Thirty Years

A fellow went to a Zen master and said, “If I work very hard, how soon can I be enlightened?”

The Zen master looked him up and down and said, “Ten years.”

The fellow said, “No, listen, I mean if I really work at it, how long—”

The Zen master cut him off. “I’m sorry. I misjudged. Twenty years.”

”Wait!” Said the young man, “You don’t understand! I’m—”

“Thirty years,” said the Zen master.

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