The difficulty of the task of self-improvement is not to be underrated and it is because of this as well as for other reasons that seekers since ancient times have been advised to obtain the help of a guru. From him they can get inspiration, guidance, and a certain telepathically transferred strengthening power which is called Grace.
It is not necessary to be living always near a guru in a monastery as so many seem to think. What is really necessary is to meet him on this physical plane once only, even if it be just for five minutes. After that his help can be received inwardly and mentally by telepathy without any further physical meeting. This is because the real guru is not the body, but his inner being, the Mind behind the body, and it is that inner being with which the seeker must try to come into relation. Such a relation he builds up himself by his own mental attitude, by his faith devotion and obedience to the way that is shown.
-- Notebooks Category 1: Overview of the Quest > Chapter 6: Student-Teacher > # 6