Author Topic: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.  (Read 1579 times)

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Offline JB_Girl

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Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« on: April 18, 2017, 03:32:24 pm »
I am a creature of spirit.  I am also a nonbinary transexual woman.  I have been transitioning for most of the last decade, on HRT for a bit over five years, been clean and sober since 1989, and had GRS with Dr. Ley in Scottsdale a bit more than a month ago.

Transition, for me, has been the ultimate expression of the quest into who I am, why I am, and how that relates to my relationship with what most people describe as objective reality.  I am reminded of a song that Meg Christian wrote many years ago that has the lyric; "When the waves grow angry and mean, I dive into the deep serene."

It is the search for my internal truth, and the serenity that this encompasses that has been the focus of my experience in transition, seeking first who I am beneath the trappings of a middle class, well-educated resident person in the last quarter of her life.  All my life I have been a pilgrim and the pilgrimage has been, as all are, both external and experiential and internal and meditative.  I could not find an authentic way to live without addressing the dysphoria that I had known for most of my life.  I could not find the path to my inner self without addressing the relationship of my body, to my mind, my environment and ultimately to my spirit.

The journey to who I am spanned decades, four continents, loves both lost and found, and has resulted in a woman who does not refuse or refute her history, and who has come to embrace the symbology of meditation and prayer as fundamental to growth.  This is the essence of the spiritual experience for me.  To “find within ourselves an unsuspected resource that we presently came to identify with our own conception of a power that is greater than ourselves” is the way another author beautifully phrased the experience. 

This search for strength, for meaning, for authenticity is the greatest blessing that the experience of transition has given to me.  It transcends the struggle, the fear, the pain and the loss that I have experienced throughout much of my life. If you have any thoughts or experience along this line I would love to continue the conversation.

Namaste,
JB

Offline Gertrude

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 10:39:44 pm »
I am a creature of spirit.  I am also a nonbinary transexual woman.  I have been transitioning for most of the last decade, on HRT for a bit over five years, been clean and sober since 1989, and had GRS with Dr. Ley in Scottsdale a bit more than a month ago.

Transition, for me, has been the ultimate expression of the quest into who I am, why I am, and how that relates to my relationship with what most people describe as objective reality.  I am reminded of a song that Meg Christian wrote many years ago that has the lyric; "When the waves grow angry and mean, I dive into the deep serene."

It is the search for my internal truth, and the serenity that this encompasses that has been the focus of my experience in transition, seeking first who I am beneath the trappings of a middle class, well-educated resident person in the last quarter of her life.  All my life I have been a pilgrim and the pilgrimage has been, as all are, both external and experiential and internal and meditative.  I could not find an authentic way to live without addressing the dysphoria that I had known for most of my life.  I could not find the path to my inner self without addressing the relationship of my body, to my mind, my environment and ultimately to my spirit.

The journey to who I am spanned decades, four continents, loves both lost and found, and has resulted in a woman who does not refuse or refute her history, and who has come to embrace the symbology of meditation and prayer as fundamental to growth.  This is the essence of the spiritual experience for me.  To “find within ourselves an unsuspected resource that we presently came to identify with our own conception of a power that is greater than ourselves” is the way another author beautifully phrased the experience. 

This search for strength, for meaning, for authenticity is the greatest blessing that the experience of transition has given to me.  It transcends the struggle, the fear, the pain and the loss that I have experienced throughout much of my life. If you have any thoughts or experience along this line I would love to continue the conversation.

Namaste,
JB

Dr ley works with Meltzer, no? How was that experience?


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Offline Jane Emily

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 11:24:34 pm »
Very wonderfully stated. I agree it' not about how big one's boobs are or how well one passes that is of primary importance in MTF transition.  It's about the journey. It's about the reason for our existence. Which is, above all I think, about the great project of the improvement of the soul.  The metamorphosis. The change into what is for each one of us a unique authentic way of being. 

Assigned Male at Birth - 1958
Came out, started living full time - Thanksgiving 2015
Started HRT - 5-27-2016

Estrogen HRT = the surprising arrival of a rainbow within me.

Offline JB_Girl

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 05:24:09 am »
Dr ley works with Meltzer, no? How was that experience?


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Hi,
I'm sorry that it took so long to get back to you.  Yes Dr. Ley works in Dr. Meltzer's office.  She is both a wonderful surgeon and a gracious person.  I was attracted to having a trans woman perform the procedure and for me the choice was a very good one.  Recovery  has been longer and more difficult than I thought it would be.  But as I heal and my energy level finally is getting back to something near reasonable, I'm very happy.  In July I go back for Labiaplasty and am looking forward to both that and finally simply getting on with the challenge of living a life connected to everything. 

It is so very much worth the pain (much more than discomfort) to be whole and complete.   

Good luck and Safe Travels,

JB

Offline JB_Girl

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 05:28:38 am »
Musings on Being Human, Authentic, and Peace  (And a bit of Buddhism  ;) )

Every morning I spend a few minutes in meditation. In this practice I may focus on a reading, an image, an idea or a musical phrase. Always I pay attention to my posture whether sitting, standing, or prone and breathe in the way of Ujjayi Pranayama. This is calming and warming for me and a respite from obsessing on the day to come. Try it, it works.

This morning I was contemplating a passage from the Dhammapada, an ancient text and a part of the monastic cannon of Buddhism. Monasticism is the discipline of the ordained monks (bhikkhu) and ordained nuns (bhikkhunī). This is the world of the small ferryboat (Theravada Buddhism). Its goal is the renunciation of attachment and desire.

The passage I read:
Restraint of the eye is good,
. Good is restraint of the ear.
Restraint of the nose is good
. Good is restraint of the tongue.
Restraint of the body is good,
. Good is restraint of speech
Restraint of the mind is good,
. Good is restraint in all circumstances
Restrained in all circumstances,
. The bhikku is released from all suffering.

The scripture goes on from there, but to embrace this passage is to embrace the eightfold path and to move towards enlightment. I wonder if it is also to become something other than human? I am not a monastic and I try to follow Mahayana or big ferryboat Buddhism. Joseph Campbell writes wonderfully about the differences. To follow Theravada is to transcend being human. To follow Mahayana is to embrace my own humanity and to seek to perfect its expression.

To be better as a human becoming is my goal in life. I do not wish to sever my connections (attachment) to those who I love in pursuit of Nirvana. I may have many lifetimes to follow that path, or perhaps this is my single shot. But what makes living, aging and dying joyful is finding and giving loving attention to the here and now. This is where I find love and this is where I find meaning. I am human. I am a manifestation of love. I am a manifestation of every potential that makes up my being. I do not fear death, I fear failing to live. Today I greet the sun with joy.
In any case, this was my meditation this morning and my thought for today.

Namaste,

JB

Offline One_t_Wheat

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2017, 02:33:52 pm »
Hello JB:
Thanks for this thread topic. I was raised Irish American Catholic, with the idea it would be a good way to go & be a priest. Thank God and the Universe that-THAT didn't happen! I remain as a Christian Taoist, believing Christ is the Eternal Way/Tao. The Tao Te Ching and I Ching have served me well since 1970 or so.
I chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, to be in the center of the simultaneity of Cause and Effect; Creation and Reverse Creation. When I closely faced death thrice (2009 x2 & 2012 x1), there was peace in the knowledge that death, and some pain, is inevitable; suffering is optional.
    Today, being here with y'all at Susan's Place, is also a source of comfort and peace. All my life I have just loved people; now it is a matter of understanding what Susan Mock meant about Trans Oriented Men. When younger, sex was toward the forefront. Now, it is my heart and mind that needs to be to the forefront. Caitlyn Jenner's statement about ending life having never come out completely, really got to me. It feels like home here on this site. I tried going to a Transgender date site, and an Asian oriented Ladyboy dating site, and found amazing people to consider meeting...if I were able to travel. So I am here to learn how to live comfortably in my own skin. Sometimes I am over whelmed when I remember paths not taken with a number of trans people.
Namaste. Scot.

Offline jentay1367

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2017, 03:28:25 pm »
I am a creature of spirit.  I am also a nonbinary transexual woman.  I have been transitioning for most of the last decade, on HRT for a bit over five years, been clean and sober since 1989, and had GRS with Dr. Ley in Scottsdale a bit more than a month ago.

Transition, for me, has been the ultimate expression of the quest into who I am, why I am, and how that relates to my relationship with what most people describe as objective reality.  I am reminded of a song that Meg Christian wrote many years ago that has the lyric; "When the waves grow angry and mean, I dive into the deep serene."

It is the search for my internal truth, and the serenity that this encompasses that has been the focus of my experience in transition, seeking first who I am beneath the trappings of a middle class, well-educated resident person in the last quarter of her life.  All my life I have been a pilgrim and the pilgrimage has been, as all are, both external and experiential and internal and meditative.  I could not find an authentic way to live without addressing the dysphoria that I had known for most of my life.  I could not find the path to my inner self without addressing the relationship of my body, to my mind, my environment and ultimately to my spirit.

The journey to who I am spanned decades, four continents, loves both lost and found, and has resulted in a woman who does not refuse or refute her history, and who has come to embrace the symbology of meditation and prayer as fundamental to growth.  This is the essence of the spiritual experience for me.  To “find within ourselves an unsuspected resource that we presently came to identify with our own conception of a power that is greater than ourselves” is the way another author beautifully phrased the experience. 

This search for strength, for meaning, for authenticity is the greatest blessing that the experience of transition has given to me.  It transcends the struggle, the fear, the pain and the loss that I have experienced throughout much of my life. If you have any thoughts or experience along this line I would love to continue the conversation.

Namaste,
JB

The only thing I'd like to say is that this was beautiful, eloquent, and close to my heart. It was a joy to read about your experience with your truth. Thanks!

Offline JB_Girl

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2017, 02:20:35 pm »
The only thing I'd like to say is that this was beautiful, eloquent, and close to my heart. It was a joy to read about your experience with your truth. Thanks!

Thank you for the kind words.  I think that to live a life in sunlight you have to open the windows and open your heart.  I think that your heart fills easily and lovingly.

JB

Offline JB_Girl

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2017, 02:36:10 pm »
It has been some time since I have been here.  Time spent with fellow pilgrims on the trail to authenticity.  I would like to add a bit about pilgrimage if I may. To be a pilgrim is not to spend Passover in Jerusalem, nor to complete a Hajj, or to trudge El Camino de Santiago.  All pilgrimages are ultimately internal.  A search for the essence of what is true deep within ourselves. For those of us on the path to gender authenticity, transition is a method, but transition is not the thing that is transcendent.  Each of use is that illumination, and it always comes from within.  That said, the dead do not find serenity, and for me the choice was to transition or die.  This is my true picture taken a few months ago displayed.  I am 64 years old, I have been beaten and I have been sexually assaulted.  In spite of that I live a full and optimistic life.  In AA they say that suffering is optional.  In other traditions it is said that all life is sorrowful because all living things die.  I believe that all things are a celebration of my present, informed by my past, given hope for the future.  I will never be beautiful, or rich, nor do I expect that the restlessness that I have known all my life will end.  I do believe that in the infinite now I can find joy and I can find truth.

Every morning I spend a few minutes in meditation. In this practice I may focus on a reading, an image, an idea, or a musical phrase. Always I pay attention to my posture whether sitting, standing, or prone and breathe in the way of Ujjayi Pranayama. This is calming and warming for me and a respite from obsessing on the day to come. Try it, it works.

This morning I was contemplating a passage from the Dhammapada, an ancient text and a part of the monastic cannon of Buddhism. Monasticism is the discipline of the ordained monks (bhikkhu) and ordained nuns (bhikkhunī). This is the world of the small ferryboat (Theravada Buddhism). Its goal is the renunciation of attachment and desire.

The passage I read:
Restraint of the eye is good,
. Good is restraint of the ear.
Restraint of the nose is good
. Good is restraint of the tongue.
Restraint of the body is good,
. Good is restraint of speech
Restraint of the mind is good,
. Good is restraint in all circumstances
Restrained in all circumstances,
. The bhikku is released from all suffering.

The scripture goes on from there, but to embrace this passage is to embrace the eightfold path and to move towards enlightment. I wonder if it is also to become something other than human? I am not a monastic and I try to follow Mahayana or big ferryboat Buddhism. Joseph Campbell writes wonderfully about the differences. To follow Theravada is to transcend being human. To follow Mahayana is to embrace my own humanity and to seek to perfect its expression.

To be better as a human becoming is my goal in life. I do not wish to sever my connections (attachment) to those who I love in pursuit of Nirvana. I may have many lifetimes to follow that path, or perhaps this is my single shot. But what makes living, aging and dying joyful is finding and giving loving attention to the here and now. This is where I find love and this is where I find meaning. I am human. I am a manifestation of love. I am a manifestation of every potential that makes up my being. I do not fear death, I fear failing to live. Today I greet the sun with joy.
In any case, this was my meditation this morning and my thought for today.

Namaste,

Julie

Offline tgirlamc

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2017, 04:11:48 pm »
Hi Julie!!!

I hope all is well...Thank you so much for sharing your your thoughts here!

I have been seeing transition more and more as being a spiritual quest...  Before transition, how can we truly be loved when those around us have never seen our true selves? ... How can we truly love others when we cannot show them who we are?

I believe that, at its' core, transition is a quest to get to a place in our lives where we can truly give and receive LOVE... What could be more spiritual than that?

Onward we go!!!

Ashley :)
Have you seen the little pieces of the people we have been?... Little pieces blowing gently on the wind...

Offline JB_Girl

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2017, 08:35:29 pm »
Hi Julie!!!

I hope all is well...Thank you so much for sharing your your thoughts here!

I have been seeing transition more and more as being a spiritual quest...  Before transition, how can we truly be loved when those around us have never seen our true selves? ... How can we truly love others when we cannot show them who we are?

I believe that, at its' core, transition is a quest to get to a place in our lives where we can truly give and receive LOVE... What could be more spiritual than that?

Onward we go!!!

Ashley :)


Thank you Ashley,
I completely agree.  That place where spirit is transcendent and our purpose is clear.  I don't think that It isn't just the physical right sizing that matters, but allowing the spark that makes us unique and human to blossom into joy.  I came to transition because I had to.  I've stayed because I finally feel at one, at peace and full of love.

Have a lovely weekend.

JB

Offline tgirlamc

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2017, 08:58:23 pm »
Hi Julie!

I think we have both traveled far my friend... through the darkness and into the light... Enjoy the fruits of your journey and share them with all who follow!

Onward we go brave sister

Ashley :)
Have you seen the little pieces of the people we have been?... Little pieces blowing gently on the wind...

Offline Marcy8

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2017, 07:32:14 pm »
Namaste, JB!

Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring us!

This thread has such an incredibly beautiful message, yet hidden still to the ones not ready to receive it...

Quote
The passage I read:
Restraint of the eye is good,
. Good is restraint of the ear.
Restraint of the nose is good
. Good is restraint of the tongue.
Restraint of the body is good,
. Good is restraint of speech
Restraint of the mind is good,
. Good is restraint in all circumstances
Restrained in all circumstances,
. The bhikku is released from all suffering.

The scripture goes on from there, but to embrace this passage is to embrace the eightfold path and to move towards enlightment. I wonder if it is also to become something other than human?

We are beings of energy, That is Pure Consciousness, that temporarily resides in our human forms as part of our never-ending journey through the realms of something much greater than the Universe.

Perhaps it is a shame that our human minds can only grasp so much and perhaps it is a blessing

There aren't many universal truths, but Love is one and the most important one of them.

Let the heart be the compass for all of us



Offline tgirlamc

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2017, 08:37:46 pm »


We are beings of energy, That is Pure Consciousness, that temporarily resides in our human forms as part of our never-ending journey through the realms of something much greater than the Universe.

Perhaps it is a shame that our human minds can only grasp so much and perhaps it is a blessing

There aren't many universal truths, but Love is one and the most important one of them.

Let the heart be the compass for all of us

This is what it is all about!!!... Welcome to the forum Marcy!!! :)

Onward we go in Love, Light and Truth

Ashley :)
Have you seen the little pieces of the people we have been?... Little pieces blowing gently on the wind...

Offline Another Nikki

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2017, 09:40:18 pm »
Hi Julie!!!

I hope all is well...Thank you so much for sharing your your thoughts here!

I have been seeing transition more and more as being a spiritual quest...  Before transition, how can we truly be loved when those around us have never seen our true selves? ... How can we truly love others when we cannot show them who we are?

I believe that, at its' core, transition is a quest to get to a place in our lives where we can truly give and receive LOVE... What could be more spiritual than that?

Onward we go!!!

Ashley :)

Ashley, I love the way you worded this.  It occurred to me last year that my big secret all my life prevented me from truly being able to get close to another person.  When I came out to my sister, last year, I told her as much.  We've been closer this past year than we've been the previous 35+ years.

Offline tgirlamc

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2017, 09:59:57 pm »
Ashley, I love the way you worded this.  It occurred to me last year that my big secret all my life prevented me from truly being able to get close to another person.  When I came out to my sister, last year, I told her as much.  We've been closer this past year than we've been the previous 35+ years.

Hi Nikki and Welcome to the forum!!! :)!!!

Yes, once we are able to show others our true self... after a lifetime of hiding... We can finally find that missing connection to others and the world around us...it is truly a powerful and precious thing... I have found that for myself and want to help others who are still hiding to find it too... Everyone should be able to feel this!!!

Onward we go brave sister!!!

Ashley :)!!!!

Have you seen the little pieces of the people we have been?... Little pieces blowing gently on the wind...

Offline Genderschism

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2017, 09:09:22 am »
Words of peace are always good to hear. Especially when they stem from struggles some will never face.
I hope you share those words of wisdom with a lot of people outside of the transgender community because when they know and "feel" what we are going true they get closer from our reality and away from judgment and social construction that oppress us.

I always see the non binary gender expression and transition as a journey and loved to read your take on the subject.
Thank you for your words of wisdom.

LoveLuvLv.
Sincerely, Kael.
Kael, present on various plateforms with the username GENDERSCHISM I try to educate people on non birary gender expression and transgederism. Actively blogging and vloging to share my experiences and feature the lives of gender queer and transgender people.

Offline tgirlamc

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2017, 11:42:20 am »
Words of peace are always good to hear. Especially when they stem from struggles some will never face.
I hope you share those words of wisdom with a lot of people outside of the transgender community because when they know and "feel" what we are going true they get closer from our reality and away from judgment and social construction that oppress us.

I always see the non binary gender expression and transition as a journey and loved to read your take on the subject.
Thank you for your words of wisdom.

LoveLuvLv.
Sincerely, Kael.

Hi Kael and Welcome to the forum!

I do a lot of public speaking engagements at the local University and other venues. I always try to weave in the spiritual side of the journey and do my best to put the entire Trans experience into terms to which everyone can relate and find common ground! :)

Onward we go!!!!

Ashley :)
Have you seen the little pieces of the people we have been?... Little pieces blowing gently on the wind...

Offline Marcy8

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2017, 04:45:34 pm »
This is what it is all about!!!... Welcome to the forum Marcy!!! :)

Onward we go in Love, Light and Truth

Ashley :)

Thank you so much, Ashley!

Onward we go, indeed!

<3

Offline JB_Girl

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Re: Spiritual growth and transition to an authentic life.
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2017, 04:56:53 pm »
Ashley et al,

What lovely teachers you all are.  "Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love."  This passage from Corinthians flows through all of the writing here.  I think that we are given many gifts in the search for authenticity.  Among these are the gifts of acceptance, patience, love, and empathy.  I would like to tell you a story that happened to me a very long time ago.

When I was seventeen years old, I was walking with a girlfriend on the waterfront of downtown Seattle. We were approached by a smiling little man who carried a white cane but who walked with confidence and asked if we would orient him uptown so that he could catch a bus to Capital Hill. He joined us for a cup of tea and we talked. He was called Sweet William by those who knew him, was a follower of the Baha’i faith, a believer in the essential goodness of all peoples, and a seeker of the sacred in all things.

A couple of hours later we gave him a ride to the Baha’i center and he gave me a book which I still cherish. The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys. As with all spiritual texts, there is poetry in the inclusive nature of this slim tome. The Prophet Baha’u’llah taught that all spiritual paths are ways to discover the same truths and the same realizations. I believe that this is both correct and as it ought to be.

The number nine in the faith refers to the Nine Proofs of Baha’u’llah. Bahá’u’lláh said: “The time foreordained unto the peoples and kindreds of the earth is now come”. Every now that has ever existed is the fulfillment of these words.

The search for spiritual wisdom took second place in my life for the next four decades, and I had to recover from alcoholism, drug addiction, and the misery of live a life that was not true before I could pick up the pieces in recovery and in transition.  I've been clean and sober for twenty-eight years and living authentically for six.

What I have discovered is that for this tired soul - the lessons of spiritual power are the lessons of authentic living.  When you're standing at the podium Ashley, look out for I will be somewhere in the audience, and I will watch for you when I am standing next to the chalk board and trying to explain myself to people who are seeking to understand these truths.

Namaste,
JB

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