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  A student asked:
-For all the different people who have come to listen to your words, please
tell us about the way you have found and know.
The Buddha answered:
-When you take things it is because of a thirst, a clinging... continue...

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→→→→ vertical line TOPIC: DEDICATION OF MERIT
vertical line Posted on Dec.30.2013 @ 12:55AM EDT by Riverstone
When I meditate the merit of my practice is dedicated to all beings. This is because I do not see myself as separate from these beings, we are interconnected. It also addresses the temptation to believe I am doing something that makes me superior to others. I have experienced the cessation of suffering and when you experience this, it is natural that you wish this for everyone. There is a hope that sharing my experiences will help and heal, but not so that this elevates me, but us all. I do not have intention to further confuse. I am not a Zen Master. I see this site as a form of Sangha, and I perceive it as an opportunity to learn from others and to share my own experience. If your practice is strengthening ego and conversely inciting your conditioning, causing more suffering, I have found it beneficial to dedicate the merit of all practice to all beings.
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Reply from leoj99
Dec.30.2013
01:02AM EDT 
vertical line There is no merit to sitting dude...LOL..
Just sit if you like and do not sit if you don't like... that is all what is there to it..LOL
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Reply from Riverstone
Dec.31.2013
02:34AM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "There is no merit to sitting dude...LOL..
Just sit if you like and do not sit if you don't like... that is all what is there to it..LOL


"
.........

Sir,

The Dedication of Merit is practiced in Zen Temples. It addresses the problem of pride and vanity, the "Stink of Zen". It interrupts the spiritual materialism which can arise from one's practice.
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Reply from leoj99
Dec.31.2013
02:38AM EDT 
vertical line Any merit to your practice will build up your ego.. your holy ego...LOL
You become sombody ...
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Reply from Avisitor
Dec.31.2013
07:48AM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line When I meditate the merit of my practice is dedicated to all beings. This is because I do not see myself as separate from these beings, we are interconnected. It also addresses the temptation to believe I am doing something that makes me superior to others. I have experienced the cessation of suffering and when you experience this, it is natural that you wish this for everyone. There is a hope that sharing my experiences will help and heal, but not so that this elevates me, but us all. I do not have intention to further confuse. I am not a Zen Master. I see this site as a form of Sangha, and I perceive it as an opportunity to learn from others and to share my own experience. If your practice is strengthening ego and conversely inciting your conditioning, causing more suffering, I have found it beneficial to dedicate the merit of all practice to all beings.


..............


My practice has turn to quiet.
There is just quiet.
It has no intent, no choice, no choosing.
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Reply from Woodsman
Dec.31.2013
02:15PM EDT 
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vertical line That is wonderful Riverstone.
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Reply from so_teh
Dec.31.2013
04:43PM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line It is FROST outside today!
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Reply from leoj99
Dec.31.2013
07:28PM EDT 
vertical line I don't think of any merit at all in my practice. I don't even think I am connected. I just sit for myself.. thats it...LOL
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Reply from leoj99
Dec.31.2013
07:30PM EDT 
vertical line If I see someone talking specially in this forum.. I either ignore or give them a nudge...LOL
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Reply from Riverstone
Jan.01.2014
01:36AM EDT 
vertical line There is much discomfort we run from. Talking is not the problem, thinking is not the problem. We cease entertaining a frame of reference and yes talking and thinking practically ceases. By saying don't talk, don't think, you have put the horse in front of the cart. If we inhabit who we are and we do what we are doing the silence descends without making it happen, because it has always been there. There is no longer a need to impose a frame of reference but you could then listen to a talker all day long and they will naturall sink into the peace you exhibit by being who you really are. There is no you and them, it is us and this moment. But when we inhabit an intellectual self, then you contrast everything against everything. There is no enemy where you are who you really are.
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Reply from justin
Jan.01.2014
08:44AM EDT 
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vertical line River you are talking about the difference with doctrinal perspective Theravada has merit hayanyana does not. Budhidarma was asked about it and said there is no such thing. But if you want ok
I ask who is it dedicating the merit and who is it receiving ?
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Reply from justin
Jan.01.2014
08:50AM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line I ask myself
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Reply from Riverstone
Jan.01.2014
02:25PM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "River you are talking about the difference with doctrinal perspective Theravada has merit hayanyana does not. Budhidarma was asked about it and said there is no such thing. But if you want ok
I ask who is it dedicating the merit and who is it receiving ?
"
.........

Duplicitous thinking always perceives in terms of good and bad. Theravada, Hinyana and Mahayana are not contrasting they are demarcations along a progression, of the same process. One starts with the individual practice, then the practice of community, then the practice of full integration without duplicity. Zen is an immediate path, it does all of these at once. Yet, when caught by conceptual thinking the practice of Zen can seem to outward appearance to be stuck in the practice for oneself. It is not of course.

The Ego dedicates Merit so as not to take on further self bolstering. The ego is a necessary tool but we tend to think we are the ego and this is not true, we are and we are not. Sort of like we are of the Earth and outside it, simultaneously.

But please, understand that is my understanding at this moment. Having a frame of reference is not wrong, but it is not helpful if that frame of reference becomes your only informer of reality as it is. Conceptual and non conceptual mind can work in tandem, though this does not seem logical to the linear mind.
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Reply from Riverstone
Jan.01.2014
02:28PM EDT 
vertical line PS there is no such thing as a lot of things. Zen, path, thought, mindfulness, these are not static things but processes.
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Reply from justin
Jan.01.2014
09:24PM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line :) who dedicates the merit
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Reply from Riverstone
Jan.01.2014
10:05PM EDT 
vertical line Quote: ":) who dedicates the merit "
.........

Technically....

No One....

But just as there is no rainbow....there is.
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Reply from cinchona
Jan.02.2014
03:52AM EDT 
vertical line There are many reasons that things come to be,
but the meaning is left up to you.
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Reply from so_teh
Jan.02.2014
04:00AM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line Something about eastern meditative arts are fascinating.
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Reply from Riverstone
Jan.02.2014
05:02AM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "Something about eastern meditative arts are fascinating. "
.........

I think for me the irony is that it is far simpler, and more delicate than words can ever do justice. The guy who wrote Zen and the Art of Archery tried to write about Zen, but found it did not go well. Writing about archery went a little better. I see that people get caught up in technique so that wisdom and compassion are lost. Zen is so interesting in that you will know you are no longer caught up in rules and supposed to bees, when the precepts are just common sense by virtue of your practice. If you do Zen, and were never exposed to the precepts, eventually you would know them, but not in an abstract manner, but directly. I find that when I sit with Sangha and we discuss our experiences, it smooths things out, we let go and keep practicing. Even if we voice an obsession over an insight gained by practicing, it is easier to let it go once you share it, then keep practicing. It does not matter if it is right or wrong, that is not the point, it is to keep practicing, always.
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Reply from so_teh
Jan.02.2014
07:19PM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line Zen- an absolute process unto Mu.
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Reply from Avisitor
Jan.02.2014
08:02PM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line This is life.
This is what people say.
To believe one has merit in ones decisions and actions .... huge ego.
To dedicate the merit to others ... IDK anymore.

I had always believed the trip up was for oneself and the trip down was to others.
Like in an airplane which has lost cabin pressure, one must put on ones own oxygen mask first before one can help others.

Hahaha
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Reply from so_teh
Jan.02.2014
10:29PM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line "(beyond) Delusion <--Nonlocal- Causal -Local--> Reality (beyond)"

Get free from this structure, get out, get out, get out.
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Reply from so_teh
Jan.02.2014
10:51PM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line and stay out of the candy shop. Lol
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Reply from so_teh
Jan.02.2014
10:55PM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line _/\_
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Reply from so_teh
Jan.02.2014
11:56PM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line - commit yourself to meditation

- humble yourself

- pray

- find optimal presence

- turn away

- realize

- dedication of merit

Gratitude for the reminder, the last step, "dedication of merit." Sincerely.

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Reply from justin
Jan.03.2014
12:37AM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line so I should dedicate nothing to nothing concerning nothing for no reason ( oractuaslly for merit which is a concept I created on my brain) ???? and all of which convinced me I do the right thing when I am not even real ? I dedicate all my nothing to you nothings haha crazy people :-)
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Reply from so_teh
Jan.03.2014
01:01AM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line A coin lost in a river is found in a river...I'm spent.
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Reply from so_teh
Jan.03.2014
01:03AM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line Merit is spending this coin and getting nothing in return.
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Reply from so_teh
Jan.03.2014
01:21AM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line I think, we are left with our own nature, exactly who we are, with perfect wisdom. Or in other words, with everything we need, dedicated in seeing everyone like-this.
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Reply from Riverstone
Jan.04.2014
02:54PM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "so I should dedicate nothing to nothing concerning nothing for no reason ( oractuaslly for merit which is a concept I created on my brain) ???? and all of which convinced me I do the right thing when I am not even real ? I dedicate all my nothing to you nothings haha crazy people :-)
"
.........

If your understanding of "nothing" is intellectual, then yes, it is quite mad. However experiencing emptiness is altogether liberating, though what was restraining you was never really there. This is no fantasy it is quite real and can be directly experienced. Many of the practices given to us seem to make no sense and often that is because we do not do them but analyze them. Even still once you have arrived upon the truth of emptiness, which is not lost by the way it is right here it just can not be seen nor experienced for all the indulgent distractions we engage in. Once you touch it there is a feeling of "If this is madness well then I prefer it to what I was doing before." And by the account of our society which is quite mad with conditioning, yes, we are mad.
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Reply from Riverstone
Jan.04.2014
03:05PM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "There are many reasons that things come to be,
but the meaning is left up to you.
"
.........

Precisely the problem so to speak, the "you" you refer to generates an approximation of reality to work from. This construct misinforms and choices are made from this misinformation. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging what appears to be true and relinquishing it for what is right in front of you, latter the simple acknowledgment may prove to be useful, or not. But for now there is the truth of actuality beyond our preferences. Focusing on the body, the breathing, and the task at hand brings the mind back into alignment with now. We may wander again into another rambling construct of thought but always return to breath, body and current task to realign mind and body. Eventually we will be present at the arrival of the first thought and we can drop it before it rambles on. First thought is the "best" thought. Yet if we ramble a bit this is fine too, because eventually we find the gap and once again realign mind and body.
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Reply from Riverstone
Jan.04.2014
03:10PM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "This is life.
This is what people say.
To believe one has merit in ones decisions and actions .... huge ego.
To dedicate the merit to others ... IDK anymore.

I had always believed the trip up was for oneself and the trip down was to others.
Like in an airplane which has lost cabin pressure, one must put on ones own oxygen mask first before one can help others.

Hahaha
"
.........

At the end of the journey you never left home. What is done for you is done for all. When you breath oxygen you save the others for you are connected in the process.
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Reply from Riverstone
Jan.04.2014
03:18PM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "I think, we are left with our own nature, exactly who we are, with perfect wisdom. Or in other words, with everything we need, dedicated in seeing everyone like-this."
.........

Our true nature is right here without any effort. Yet we have sustained effort for so long to not see our true nature, it seems to take effort. We are untraining our Samsaric practice. If you have parted your hair to the right for all these years, it will part at the left if you chose but it may make for many bad hair days before fully trained. That counter force is Karma, which is not bad, just the accumulation of forces. Zen parts the hair whichever way, bad hair day be damned....lol, it is that relinquishment of attachment that makes Zen an immediate path.
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Reply from cinchona
Jan.05.2014
07:06AM EDT 
vertical line Great, anyone for tea.
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Reply from justin
Jan.05.2014
02:21PM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line no such thing as merit, i was using sarcasm, to point out the silliness of the idea.

Diamond Sutra

Chapter 22.

Subhuti again asked, "Blessed lord, when you attained complete Enlightenment, did you feel in your mind that nothing had been acquired?"

The Buddha replied:

"That is it exactly, Subhuti. When I attained total Enlightenment, I did not feel, as the mind feels, any arbitrary conception of spiritual truth, not even the slightest. Even the words 'total Enlightenment' are merely words, they are used merely as a figure of speech."


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Reply from justin
Jan.05.2014
02:23PM EDT 
Email justin
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Diamond Sutra

Chapter 23.

"Furthermore Subhuti, what I have attained in total Enlightenment is the same as what all others have attained. It is undifferentiated, regarded neither as a high state, nor a low state. It is wholly independent of any definite or arbitrary conceptions of an individual self, other selves, living beings, or a universal self."

"Subhuti, when someone is selflessly charitable, they should also practice being ethical by remembering that there is no distinction between one's self and the selfhood of others. Thus one practices charity by giving not only gifts, but through kindness and sympathy. Practice kindness and charity without attachment and you can become fully enlightened."

"Subhuti, what I just said about kindness does not mean that when someone is being charitable they should hold onto arbitrary conceptions about kindness, for kindness is, after all, only a word and charity needs to be spontaneous and selfless, done without regard for appearances."


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Reply from justin
Jan.05.2014
02:25PM EDT 
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Diamond Sutra

Chapter 28.

The lord Buddha continued:

"Subhuti, if someone gives treasures equal to the number of sands on the shores of the Ganges river, and if another, having realized the egolessness of all things, thereby understands selflessness, the latter would be more blessed than the one who practiced external charity. Why? Because great disciples do not see blessings and merit as a private possession, as something to be gained."

Subhuti inquired of the lord Buddha, "What do you mean 'great disciples do not see blessings and merit as a private possession'?"

The Buddha replied:

"Because those blessings and merit have never been sought after by those great disciples, they do not see them as private possessions, but they see them as the common possession of all beings."

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Reply from justin
Jan.05.2014
02:26PM EDT 
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Diamond Sutra

Chapter 31.

The lord Buddha continued:

"If any person were to say that the Buddha, in his teachings, has constantly referred to himself, to other selves, to living beings, or to a universal self, what do you think, would that person have understood my meaning?"

Subhuti replied, "No, blessed lord. That person would not have understood the meaning of your teachings. For when you refer to those things, you are not referring to their actual existence, you only use the words as figures of speech, as symbols. Only in that sense can words be used, for conceptions, ideas, limited truths, and spiritual truths have no more reality than have matter or phenomena."

Then the lord Buddha made his meaning even more emphatic by saying:

"Subhuti, when people begin their practice of seeking to attaining total Enlightenment, they ought to see, to perceive, to know, to understand, and to realize that all things and all spiritual truths are no-things, and, therefore, they ought not to conceive within their minds any arbitrary conceptions whatsoever."

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Reply from justin
Jan.05.2014
02:28PM EDT 
Email justin
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Diamond Sutra

Chapter 3.

"All living beings, whether born from eggs, from the womb, from moisture, or spontaneously; whether they have form or do not have form; whether they are aware or unaware, whether they are not aware or not unaware, all living beings will eventually be led by me to the final Nirvana, the final ending of the cycle of birth and death. And when this unfathomable, infinite number of living beings have all been liberated, in truth not even a single being has actually been liberated."

"Why Subhuti? Because if a disciple still clings to the arbitrary illusions of form or phenomena such as an ego, a personality, a self, a separate person, or a universal self existing eternally, then that person is not an authentic disciple."


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Reply from leoj99
Jan.05.2014
05:50PM EDT 
vertical line Haven't I told you in the other thread that: Everyone or everything are in the same Path.. so what merit have  you gained...LOL
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Reply from Riverstone
Jan.05.2014
08:01PM EDT 
vertical line I do not disagree. There is no such thing as Zen, no such thing as giving someone your heart, these are abstractions. So there is and there is not merit that one can dedicate. There is a reason that the Dedication of merit practice exist, even in Zen Buddhism. The Prajnaparamita Sutra is not teaching nihilism. Emptiness is not nihilism.
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Reply from justin
Jan.06.2014
04:33AM EDT 
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vertical line emptiness is empty of self,(of any idea of concepts of personal self, this thing that thing)  because all one not two.

just an opinion
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Reply from justin
Jan.06.2014
04:45AM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line in a very short period this name justin will not be, and then was it ever ?

an electrical response from some atoms to other atoms (is that a self?) from the big bang (an idea created to explain another idea) at which point o this timeline (another thought created idea) do i put my finger abd say 'wait here is the thing' and attempt to stop the entire uni verse (farcical eh) and then because i have determined that point then i might create many ideas to prove that idea, and bolster it, family, love, pain, anger, fashion sense, car, clothes, and on and on,
son to mother,
husband to wife,
teacher to student,
friend to others,

none of these things are independent only bolster ideas of self,

i do not know what i am, separate to these things
the sun is shining the birds calling, the pool awaits :)


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Reply from Riverstone
Jan.06.2014
02:14PM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "emptiness is empty of self,(of any idea of concepts of personal self, this thing that thing)  because all one not two.

just an opinion
"
.........

Yes that is the conceptual way to describe emptiness, the same way I would describe it as well. Yet it is a dry husk compared to the direct experience of it. With this direct experience there is no thought of it, and compassion and wisdom are the byproduct so to speak.
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Reply from Riverstone
Jan.07.2014
02:49AM EDT 
vertical line Within eternity, finite and the infinite become one. Nothing is lost, nothing gained. I was born and I will die but I was never born and I will never die. If you explore emptiness, you will find, eternity.
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Reply from leoj99
Jan.07.2014
03:47AM EDT 
vertical line I am just wondering if your sophisticated words doesn't contain lots of hot air...LOLO
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Reply from Riverstone
Jan.11.2014
02:06AM EDT 
vertical line .........what is it that you fear......fear is the source of aggression .....
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Reply from leoj99
Jan.13.2014
02:20AM EDT 
vertical line What fear are  you talking about.. just asking because I smell lots of hot air in your words...LOL... and I don't even fear to ask... unlike in some other forums...LOL.. I know you are some kind of a star in some other forums... but im just asking if isn't there lots of hot air..LOL
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Reply from Phil Space
Apr.20.2014
08:04AM EDT 
Email Phil Space
vertical line The Phishing Gnome

A lifelike mini outdoor sculptural novelty trying to con his way into someone's bank account and steal all their money! 

Be the envy of all your neighbours as Phishing Gnome™ shows how up to date your pond is. 

Send bank details and personal passwords immediately to PhishMalware.con.
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Reply from urgent
Apr.20.2014
10:54AM EDT 
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vertical line Have you ever loved a woman?
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Reply from Phil Space
Apr.20.2014
11:02AM EDT 
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vertical line Only in the bath.
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Reply from urgent
Apr.20.2014
03:38PM EDT 
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vertical line You are wise but you don't aware of it.
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Reply from Phil Space
Apr.20.2014
07:45PM EDT 
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vertical line Yes is the new No. [Woman has baby]
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