Astrology: 2019-2020, part 2: Pluto in Capricorn

Pluto is traversing through Capricorn at its typical turtle’s pace. In January, it was at 20°♑︎ and now in March is at 22°. Through the entire year of 2019, Pluto stays within 20-23°♑︎. It stations at 23°♑︎ from through April and mid-May, then at 20° for all of September, October, and the first week of November. Then in mid-February of 2020, direct at 24°♑︎, it begins another protracted stay lasting through early July 2020 at 24°♑︎. This will likely be significant on the world scale, in nations individually, in political and financial systems or processes, and for anyone who personally has a planet or important point at that degree in any sign. Pluto will energetically be retrograde beginning halfway through that period and then will hang out at 22°♑︎ from mid-August through mid-November. It turns direct during that timeframe and is direct as 2020 ushers in 2021.

Pluto’s movement and force is like a glacier and also like a volcano. Both have an imperceptible quality to them. A glacier moves slowly, unnoticed by the human eye, except now in the speed of their worldwide melting. It is under the glacier, however, that its force is working on a monumental scale. Lake beds are gouged out of mountain valleys. They will be filled by the glacier’s own melt water as it dissolves and reveals its eons of work. Huge boulders are carried along within the body of the glacial ice, some bigger than a house. But, these behemoths are no match for the unrelenting and irrevocable power of the glacier. Similarly, Pluto exerts an uncompromising force on humanity and human structures in Capricorn. I wonder about the slow-crawl of Britain to figure out the Brexit situation as an example. The older generation and those motivated by fear won the Brexit vote but they will not inherit the results of that vote. The younger generation will, and they see the value in collaboration and collective integrity. All nation states supporting each other in freedom and free movement with each accountable to the well-being of the whole which will serve the well-being of the one. Pluto, like the glacier, offers another look at what was underneath but unknown in the psyche of humanity.

Pluto’s volcanic power can be blatantly violent and destructive. It can also take people by surprise. It is usually the scale of an event and its fallout that are mind-boggling. But, like a volcano, what is going on inside it – in its depths and bowels – is largely imperceptible. Now, modern science has instruments that listen for its rumbling, but the analogy is illustrative for how Pluto works.

Since the work of the planets is in service to the long-term good and evolution of humanity on Earth, then that which destroys is making room for that which supports life and spiritual progress. Humanity has been living with the incremental effects of climate change, as example, for decades but to revolutionize how we live on this planet and with this planet has not yet happened. Pluto in Capricorn will do its best to direct humanity to change its ways, change its priorities, with no more discussion about it. This is like a person who has a minor heart attack and is told that he or she has clogged arteries. That person has been clogging those arteries for most of his or her life by the choices made daily. The heart attack leaves little to no choice about future habits and behavior if the person wants to live. Pluto has been waiting for humanity to choose rightly and wisely, but waiting is almost over.

If you have a planet, the ASC, or other vital point of your chart at the degrees that Pluto will station, take note. Anyone who has a point that is between 20 and 24° of any sign, this year and into next are important. Pluto’s aspect to your natal planet or ASC should be viewed for the deep catalyzing that it wants to bring spiritually, personally, psychologically, and in the life habits and patterns that one lives. Like a glacier or a volcano, Pluto’s power is bigger than any excuse, rationalization, or desire for status quo that one has. Pluto is one of the most powerful tools of the Soul when it is transiting one’s chart. The Soul will use Pluto to transform whatever it touches. The natal planet being transited is what is being touched and will be so for well over a year.

Pluto transiting a planet, the ASC, or a significant point in your chart

Pluto rules discoveries and uncoverings. It digs, dredges up. Pluto is the energy of tectonic plates lifting mountains. It is a pressure-driven, unrelenting, uncompromising energy. It is forceful and will feel forceful when one expresses it – if Pluto is significant in one’s natal chart – or by transit. Pluto is associated with the underworld; this means the psyche, as well as secrets and that which is purposefully hidden. If that is done to protect one’s ego or one is telling lies to cover up a dark, malevolent action or thought, Pluto’s transit will bring such things into the light. This will happen on a world scale as well as individually through its transit to one’s chart. Some basics of Capricorn were already explained. Pluto can enhance the potential cruelty of Capricorn or the aloofness, detachment from the results of one’s actions or words. Therefore, be aware that harshness or violence in thoughts, words, or deeds are supported by this energy within one’s self and within the world, especially leaders.

  • mundane/traditional: Pluto transiting a point in one’s chart is rarely easy when lived in a traditional way. Pluto will use any and all life circumstances to bring one to one’s knees, to exert pressure over one, to take things out of one’s control, and – at least for a while – render one powerless. All of this is to help us come to understand how controlling of our life we are, how circumstances arise as they do and that is unpredictable, or that one has been wasting one’s power, using it mindlessly or cruelly, and Pluto transiting is doing all this in order to illumine. Pluto wants us to see our self nakedly. We are mortal, vulnerable, comfort-driven, and habitual. Pluto says, “Well, if I take you to the underground where nothing is as you are used to, what then? If I take you to where you are afraid to go in your emotions, in your thoughts and hold you there, what then?” We must surrender to Pluto; because with that we are surrendering to truths like mortality, fragility, arrogance, denial, and how one lives that is less than Presence. The natal planet or point being transited will describe the focus of Pluto’s work in you and your life.
  • spiritual/esoteric: That force that lifts mountains, that swirls in tornadoes or hurricanes, or that seethes at the bottom of the ocean, that force of Pluto is the force and pressure of the Soul or triad or intuition or of pure Being. Pluto’s spiritual work is two-fold: to purify and to transform, both radically and fully. The natal planet or point being transited is what is being purified and transformed. If that natal point is in aspect to others in the horoscope, then all of  them are being transited by Pluto in Capricorn. The cardinality of Capricorn and its ability to climb the highest mountains, to see clearly from those heights, and to master the as yet unmastered within oneself will augment Pluto’s lack of compromise. This is a powerful cycle of opportunity for one. Live it well and fully for deep transformation that it can provide and produce.
  • evolutionary/hierarchical: Pluto is not a hierarchical ruler of Capricorn, but Pluto’s evolutionary seeds are being planted by the processes of powerlessness, out of one’s control, and the surrender necessary to such life events and circumstances. Pluto does not suggest rolling over and dying, necessarily, but mirrors to us that our common approach to problems will no longer work. Whether that approach has been hubris, or denial and avoidance, or half-measures, if one surrenders to the fact that these don’t work, these are actually perverted in their view, then one is on one’s knees in contriteness and humility. That is good evolutionary ground and the foundation for profound resurrection within and substantial spiritual transformation. Then, one is an agent of positive and powerful change in one’s world.

I am offering two online Astrology courses this year. They are the first two modules of last year’s 9 month course. Those who participated found their insights and understandings of astrology and themselves through their horoscopes very worthwhile, illumining, and supportive. Each session is webcasted and sent to all students for their review or if one cannot attend the session live. My book, Astrology Illumined, co-authored with Sara Traub, is required for the Introduction course. If you already own it, use the “without book” link to register. *If you want to re-take this astrology course, use the registration link for “repeat students.”

Introduction to Astrology, 6 week course begins Saturday, April 27 at 9 am MT/11 am ET. Tuition: $90. Astrology Illumined is discounted when purchased for the course.

Esoteric Astrology, 6 week course begins Tuesday, June 18 at 9 am Mt/11 am ET. Registrations begin in May.

Part 1 in this series: Saturn in Capricorn


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Meditation: the power of one’s practice

We complete this cycle of meditations with acknowledging fully the present moment. This was done in last week’s meditations also but a little more explanation is offered, then the long space of silence for presence.

As said after the meditation is done, direct perception and acknowledging of the experience within a moment as it is, raw and naked, present and truthful, whether troublesome or joyous, is one of the most powerful practices that one can take into one’s day. Overwhelmed? Say it, “wow, I’m really feeling overwhelmed.” Respect that for the experience that it is, layered, textured, and trying to report layers of thoughts and feelings. Then, with softness and openness ask yourself why, “why is overwhelm what I am experiencing?” (Please not the words. Using the word experience provides the layers and textures in the feeling to be known. If one asks “why am I feeling this way?, that is a loaded and preferential question. There is judgment in it: that one shouldn’t be feeling what one is. Rather, the experience is truth. Acknowledge it. Explore it.

One would equally acknowledge joy or happiness. “wow, this moment is joyful.” After respecting the fullness of joy, then ask “why is joy the experience?” In other words, what allowed that to arise?

To live from awareness is to live from the power of being present. Presence is now and the experience of now, no matter what it is. We will discover that calling ourselves to that truth of moment and truth of experience will foster clarity and better decision making, will undo the ego’s games, will keep us truthful with ourself and others.

  • We’ll take two weeks away from online live meditations – then come back with Intermediate practices. Please use the podcasts on the blog or your own sitting practice while we are not online.

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Astrology: 2019-2020, part 1: Saturn in Capricorn

Various world stage issues and events demonstrate the astrological energies that are in play and are setting up a grand stellium of planets in Capricorn that will condition 2020. Themes in play include:

  • the ongoing tennis match between President Trump in the USA and a variety of domestic and international players. Domestically, these include Congress, especially the new Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, certain states that consistently take the role of defying or suing the President/Executive branch, and individuals such as Michael Cohen or whomever is currently resigning from a post in Trump’s administration.
  • the ups and downs of the financial markets of the world.
  • ongoing divisiveness in many countries expressive of the endemic and increasing disparity between the rich and the poor. The middle class has become lower middle or is struggling to avoid poverty in various countries, and the poor are squeezed hopelessly by debt and disease, then dismissed as deserving of their lot.
  • the rampant ill health together with societal and indigenous issues that remain unreconciled due to capitalism being essentially a type of mass vampirism. The export of this Western model leaves copious evidence that – as it currently is demonstrated – is unhealthy for the world.
  • The experiment of the EU is clearly still an experiment, but maybe American-style democracy is too.

This itemization is brief and incomplete. It does not include planetary climatic transformation or the effects of humanity’s seeming insatiable need to expand and to destroy while doing so. Nor does it include violence in all its forms and scales that humanity has embraced so fully that violence has become entertainment as it was in Rome/gladiator days.

Every human being on Earth is affected by the movements of the planets; systems of human activity are also. Examples include governance, banking, commerce, and financial systems, energy production and transmission, food production and distribution, health and well-being. When these change, are disrupted, or implode, the common man, woman, and child is pawn, prey, or both to these macro-systems of society.

The influence of the planets supported and instigated the creation of democratic rule and the revolutions that overturned rule by a monarch back in the late 1700’s. The discovery of the planet Neptune and the ushering in of its energy to the human psyche was instrumental in the furthering of drugs, drug use, and addiction. Initially the drug of choice was opium, then cocaine in Coke Cola, then tobacco and widespread alcohol use. Now as then, drugs that numb and stupefy are both the rage and the demon. But, drugs such as fentinol and opioids would not be such a wide-spread problem if, like guns and tobacco, the making of billions of dollars on death was disallowed. The alignment of the planets that will pepper 2019 and pave the way for “the great set-up” of 2020 could topple the faltering ship of human-made degradation and suffering. Destruction paves the way for fresh construction, and this could be what is shaping up.

This series of articles will offer thoughts on the possible macro and micro implications of the planetary alignments through 2019 and 2020. The micro is you and me and how a planet in the heavens might be transiting our horoscope (natal chart). That is determined by the degree of the planet in the heavens and the degrees of planets or ASC in your chart. For example, my natal Sun is at 18°♋︎ and my Mars at 17°♓︎. Saturn in the heavens is at 18°♑︎. It is transiting any planet or the ASC of someone’s chart that is at 16, 17, 18, or 19° of any sign. The aspect (trine, square, conjunction, etc.) depends upon the specific angular or mathematical relationship these planets make. In my case, transiting Saturn is opposing my Sun and sextile to my Mars. I, then, am pondering the implications of this and looking for and observing how Saturn’s transit is playing out in my life, my psyche, and my spiritual Path. You would do the same as I give the degrees of the heavenly planets.

A few additional and instructive thoughts:

  • The larger planets will typically retrograde three times within a range of degrees repeatedly through the journey of that planet through a sign of the zodiac. Within this retrograde/direct movement of energy is what is called “stationing.” The planet will slow to a crawl and then seem to be in non-motion for a period of time. Like a train pulling into a station, it slows, then stops for a duration, then slowly starts again gaining speed as it does. Whether slowing to retrograde from direct motion or slowing in retrograde motion to go direct again, the crawl and stopped motion is significant energetically. Macrocosmically, generally things happen because the force of the planet and sign is unabated and pressure-driven. Microcosmically, if a person has natal points at the degree the transiting planet is stationed, it is almost assured that something will happen. That something could be tremendously beneficial, could be trying or troublesome, or could simply feel like there is no escape from something that the natal planet symbolizes. Of course, all planetary activity is energetically to foster benefit and liberation. It is a human being’s clinging to life as one knows it, ideas that one holds, etc. that make a situation problematic.
  • For example, coming up, Saturn will station at 20°♑︎ in early April and stay stationed through most of May before it retrogrades until September. In September, it stations at 13°♑︎ for twenty days, then goes direct. It takes a while to get going (leaving the station), so, for most of October is at 14°♑︎. Then, almost exactly a year from now in March 2020, Saturn comes to station in order to retrograde again. It does so at 29°♑︎/0°♒︎. It then abides at 1°♒︎ most of April, all of May, and half of June. Then it stations again at 25°♑︎ for two months: September/October of 2020 in order to turn direct.
  • When teaching astrology and focusing on how to understand transits, I remark that our higher nature (soul or what you call higher nature) will use these three stations particularly. The first is a sudden wake up call, usually through an event or circumstance. It is important to notice this wake up call, to assess one’s response to it, and to suss out what is being called to one’s attention. What that something is is not external: not the event or the person or the diagnosis. It is a pattern of consciousness inside you or I. We are to wake up to the fact that “I do this,” “I think this,” “I dismiss/dismissed this,” “I was deluded and chose that.” If we get what is trying to be illumined by our higher self/Soul/pure being, then the rest of the duration of the entire transit will have purpose. If one does not stop, drop, and meditate on what the #$% is going on, then the second station will be harsher or more challenging. Again, our Soul is trying to get the personality’s attention for our benefit. If insight was had with the first station, then the second is experienced as “Okay, I see the method to the madness; I get what is trying to awaken or unfold within me. I’m going to open to it and open to the wisdom that is trying to happen.” If an asana and attitude of humility is used, then the third station is powerfully supportive and freeing. If one has put one’s head in the sand, blamed everyone and their uncle, denied the obvious, and fought tirelessly to control circumstances and people, then woe unto you. The third station tends to be destructive in such cases. Human beings always have choice. Essentially, however, the choices are between one’s evolving goodness and selflessness and that of limitation or karma.
  • A similar energetic is the decan or decanate of the planet’s degree in the natal chart. As I look at and interpret a chart, I find this small factor to often be quite significant. Simply, 1-9 or 10 degrees is the first decan of the 30 degrees in a sign. It brings the energy of newness, freshness, and of the person learning a new way with an old energy. 10 or 11 degrees to 19 or 20 is the second decan or decanate. It offers the energetic of comfort with the planet’s energy, as if it is a known factor; it is familiar. There is a stable feeling or sense of acumen with the planet’s qualified energies. Finally, 21-29 degrees gives the sense of needing to change things up with the planetary qualities and those of the sign at these degrees; the latter degrees especially. We can be so familiar or comfortable with these energies as to be stagnant, or default patterns with this planet’s energies have no or little edge therefore lack spiritual growth. The Soul in its wisdom tends to put catalyzing factors in place in the birth chart to undermine this ease with planet or sign’s energy. We are not allowed to rest on our laurels nor grow too personality-comfortable in our skills. All must be used for the Path and the undoing of the mask of the self.
  • On the macro level, transiting planets also use this decanate energetic. Early degree planets provide particular seeds of change or potential revelation and newness into humanity. (Watch what is seeded and appears on humanity’s horizon as Uranus stabilizes in the early degrees of Aries.) Second decan planets in transit illumine the falsity of trying to maintain the status quo. It is old, done, and humanity is to use what it has learned, improved, understood to be a waste of time, and move on. The key with the transiting planet at these degrees is illumination: that something is truly not working will be declared. With the last decan, the transiting planet will attempt to pull the rug of stability and arrogance out from under the feet of humanity. When the shit hit the fan in 2008, Pluto was in tail-end degrees of Sagittarius. Lower Sag is about having a good time with little or no care for the consequences, especially to others. The financial collapse was engineered by banks and money-lenders with the deluded and selfish intention of riches and gain. It was a house of cards then and still is; but then the collapse did not bring down or fundamentally change the parasitic practices of the financial institutions, as was intended energetically. Rather, mom and pop homeowners, pensioners, and small country economies were brought down. Countries like Greece or Spain are still not financially stable. Similarly the people of those countries, like homeowners and pensioners, suffered and still are.

Saturn and Pluto are in Capricorn. (Pluto will be taken up in Part 2 of this series.)

Saturn has been moving through Capricorn. In January of this year it was at 11°♑︎ and now is at 18°♑︎, moving 7° in two months and humming along. Saturn will retrograde at the end of this April at 20°♑︎. Importantly, it is stationed at that degree through almost the entirety of April and May. Take note if you have any planet, your ASC, your DC, or your nodes at 20° of a sign. April and May will be particular for you. Wisdom in noticing your psychological or habitual response to external events or circumstances will be key. Wisdom will bring benefit to your Path; old ignorant ways will increase hardship. Saturn will retrograde until October 1; see the enumeration given in the paragraphs above for the detail of the degree. 

Note that transiting Saturn is in the second decanate of Capricorn. Saturn also rules Capricorn, traditionally and esoterically. On the macro scale, the systems of authority and the systems that lack compassion and simply grind along regardless of long-term detrimental and foreseeable consequences are up for illumination. This includes autocrats and the elite without conscience or care for the bulk of humanity especially those harmed or limited by the practices that keep the rich rich and the elite in their positions.

This transit could open the door to new regulations that reign in the variety of businesses that deal in death. Included would be the gun manufacturers in the US, tobacco companies, Monsanto, various pharmaceutical companies, and banking practices that only enhance the banks. Equally so, laws or rules that disenfranchise the common person, codify or support racism, sexism, or other forms of inequality could begin to be deconstructed. Saturn rules time, and so the results of Saturn’s transit might take years to come to fulfillment.

A year from now, when it retrogrades again, its energy could be quite forceful. If reconciliation and rectification has not begun as mentioned above, then, like a cancer spreading through the blood or to the bone marrow, the end is in sight and completely predictable for institutions that have only self-interest in mind at the cost of others and the planet. There is no future in such practices; and we are in the seeding cycle of the new millennium and the dawning of the New Age. The future will not be a continuation of the aggression and predator-prey of the last millennium.

On a personal basis, if Saturn in Capricorn is transiting your chart, there are three levels of potential expression: mundane/traditional, spiritual/esoteric, and evolutionary/hierarchical. On a mundane/traditional level, Saturn rules time, responsibilities, and is task-oriented. Saturn refers to one’s work, one bones, one’s spine, and the work of properly caring for one’s body and health. Saturn can hold one in the experience of limitation or constraint. This is done so that one realizes one’s emotional reaction/response, one’s ability to problem solve, one’s capacity to let go, one’s inventiveness, and one’s sense of humor or lack thereof with life and its flows. Capricorn is a cardinal sign. It is driven. It is also an earth sign. It is practical. Being cardinal, Capricorn can be ambitious and prideful. Like the mountain goat that symbolizes it, Capricorn can go where few dare. But, there can be a harshness, even cruelty, to Capricorn. One must not rationalize this but seek earnestly to change it through acknowledging the ramifications of one’s actions and ideas, now and karmically in the long-run.

mundane: If health issues arise, they are the direct result of how one has lived. It’s time to correct that. Do it thoughtfully, not reactively. Each person’s body/emotion/mind complex is unique. Listen to your body. It’s been telling you for a while that it is unhappy and that your choices are the reason why. Choose well-being. Financial or economic change is afoot on a wide scale through 2019-2020 and beyond. It’s time to save money not spend. Make meals at home, make your coffee at home, drive past the drive-through, don’t go to the mall or the Dollar Store. Keep your money in your pocket. Pay off the credit card rather than use it. Realize that just because you “could” buy such and such, you don’t need to. Instead, provide yourself the opportunity to feel the emotional mutiny of instant gratification being unfulfilled. Feel how addicted you are to things, to distraction, to mindless doing. Realize that money not spent is just that: not spent! If the shit hits the fan on a national or global scale economically, you will need every penny you have and need it under your mattress. Lastly, Saturn in Capricorn transiting something in your chart is saying “Get real.” The natal planet or point being transited is “what” one is to get real about.

  • spiritual/esoteric: Saturn is a mentor, an inner teacher whose role is to consistently direct one toward the light, toward clarity, rightness, integrity, authenticity, and truth including Truth of Being. This level of Saturn is not a punitive, negative voice inside, but is the gut sense that something isn’t right, the intuition that “I know what to do,” or “this has a purpose.” The inner guidance of Saturn also is not theory, concept-elaboration, or a tangle of mental gyrations for their own sake. Esoteric Saturn is clear, concise, declarative of truth, and is bright, radiant, even transparent. Capricorn on the esoteric or spiritual level is the drive to embody one’s innate clarity and truth of Being. On this level, Capricorn is discontented with bullshit: one’s own or others and, instead, will do what it can to honor what is true, what is deeply right, what will bring benefit or improvement to self and others. Saturn rules Capricorn both traditionally and esoterically, thus Saturn in Capricorn transiting a planet or point in one’s horoscope is an unambiguous opportunity to be true to one’s spiritual Path by being true to the spiritual being that you innately are. Being human is not an excuse for mediocrity. Being human is a declaration of the light-being, wisdom-being, and compassion-being that one is. Whatever planet or point is being transited is being shaken in order to be lived at a higher, clearer, or transparent level. It is being transited so that one comes to understand that that planet or ASC (Mars, Venus, Moon, ASC, etc) is a set of qualities and capacities of the Soul or Pure Being that are to be lived as such in the world for its betterment.
  • evolutionary/hierarchical: Saturn is purpose itself. Saturn on its highest level is reason-for-being and the experience of pure Being. Saturn represents the supreme authority of innate being, the supreme capacity of one as an embodiment of pure Being, and the bodhi-work that a life lived from pure being expresses. The hierarchical level of Saturn (which is not represented by Saturn in Capricorn but may be being lived by an individual) holds no questions. The person is confident from truth of being that one IS truth of Being, that one’s reason for being is not for oneself but is in support of others. This is factual, practically and enthusiastically lived with clarity. Capricorn on this level is aligned with the highest truths and with intuitive, direct responsiveness to Truth, Justice, Wholeness for the whole, and rightness understood deeply from the heart. As Saturn in Capricorn transits a point in your chart, understand that all three levels of embodiment and demonstration are possible. For example, a mundane circumstance like credit card debit or addressing one’s physical health mindfully will require the esoteric level of Saturn and Capricorn if change is to happen and be sustained. Inner strength, true commitment, and lasting follow-through will be needed and can  only come from within, from the Soul or higher nature, from truth of being. Similarly, as one lives truthfully and respectfully with one’s self, evolutionary changes are being put in place that will carry through for lifetimes of benefit and positive growth.
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Meditation: innate goodness and simplicity

To live one’s awareness is to live simply and from innate goodness.

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Meditation: living awareness

Why do you meditate? What do you hope to achieve through your practice?

As an incarnating being of profound capacity and untold layers of Awareness, you intended that meditation would be found in this incarnation and that you would practice it, learn from your insights and understandings, and integrate a meditative way with living into your life. How are you doing with all of that?

The Practice of Living Awareness is one of many meditation practices currently available to humanity. From the very first, I have openly said that The Practice is nothing new. The steps come from the two greatest meditation masters that humanity has known: Lord Buddha and the sage Patanjali. Sprinkled in is some of the wisdom of the great Lao Tsu. What makes The Practice of Living Awareness what it is is its emphasis on experiencing what you are experiencing, yet doing so without story line. Just experience the breath, open to it. Experience the moment for its fullness. Soften and open to each moment, person, and event for the raw energy and richness that each is.

To live one’s awareness is to live the purpose of an incarnation. That purpose must transpire and be expressed through all our common responsibilities and relationships, yes. But, without living awareness none of these are alive, none of these are being lived for the potency that they intrinsically are and can release beneficially into the world. So, being what you incarnated to be. Live your meditation practice thoroughly and bring goodness into the world.

This is a simple, luminous meditation.

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