“Learn that the advantage lieth not in possessing good things but in knowing the use of them.”
Keep these answers in your journal as you will be looking at them again in the future.
In your answer to question 2 about the greatest obstacle you mentioned staying on the path. I would say that though there are many aspects to right following (Shemsu Neteru) as you may have noted in the current Saturday night talks, indeed your statement in #1 is a key to dismantling any and all obstructions. You said: “Taking the responsibility that I polluted my mind and therefore I have the power to purify it, is the first step in my journey. It is extremely humbling to come face to face with one’s ignorance.”
Taking responsibility is huge and opposite to faith-based religion which is for the most part surrendering free will and shutting down th intellect so you don’t see contradictions or have to deal with inadequacies, delusions or fears; you just pass it on to the church and hope those issues never come to mind so there is constant thinking about egoistic and worldly issues, churching and never reflecting and “god-forbid” never any meditation practice; for these things lead to dispelling delusions but also many people know they cannot “handle the truth” so they maintain willful ignorance and ignore or even actively repudiate those who contradict their narrow vision of life which in turn keeps them from discovering that which would truly lead to peace, sanity, wholeness and fulfilment in life.
Many people would like to be in your situation of not having relatives too close or too many friends or distractions so you should try to make use of that situation if you can make use of it. I say it like that, keeping in mind what I said above about people not being able to face their issues and because though many people say they would like that situation the reality is they cannot make use of it since their minds are filled with the distractions, relationships, habits and prideful ideas of what their life should or is supposed to be. This prevents them from simplifying life and concentrating on what is truly important.
Sharing what you have learned-with those who can listen- is a noble cause and a dynamic way to practice the teaching; as you take the responsibility outlined above you will have much nefer (of what is beautiful) to share with others.