I recently read an interesting article written by Marc McGuinness over at the Lateral Action Blog.
In the post he describes how much he learned from spending several days in solitude and absolute quiet at a retreat, and what it did for his awareness, and also his productivity.
I agreed with everything he says wholeheartedly, and he has described my own experience better than I ever could. I also recently spent a day in (mostly) silence as part of a 9-day retreat I attended in which being quiet played an important role.
He makes the important point that meditation’s purpose is not to become more productive, but that it IS a decent side-benefit.
For me, one way in which that’s true is that it boosts what I call awakeness, which is the ability to conduct any activity while maintaining a background understanding of its overall purpose. Without this quality, we stray from living as human beings and act more like human “doings.” Love, joy and peace of mind disappear, soon to be replaced by stress, worry and anxiety.
It’s a great article: How Getting Nothing Done Can Make You More Productive