There is a joke about a constable who was escorting a monk under arrest.
Every day the constable always checked that “monk,” “bag,” “documents” and “I” were all present before taking to the road.
One evening, the monk wormed his way into the confidence of the constable. He thanked him
for trouble he had taken in escorting him on the journey and put out the money to entertain him with food and wine.
Flushed with drink the constable carefully unlocked the monk’s fetters.
Wine cup succeeded wine cup until the constable was as drunk as mud. The monk and the owner of the inn then carried him to a room to sleep it off.
In the middle of the night the monk shaved the constable’s head, exchanged clothes with him and crept away.
The constable woke in the morning, felt for his bag and the documents and rehearsed: “Right. Bag, documents, still here.”
Then, suddenly, pale with fright: “But where’s the monk got to?”
He looked round the inn several times. Not half a shadow was to be found. Worried out of his mind he scratched his head.
Scratching itself meant nothing, but what he scratched was bald!
The constable felt his head and then shouted: “Oh, the monk’s still here! But where have ‘I’ got to?”
Where have “I” got to is one of the greatest concerns of Zen.
Zen advocates “Purifying the mind and seeing one’s nature.” That is, finding one’s original mind and true nature; finding the original “I.”
Throughout our lives, we must keep honestly asking ourselves: is the me of now the real me? Where has the original me gone?
( 摘自: 吴言生著《CHINESE ZEN A PATH TO PEACE AND HAPPINESS》，
TONY BLISHEN 译，Better Link 出版社，纽约 )