing to do with therapy nor with bragging about one's greatness nor complaining about former hardships.
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai 弘法大師 in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
new translation: Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
_______
Our life is very simple, very direct, very beautiful, very vast and very terrifying, but it is not at all convenient.
- Anzan Hoshin Roshi
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Rakshasa » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:03 pm

To me Shikantaza sounds like Satipatthhana of Pali canon? Or is there any difference?

Looks like Shikantaza is about maintaining mindfulness. Buddha had said in Pali canon, that four frames of mindfulness are enough to lead you to enlightenment. Furthermore, the recent research shows that Mahayana emerged from the Early Buddhist sects (especially the 18 early sects).
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Re: Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:30 pm

Rakshasa wrote:To me Shikantaza sounds like Satipatthhana of Pali canon? Or is there any difference?


Satipatthana is a complex system that includes numerous meditation techniques based on the early teachings. Shikantaza is a single method based on late Mahayana teachings. Without considering the doctrinal context of the two methods there is no point in making any comparisons. And even from the practical perspective, Satipatthana contains several stages of calming and analysing. Shikantaza has none of that, it has no stages nor goals, it is perfect from the beginning.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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