This topic came to me after making the decision to not host our group meditation tomorrow. I had to overcome a lot of old conditioning in order to come to that decision. In my former career, I worked in advertising which is an industry that rewards the burn-out grind more than any other I've encountered. My first real job in advertising was at an agency in LA where we worked on a pitch for three months without a day off. You could sense a kind of haughty pride from those who were working on that project. It seemed to matter less that your work was good so long as you were still at your desk at two AM despite exhaustion or even illness.
Our culture rewards doing. And we're all busy doing a lot of doing. And being busy is wonderful so long as one can rest. The deep rest we get in meditation means when we go into action, we do so selectively with purpose and effectiveness. Without rest, it's just a lot of inefficient energy spilling about without a lot of valuable results. Imagine someone throwing an arrow at a target. It will waver and likely not even reach the target. But when you pull the arrow back, as it goes into action directly with speed and accuracy. Meditation is pulling the bow back.
All the incredible benefits of meditation to the body and even higher states of consciousness are simply the results of resting deeply. That's really what meditation is, deep rest. It is deep rest alternating with action. This weaving in and out pattern eventually leads to the two states of consciousness coming together so that one can experience the vast awareness and relaxed nature of being deep while in the waking state.
Please do not be afraid to place great value on rest even while living in an environment that doesn't understand its benefits. While I wish I didn't need to cancel tomorrow's group meditation, I know that if I listen to my body telling me it needs to rest, afterwards I will be of better service to my students.