Freedom, in 30 Years?

Quote attributed to Al-Bistami

"For thirty years God was my mirror, now I am my own mirror.
What I was I no longer am, for "I and "God" are a denial of God's unity.
Since I no longer am, God is his own mirror.
He speaks with my tongue, and (I?) have vanished."

A related story is told about a Zen Master instructing a Jesuit.
In a private interview, the Jesuit complained that even in his best Zazen
there was still struggle, still two, himself and God, that he wanted to unify.
The Master said "soon there would be just you, Father".
The Jesuit replied, "I would prefer just God."
The Master replied, "exactly what I said, Father!"

A related statement, attributed to a Zen Master, is
"it takes 30 years, monk or master, for (salvation?)"
When questioned about this by an experienced monk,
another master said simply "practice another 30 years".

Mind and Meditation