Yeah, asking for all the necessary components of any practice one intends to do from one's guru goes without saying. That's the ideal, without a doubt. I'm really asking as a matter of practicality since some of us have teachers who aren't always accessible because of:
1) distance---many of us, especially in the "West," have lamas who aren't local, whether they be in another state in the U.S., or in another country (e.g. India, Nepal, Tibet); though I've heard that often Tibetans had lamas in other provinces of Tibet, and a traditional view was that this may be a blessing in disguise so that we don't come to see the guru as ordinary.
2) old age & health---some (especially the ones who were in their teens, twenties, and older before exile) are getting old and passing into parinirvana, as we saw this past week most keenly; others are unable to travel so much due to illness or concern that they may be susceptible or put themselves in jeopardy with stress of travel; in cases like Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, it's both.
3) lack of tech saavy---many, but not all, of the vanishing vanguard of older lamas don't really know how to use the electronic devices or the internet that has made communication so much easier for most of us, or simply choose not to...
4) lack of precedence---many lamas are leery of the use of new technology being integrated into the traditional teacher-student relationship and how it functions; opinions on whether wang & lung can be given online run the gammut from "there is no precedent for this in our tradition, so seek out a lama in person who can give these" (Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche), to "wang can't be given except in person, but lung is ok" (Dalai Lama), to "both are ok given the right intention and the motivation of bodhicitta" (ChNNR & H.E. Garchen Rinpoche), and all points in between.
To their credit, many lamas have no issues with any of these things and are quite readily available. Lama Karma Drodhul (KKR's nephew) and Drupon Thinley Ningpo come to mind for me off the top of my head. This seems to be more the younger generation, however...
As for the mistake regarding the Milarepa LaDrup not being a Guru-as-Yidam practice, mea culpa. It should be quite obvious by now that I haven't been at this for very long---just a few short years---whereas some of you folks have been studying, contemplating, and meditating longer than I've been alive (for this particular go on the ferris wheel of Samsara, at least)!
What is Jetsün Mila seen as in that practice, then? Based on the empowerment, I (apparently wrongly) assumed that he was taken as a form of the deity. Then again, there are empowerments for Phowa and such, so I guess I should've realized...
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།