Jyoti wrote:RikudouSennin, looking at your age and economic situation, I would recommend you find a part time job while continue your academic study. You will regret when you are older and find yourself without any qualification needed to work in society. Forget about retreat or dzogchen (for a while) since these are beyond your means, if you are serious about dharma, the scriptures are free at any buddhist libraries (this is where I have used to study to gain the knowledge of dharma).
Not BS even though your observations are correct - we have no guarantee about any future time. We also have no guarantee about future circumstances and unfortunately Rikudou is caught in very bad circumstances that he has adapted to so far. Rikudou, it might be a good thing to see if you could work in a Dharma Center in exchange for room and board. Do short term retreats.
In the US and much of the First World, although the societies are rich enough to provide all the basic needs of it's citizenry, the society is set up to ration resources on the basis of money. This is because the societies are still officially wedded to the idea that a scarcity of resources exists and therefore rationing on the basis of money is necessary. The major difference between the US and advanced nations is that most advanced nations provide substantial resources for people who have fallen between the cracks. The US does not and the society assumes that a person who has fallen between the cracks is mentally ill, or wishes to live the homeless life, or is a drug or alcohol abuser. Part of the reason for this attitude is Americans have been conditioned to think this and then just ignore people in need.
We live in a world bounded by real practicalities. In the US, missteps are often unrecoverable. It's a very harsh society although it also has some compassionate people. The very best thing would be for Rikudou to come into contact with one of these compassionate people who can help him get on his feet. If you have about $10,000 and can't find work within 1 month, then the best thing would be to move to India and Nepal for at least a year because employment recovery will continue to be a failure for at least another year. Another option is to create a business - that is difficult and most businesses fail.
There are apparently lots of part-time jobs but they may not be where one lives and they are not usually enough to survive on. A part-time job in the US may still force you to become a wandering yogi (or at least live in the woods).
Becoming a wandering yogi is really for people who have totally abandoned needing the normal necessities of life. This isn't supported in the US. It was supported in Tibet and India. People therefore had some degree of assurance that the society would support their decision and they could practice and not die immediately. In the US (or anywhere this isn't supported) one could starve to death in a short time.
So Rikudou please decide well. It might be a good thing to see if you could work in a Dharma Center in exchange for room and board. There aren't that many that offer this but some do.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes
"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche