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Persistence


bi_janus

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One day when I was thirteen, during teisho, the old man, even then universally admired, recounted Okazaki Teruyuki’s definition of the relationship between teacher and student. Okazaki-sama said, “Student here (indicating his knees), teacher here (indicating his head), no steps (indicating the space between).”

I told the old man that I had no notion that I could reach his level of skill, and that I imagined that he had been a prodigy. He told me that many of his fellow students were more talented, but some had died of illness, some had died in the war, and some had become distracted and left.

I said that he undoubtedly worked very hard. He told me that many of his fellow students worked harder than he did, but some had died of illness, some had died in the war, and some had become distracted and left.

He told me that he was dogged, practicing every day as long as he could, and that he had not died of illness, or died in the war, or become distracted and left.

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