When you are helping my missionary activities I am always thinking of you and you are always thinking of me. That is real association. Just like I always think of my Guru Maharaja every moment, although He is not physically present, and because I am trying to serve Him to my best capacity, I am sure He is helping me by His spiritual blessings. So there are two kinds of association: physical and preceptorial. Physical association is not so important as preceptorial association.
Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Govinda — Los Angeles 17 August, 1969