Some say we’re human so we can awaken. But what if that’s only phase one? Phase two would be: we awaken so we can be human.
This could be the implication of Zen’s ten ox-herding pictures, which are a map of the spiritual path, a Pilgrim’s Progress from early-medieval China.
The first four or five pictures are about getting clear. Clearing away the dust and debris that obscure our “true Dharma eye.” Then pictures five to ten are about returning to this life, this moment, with a fully open heart. Digging awakening back into the soil of everyday life. Forgetting all about it. Living. Fully human.