Thank you for such a thoughtful and elaborate response! I really enjoyed your Las Vegas story and it also put a huge smile on my face :) I can totally imagine that situation and connecting with people through the laughter.
I really like how you refer to meditation as a “prelude to action”. And yes, I agree that going inwards to see things about your inner self can serve as a tool to prepare yourself for more authentic relationships and contributing your best to the world. For me at least, introducing meditation to my life was a neccessary step to see certain things about my relationships and about how I generally behave in the world. Meditation made me more conscious of the moments when I wasn’t being honest or clear about my intentions. Once I became conscious, I could finally change things for the better.
But I also think that meditation / striving for self-realization is a value in itself. Being in my own company, attending to my emotional needs and connecting to the Source (or God, if you prefer) — these are experiences that have an intrinsic value to me. They are also an important reason for me to keep meditating and practicing both the “inward-” and the“outward-oriented” mindfulness.
“We can always return to silence, but we should not seek to remain there.” — I am not sure about this one. I would leave it to every individual person to decide for themselves, whether, or for how long, they wish to remain in the silence.
Thank you again for sharing your story and opinions! All the best to you.