One of the biggest challenges of my life is I have no regular access to teachings. When this happens, the danger is slow motion degeneration and losing of your practice. When we receive teachings, it provides us with fresh prespective and new ideas, we receive powerful oral lineage blessings and it helps us restabilize and improve our motivation to sincerely put the instructions into practice. The general experience of most people who do not have regular access to teachings, even if by correspondance, is they lose their practice and they gradually become reabsorbed into samsara. Their life then passes them by and then they die. At the time of their death, they then realize that they had an unequaled opportunity to advance along the path, but they squandered it and now it is too late. I do not want this to be me!!!
Practically speaking, though, I also have a karmic responsibility to my family. To not live up to that responsibility would be extreme and actually a non-faith in Dorje Shugden who has provided me with the life I have. So that is out of the question. Therefore, my challenge is to find a way to maintain regular access to teachings while still fully embracing my family and work responsibilities.
Besides the obvious things of ‘do what you can’ to listen to correspondance teachings, go to festivals or special events that you can get to, the real task is to find a way to receive teachings every single day.
We can do this in dependence upon our view. I have talked at great length in the past about how we can and should view our whole life as taking place within Dorje Shugden’s protection circle. In this way, we know that everything that arises is perfect for our practice. This enables us to fully accept our situation as being perfect and this then bestows upon us the wisdom to know how to transform whatever conditions we have into opportunities to practice.
In the same way, we can also view everything that arises as our spiritual guide giving us direct teachings. It is not just an issue of it being perfect for our practice, but everything that happens IS a direct teaching. The ultimate nature of everything is the Dharmakaya, so it is perfectly valid to say that all that arises is by nature guru Tsongkhapa. His function is to be the supreme spiritual guide. If I maintain this view with complete faith, then he will enter into everything that arises and through this faith I will receive direct teachings, oral transmission blessings and inspiration through everything. It is only because we do not impute lama tsongkhapa on everything that it does not function for us in this way. But if we maintain this faith and conviction, everything will for us literally become him providing us teachings, blessings and inspiration. We will always be receiving direct teachings!
I need daily teachings, and through my faith in this view, I can actually receive them directly from JTK through everything that arises in my life. This is probably one of the most important views and attainments one can acquire because with it we will always directly be with our spiritual guide and the risk of gradually losing our path will go away.