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Naropa University Oakland
Master of Liberal Arts in Creation Spirituality (MLA)

The MLA in Creation Spirituality is a 32-credit program that emphasizes leadership and culture and the transformative potential of Creation Spirituality and cosmology. The program offers students the opportunity to focus their master's work and study in particular areas such as the arts and spirituality; cosmology and spirituality; creation spirituality and spiritual direction/guidance; culture, peace and justice; deep ecology; work and spirituality; creativity and education, or another emphasis related to the creation spiritual tradition and cosmology. Students may also choose a concentration in Indigenous Mind or Spiritual Cinema.

About the Program
Concentrations in Indigenous Mind or Spiritual Cinema
Program Requirements
Academic Calendar 2004/2005
Course Descriptions - Spring '05

Course Schedule - Spring '05
Community Classes (CEUs available!)
Tuition and Fees
Selected Master's Thesis and Project Titles
Application Form for Download

Dear Prospective Student,

Thank you for your interest in the Master of Liberal Arts Degree Program in Creation Spirituality. We are happy to share with you information about this exciting and transformational course of study that gathers a student body from many parts of the United States and other countries.

The fully accredited Master's Degree Program requires 32 credit hours of study. Students may complete their requirements through participation in required Intensives combined with weekday and/or weekend classes. A limited number of on-line elective courses are also available. Students may begin their course of study in either the fall or spring semester.

The following pages are meant to give you a brief overview of the Master's Program with its innovative educational programs, spiritual practices and challenging courses designed to engage students in serious academic study of the new cosmology, the creation spirituality tradition and post-modern questions and values. This study, in addition to experiential processes, values body/mind/spirit modes of learning, self-direction, service to the community, compassion and a reverence for all creation.

The deliberate choice to place Naropa Oakland in downtown Oakland allows our learning community to explore the meaning and possibilities of an urban spirituality in a time when almost fifty percent of the human race is living in cities. Inviting instructors, artists, activists, professionals from the local communities to be teachers of wisdom and skills reconnects the students' professional work to spirituality, to compassion, and to justice.

We invite you to visit our campus, meet with some of our students, faculty and staff, and observe one of our classes. Please contact Aileen Donovan in the Admissions Office at 510-835-4827, ext. 19, or email her at for further information or to arrange for a visit.


Marlene DeNardo
Matthew Fox


Naropa University Oakland Campus

Naropa University of Boulder, Colorado, opened a branch campus at the site of the University of Creation Spirituality (UCS) in Oakland, California, in the Spring of 1999. Matthew Fox, UCS Founder and President, and John Cobb, Naropa University President, collaborated to offer a fully accredited Master of Liberal Arts in Creation Spirituality program. The program is designed for full-time or part-time study, offering a unique curriculum in mysticism, art, social change, ecopsychology, and deep ecumenism.

What is Creation Spirituality?

Creation Spirituality integrates the wisdom of Western spirituality and global indigenous cultures with the emerging scientific understanding of the universe and the passionate creativity of art. Creation Spirituality is not a new religion. It is the earliest tradition of the Hebrew Bible and was celebrated by the mystics of medieval Europe. Creation Spirituality provides a solid foundation and holistic perspective from which to address the critical issues of our times, including the revitalization of religion and culture, the honoring of women's wisdom, the celebration of hope in today's youth, and the promotion of social and ecological justice. It is concerned with developing theologies and practices within religion and culture that promote personal wholeness, planetary survival, and universal interdependence.

From the President of Naropa

Welcome to Naropa University-Oakland and to our Master of Liberal Arts in Creation Spirituality Program! The vision of this program is uniquely relevant to the challenges of living a meaningful life in the 21st century--meaningful for oneself, meaningful for others, for the planet, and beyond. Please consider it an invitation to join us in a deeply transformational process of education that beckons each individual to become ever more open to her or his own inner life and to the world in which we live. Bringing that vision to life is a faculty that is second to none in its interest in working with students on their cognitive, emotional, and spiritual growth, with a commitment arising from the fact that they themselves are perpetual learners, ever in search of new forms of creativity. We aim to embody just what Robert Bellah had in mind when he wrote, "Revolutionaries who do not in their own lives embody the future cannot bring it." We look foward to working with you in the adventure that lies ahead!

Thomas B. Coburn, President of Naropa University


The Naropa University was founded in 1974 by Tibetan master and scholar Chogyam Trungpa, and is patterned after an 11th century university renowned for joining intellect, intuition, and contemplative traditions. Accredited since 1986, Naropa offers degree programs designed to cultivate a spirit of openness, critical intellect, and the development of effective action, while transmitting the principles of awareness and wisdom.

The Naropa-Oakland campus represents the first Naropa site located outside Boulder, Colorado. The Master of Liberal Arts program is the first of many degree programs to be developed and offered at the site.

"Since both Creation Spirituality and engaged Buddhism are mystical and prophetic spiritualities committed to environmental and social justice, this ecumenical adventure will ignite the potential for compassion in the hearts of people and their communities," says UCS founder, Matthew Fox.

About the Program

Each semester begins with a required Intensive in Creation Spirituality and the New Cosmology. The Intensives offer an opportunity for students, staff, and faculty who are available to get to know one another through rituals, sharing meals, and socializing. Time is taken to discuss curricula and to introduce students to resources available at Naropa-Oakland.

Additional requirements in creation spirituality, cosmology, and core readings continue the foundational study throughout the spring and fall semesters. Students also select seminars, art-as-meditation, and art of community building courses.

Seminars engage participants in provocative dialogue and intellectual discipline. Art-as-meditation classes awaken creativity through art, movement, image, and meditation practice. Art of community building classes engage students in the community and offer practical experiences and skills in community building. Public events with scholars, artists, activists and other creative thinkers engage students in a dialogue with community participants from Oakland and the Bay Area.

Full-time Option
The full-time program is designed to be completed in three semesters; however, it is possible to complete the program in one academic year of intense study. In addition to the required courses, students combine weekday, weekend, and optional Intensives to complete their coursework.

Part-time Option
Flexible scheduling options have been designed especially for those who seek an alternative to a full-time study program. In addition to the required courses, students choose from a wide variety of courses that blend the richness of seminars and art-as-meditation. Participants may choose to concentrate their study in weekend courses, or they may combine weekend, weekday, and/or Intensive courses to meet their individual needs. Some independent study is also possible.

Students who choose to build ten to twelve credits of specialized study into their master's work may do so in one of two concentrations: the Spiritual Cinema concentration or the Indigenous Mind concentration. The latter allows students to complete all requirements of the Creation Spirituality Master's Program in Indigenous Mind through eight-day residencies held in Oakland and at other sites, independent study and on-line coursework. Students in the Indigenous Mind concentration study with Creation Spirituality faculty and with traditional Elders. This concentration requires three semesters of sequential study. Additional information on the Sacred Cinema and Indigenous Mind concentration can be found below.

Other Components of the Master's Program
Integrated into the overall Master's Program are the following components which provide additional opportunities and depth.

Ceremonies, Rituals, and Public Events: Creation Spirituality students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of ceremonies and public events, such as Techno-Cosmic Masses and Rituals, an annual Native American Thanksgiving Celebration, a Passover Ritual, and a Spring Equinox Celebration. Each semester also provides an array of provocative and informative public events, which are part of the students' program.

Body Prayer: Naropa Oakland students gather during Intensives for an experience of prayer and meditation that embodies their learning from course work in Creation Spirituality and Cosmology. Art-as Meditation instructors guide each session of body prayer, which typically includes meditation, music, and movement as ways of integrating divine energy into our lives.

Techno-Cosmic Masses and Rituals: Approximately once a month the Naropa Oakland community gathers in the city with the larger Bay Area community to create an ecumenical and interfaith worshipping community where we honor the wisdom of various traditions and cultures in ritual form. These celebrations, rooted in Western liturgical tradition, integrate music and dance, urban shamanism, multimedia imagery, and Eastern and indigenous spiritual elements to create a multi-cultural intergenerational form of worship. Opportunities to be involved in the planning and executing of these events are abundant.

Spiritual Direction: Spiritual direction provides an opportunity and a place/space for students to reflect on their lives and on the presence of the divine in the midst of their experience. In the context of Creation Spirituality, spiritual direction includes a particular awareness of the four paths, which invite us to an ever deeper experience of blessing, suffering, creativity, and compassion, and of our relationship with the natural world/planet. Members of the faculty and staff are available for individual spiritual direction throughout the course for one's Master's work. Students are also invited to partner with one another in Peer Companioning to develop a network of support.

Program Requirements


5 credits Creation Spirituality/Cosmology
2 credits Core Reading
6 credits Seminar
2 credits Mystics
2 credits Engaged Spirituality (Overview Lab)
2 credits Art-as-Meditation*
2 credits Art of Community Building
3 credits Master's Project/Thesis and Process Group

8 credits Additional electives

32 credits TOTAL CREDITS

*Note: In addition to specific classes of Art-as-Meditation, each intensive and weekend course includes an Art-as-Meditation component.

Naropa University - Oakland Campus
Master of Liberal Arts Degree in Creation Spirituality



Fall Semester 2004

Jul. 15

Registration opens for returning students. Registration opens for new students on Aug 2nd .

Aug. 24

Last day of registration and final day for students to pay tuition and fees


Classes begin: Fall Intensive (required)

Aug. 31 - Sept. 2

First Indigenous Mind Residency (Oakland)

Sept. 7 - 10

Weekly classes begin (See General Course Schedule for info on all weekly classes)

Sept. 10

Last day to add or drop classes without financial or academic penalty

Sept. 10

Last day to submit Application to Graduate Form for December 2004, Fall Semester

Sept. 11 - 12

First Weekend Course (See General Course Schedule for info on all weekend classes

Sept. 24

Due date for Master's Thesis Proposal form (if graduating this semester)

Oct. 1

Deadline to apply for preferred financial aid for Spring 2005 (only if Fall 2004 aid was not applied for)

Oct. 8

Last day to withdraw from classes

Oct. 21 - 24

Elective Fall Intensive

Oct. 25 - 29

Study Week (no classes)

Nov. 4 - 8
Second Indigenous Mind Residency (Maui)
Nov. 11 - 14
Elective Fall Intensive

Nov. 22 - 26

Thanksgiving Break (no classes)

Dec. 5

Orchard Day Community Celebration

Dec. 10

Last day of classes

Dec. 13
Due date for Master's Thesis/Project or Integrative Paper (if graduating this semester)
Dec. 17

Grades Due from instructors

Spring Semester 2005


Registration opens for returning students. Registration opens for new students on Jan. 18th

Jan. 17

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Event

Jan. 25

Last day of registration and final day for students to pay tuition and fees

Feb. 2 - 6

Classes Begin: Spring Intensive (required)

Feb. 8 - 10

Indigenous Mind Residency - (Oakland)

Feb. 14

Due date for Master's Thesis proposal form (if graduating this semester)

Feb. 15 - 17

Weekly classes begin

Feb. 18

Last day to add or drop classes without financial or academic penalty

Feb. 18

Last day to submit Application to Graduate Form for May 2005, Spring Semester

Feb. 19 - 20

First Weekend Course

Mar. 1

Deadline to apply for preferred financial aid for Fall 2005

Mar. 3 - 6

Elective Intensive

Mar. 18
Last day to withdraw from classes

Mar. 21 - 25

Study Week (no classes)

Mar. 22-26

Indigenous Mind Residency for senior students (Maui)

Apr. 7 - 10
Elective Intensive
Apr. 14 - 18
Indigenous Mind Residency for returning students (Maui)

May 13

Due date for Master's Thesis/Project or Integrative Paper (if graduating this semester)

May 15

Last day of classes

May 15

Orchard Day Community Celebration

May 20
Grades Due from instructors
May 21

Graduation (Tentative)

NOTE: The Academic Calendar is subject to change.



Unless otherwise indicated, courses in this discipline are offered at the Oakland, CA campus.

CSP 602 -- Creation Spirituality and Cosmology Intensive II (2) Syllabus

An immersion into cosmology and the creation spiritual tradition. Exploring the vibrant scientific and spiritual context from which to view the remarkable unfolding of the universe, the course will start with the flaring forth of the fireball and will extend to the principles of creation spirituality, sustainability in the Ecozoic era, the seven chakras and deep ecumenism. Includes art-as-meditation each afternoon.

CSP 603 -- Core Readings in Creation Spirituality (1) Syllabus

This course covers the basic literature and themes of creation spirituality and cosmology. Basic texts include those of Matthew Fox, Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme. An exploration of the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality and the cosmological story enables a deeper understanding of the mystical and prophetic dimensions of spirituality.

CSP 608 -- Masters Project/Thesis (3)

The masters project/thesis integrates the students educational experience and contributes to fashioning a more ecologically sensitive and spiritually grounded society. The project can take one of three forms: 1) a research thesis; 2) a creative and/or experiential project; 3) an integrative paper. It can also be a combination of two or three forms. A creative project must also contain substantial documentation for binding and library reference.

CSP 615 -- Creation Mystics: Jewish Mystical Poetry and Prayer (1) Syllabus

We will study some of the major mystics representative of the creation tradition. The class will explore what these spiritual figures have to say to us today even though they come from different cultures and historical periods.

CSP 618w -- The Mysticism of Meister Eckhart (2) Syllabus

Meister Eckhart created a rich and prophetic mysticism that is very appropriate for our postmodern times. Students will read his texts and discuss his strong beliefs on justice making and reaching out to the common person. Students will see how his mysticism can be put into practice in todays spiritual journey.

CSP 628 -- The Search for Common Ground: Howard Thurman (1) Syllabus

An examination of the ideal of community as expressed through the life and thought of Dr. Howard Thurman. Insights from religious traditions and the Black American sojourn will be utilized to explore the destructive nature of exclusion and the creative possibilities for common ground.

CSP 632B -- Deep Ecumenism: Spiritual Traditions of the World (1) Syllabus

An exploration of the basic teachings and practices of the spiritual traditions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and indigenous religions. The course will emphasize the engaged spirituality within each tradition and how this may be applied to contemporary issues and problems, such as overcoming negative behavior patterns, addictions, stress, etc. The result for the participant could be an awakening to compassionate service.

CSP 639 -- Feminist Awakening & Womens Spirituality (2) Syllabus

This seminar examines the role of women from the perspective of psychology, spirituality, and the arts. It is a study of feminism that offers perspectives on the power of the feminine and the empowerment of women. This course is designed to raise women's consciousness and to engage women in a process of exploring the sacred dimensions of their own stories, their experience of the Divine and of themselves as divine.

CSP 677 -- Digital Documentary Filmmaking (2) Spiritual Cinema Course Syllabus

An overview course designed to give students the foundational concepts and techniques involved in digital non-fiction filmmaking as it relates to the creating of sacred cinema and to the creation spirituality tradition. Topics explored will include fundamentals of story, the pre-production process, basics of cinematography, fundamentals of lighting, the use and creation of non-intrusive scripting and music and the foundational elements of editing.

CSP 692 -- Creation Spirituality & Spiritual Direction Intensive/Retreat (2) Syllabus

At the heart of the contemporary movement of creation-centered spirituality is a necessary radical reorientation of some basic assumptions and practices: away from an individualistic or fall-redemption worldview, and towards a more communitarian approach with blessing and liberation as a focus. The traditional practice of spiritual direction, or spiritual companioning, is an important element in this movement.
This intensive, in a retreat format, engages participants in a practicum of spiritual companioning from the perspective of creation spirituality. It is designed to assist participants in reviewing, and reframing when necessary, personal assumptions about prayer, relationships, intimacy and related themes.

CSP 693 -- Clay As Meditation (1) Syllabus

This course will explore the relationship between body and spirit using movement, meditation, and clay. As spiritual practice these modalities call forth the intuitive, subtle body's voice through the imaginal language of the soul. In a gentle space of compassion and nurturance, we will share our soul's journey -- both the light and shadow -- bringing Spirit into form through the body's gestures in clay. Through this deep involvement in our own and earth matter we will discover the erotic life force energy that fuels all creativity, and unites us as one being.

CSP 699 -- Independent Study

With permission, a student may undertake a supervised study of a particular aspect of Creation-Centered Spirituality, cosmology, the mystics or other related topics that cannot be researched in any other fashion.

CSP 703 -- Creating The Cosmic Mass and Rituals (1) Syllabus

In this course students will apprentice with visual-makers, DJs, techno-ritual artists and community-builders who are creating techno-cosmic masses in the Howard Thurman Ritual Center. Class work will include contributing to these events and learning how to take these skills to other communities.

CSP 704 -- Sustainable Communities (1) Syllabus

This class will provide participants with a brief overview of sustain-ability and higher connections between ecological, ethical, social, spiritual and economic issues and our current ways of living. Students will also be introduced to a range of exciting models and emerging sustainability projects that are helping to reclaim our culture, protect living systems and rebuild communities.

CSP 729 -- Living Wisdom Interviews (1) Spiritual Cinema Course Syllabus

An intensive journey into the craft and art of the video interview process as a vehicle for exploring the lives of people in the Oakland community with depth and insight. Class sessions will alternate between experiential learning of interview techniques and reviewing student assignments.

CSP 742 -- Dreams and Archetypes of Authentic Gender (1) Syllabus

The hidden dimensions of complex and difficult problems are often addressed in creative and productive ways in our dreams. This inner knowledge makes possible an understanding of the relationship between using dreams for personal growth and for resolving our many social problems.

CSP 744 -- Painting as Creative Meditation (1) Syllabus

The course is designed to free up the creative potential within every student. It introduces the philosophy and process of creative meditation to develop technical skills essential to the art of painting, and to impart a method of meditation and ritual that are integral to self-statement.

CSP 745 --Dancing Sacred Texts (1) Syllabus

The sacred texts needed for our times will be given a stage so that the body can process and make the word flesh in community. This is a way to experience the quest for knowledge and to do research in a far more accessible and engaging manner than the conventional reading of sacred sources.

CSP 778 --Embodying Story (1) Spiritual Cinema Course Syllabus

An experiential exploration of story as the fundamental basis of Sacred Cinema. Students will work with the material of their own lives to create stories that they will act out through dialogue, sound effects and music. The goal of the class is to help students envision and experience storytelling as a personalized and multidimensional medium of sight, sound and feeling, embodied for the purpose of reaching and affecting others.

CSP TBA -- The Work That Reconnects: Our Life As Gaia (2) Summer Workshop

The Work That Reconnects helps us uncover and experience our innate connections with one another and with the systemic, self-healing powers in the web of life. In this course we will share our responses to our world in crisis, learn concepts that illumine our interconnectedness, affirm our diverse contributions to the healing of our world and develop concrete strategies for creating a sustainable society.


Indigenous Mind Courses (required for Indigenous Mind Students)

CSP 707B -- Building Community through Celebration: Ceremony and Indigenous Mind (1)

Ceremony is practiced in community to deepen students experience of the Creator Spirit and to offer an opportunity to build community together and with all other life forms and dimensions of time. Ceremony sensitizes students to the reality of Indigenous mind, which is that nature occurs in cycles. Repetition of ceremonial cycles gives organization and structure to the indigenous life.

CSP 712 -- Indigenous Science: A Survey (1)

Traditional elders and wisdom keepers will be the teachers in this class, exposing the students not only to the content, but also to the ways of thinking, story telling and spiritual experience that make up the consciousness of indigenous peoples. Visits to sacred sites will be a part of the learning experience.

CSP 724 -- Restoring Wisdom: Moon and Dreams as Mythic Metaphor (1)

By emphasizing the rich traditions of the moon and the waters whose cycles it regulates, this course will assist in creating a pathway of vision as we restore gender balance and wisdom in our human universe.

CSP 753 -- The Computer as Useful Friend (1)

Students will become their own graphic producer and see the computer as a useful second self rather than an intimidating technology. The course will use the Microsoft Power Point program, which allows students to produce high quality animated presentations and published communications, such as flyers and newsletters.

Naropa University - Oakland Campus
Master of Liberal Arts Degree in Creation Spirituality



$515.00 per credit




$100.00 per semester*

Semester Fee

$150.00 per semester*

Graduation Fee
(semester of expected graduation)


*Tuition and fees are subject to change

Options & Payment

Check (Be sure to include your Student ID number in the memo section of your check.)

Third Party Payment (TP)- Contact Nate Johnson, [email protected] or 303-546-3554
office for a Third Party Payment form.

Credit Card-There is a 2.79% fee applied for credit card payment

Financial Aid (FA)-Your Financial Aid Application must be submitted before

Payment Plan (PP) - Contact Nate Johnson, [email protected] or 303-546-3554
office for a Payment Plan form. There is a $50.00 fee for using the payment plan.

Tuition and $100 registration fee payments should be made payable to Naropa University, and mailed to Naropa University, Student Accounts Department, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder, CO 80302, attn: Nate Johnson.

The $150 semester fee and $100 application to graduate fee (if applicable) should be paid to UCS. Make check payable to UCS and submit to Aileen at the Oakland campus, 2141 Broadway, Oakland CA 94612.

For information regarding Financial Aid or any other question contact the Admissions Office at 510.835-4827 Ext. 19 or e-mail at: .

To order the Naropa University Academic Catalogue call (303) 546.3568


Naropa University - Oakland Campus
Master of Liberal Arts Degree in Creation Spirituality

Core Faculty:
Apela Colorado, Marlene DeNardo (Co-Chair), Matthew Fox (Co-Chair), Clare Ronzani (Co-Director)

Adjunct Faculty:
Dorsey Blake, Daniel Buford, Charles Burack, Ken Butigan, Drew Dellinger, Kaleo Ching, Drew Dellinger, Andriana Diaz, Aileen Donovan, Lawrence L. Edwards, Mary Ford-Grabowsky, Gina Rose Halpern, Jackie Hairston, Jose Hobday, Shanja Kirstann, Taigen Dan Leighton, Genny Lim, Joanna Macy, Michael Mansfield, Marilyn Marks-Fleming, Jill Martin, Betty McAfee, Rolf Osterberg, John Jerry-Anthony Parente, Russill Paul D'Silva, Kevin Peer, Ana Perez Chisti, Robert Rice, David Sharp, Bruce Silverman, Jeremy Taylor, Luisah Teish, Carol Vaccariello, Gayle E. Watkin

Visiting Faculty:
Carl Anthony, Anita Barrows, Stuart Cowan, Neil Douglas-Klotz, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Theodore Roszak, Peter Russell, Starhawk, Brian Swimme, Hal Taussig, Margaret Wheatley, Lily Yeh

Selected Master's Thesis & Project Titles

Julie Anne Anglin, "The Many Faces of Eve, Seeking Truth and Beauty In Balance"
Laura DuBois, "Traveling on Threads of Memory into the Heart of the Web- Sacred Geometry: An Archetypal Language of Relationship"
Dawn M. Defresne , "Sibyl of the Rhine: The Life Story of Hildegard von Bingen"
Robert Fredericks, "Being Wonderfully Together: What Christianity Can Learn From Cosmology and Engaged Buddhism"
Duncan Harte, "The Journey Unfolds: Designing a Certificate Program in Liberal Arts"
Sean Daniel Johnson, "Initiation into Devotional Singing and Teaching: Sound and Music as Spiritual Practice"
Bonnie F. Long, "The Keys to Transformation: Who is Holding the Keys?"
Tracy E. Longacre, "Rwanda in the Aftermath of Genocide" (Photo Exhibit, Slide Show, and Research Paper)
Steven Francis Lyman, "If We Want to Survive, Let's Hold Hands and Weep"
Victoria S. MacDonald, "Video Divina: Film as Sacred Emissary"
Tandra F. McLaughlin, "Searching for Cosmology in the Sacred Forest"
Anne H. Olund, "A Journey with Julian of Norwich- A Photographic and Poetic Path"
Bonney Jeanne Parker, "Keeping Hope Alive: Spirit at Work"
Clarice Redmond, "Telling My Story: The Integration of the Prophet and the Mystic"
Georgette Donatello-Star, "Entering the Circle: A Girl's Rite of Passage"
Benedict Whelan, "The Confluence of Science and Spirituality Through Reason"
Charlotte Gildea, "Awakening: A Personal Journey to Ecological Awareness"
Jane Maxfield, "Reinventing the Wheel: A Collection of Mandalas and Meditations for the Cycles of the Year"
Elizabeth W. Shear, "Learning Large: Youth Work in the Presence of the Sacred"
Stephan H. Snider, Jr., "Oppression in the North Carolina Piedmont: Stories of Family, Community, Race, and Land"
Lyndi Swanson, "Journey to a Living Cosmology: Reclaiming a Connection to the Sacred"

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