From a very early age, Tao-hsin had been on a relentless quest to find the Truth. At the age of fourteen he approached the great Seng-tsan, the Third Zen Patriarch, with a resolution belying his tender years.
“Master, I humbly request that you show me the way of liberation.”
“Has anybody ever put you in bondage?” asked the great master with a frown on his face.
“If you are not in bondage,” said the master, “why should you ask for liberation?”
At that moment, young Tao-hsin experienced a profound awakening, and later went on to become the Fourth Zen Patriarch.