He [Swami Shivananda] pointed out the futility and impracticability of seeking to be physically near one's Guru...
'serve the Guru through devoted service to the Order in the various fields of its activities...
develop a many-sided character...cultivate knowledge, secular and sacred, and develop practical efficiency.'
He always emphasized the need to combine meditation with work, and pointed out the importance of
the company of one's [spiritual] brothers for gaining spiritual strength.
The Master used to say: 'The breeze of His grace is always blowing.
Take advantage of it by unfurling the sails.' By 'unfurling the sails'
is meant self-effort and spiritual discipline. Spiritual discipline will
prepare the mind for divine grace.
-- from Mahapurush Maharaj As We Saw Him