In the many monasteries of the mountains of Song China that I have seen, the monks holding the various offices train in these posts for a year at a time, each of them in each moment practicing by three standards. Firstly, to benefit others benefits yourself. Second, make every effort to maintain and renew the monastic environment. Third, follow the standards set forth by the examples of excellent practitioners of past and present and come to stand with them.
You should understand that foolish people hold their practice as if it belonged to someone else, wise people practice with everyone as themselves.
ancient teacher said,
"Two-thirds of your life has passed
without clarifying who you are.
Eating your life,
muddling about in this and that,
you don't even turn when called on.
From this verse we can see that if you have not met a true teacher, you will just follow the lead of your tendencies. And this is pathetic. It's like the story of the foolish son who leaves his parent's home with the family treasure and then throws it away on a dung heap. Do not waste your opportunity as that man did.
From: Tenzo Kyokun - Instructions for the Cook by Eihei Dogen -
Translated by Yasuda Joshu and Anzan Hoshin