And to top it all, you say you are an insider.
Dude, I am surprised you call yourself an insider and are not aware of the daily meditation, yoga, puja/homa, chanting that all ashramites do. I invite you to come in and experience the beautiful ashram lifestyle.
Now, coming to ashramites working hard. Ofcourse working hard is a meditation. Let me enlighten you with the concept. This will also benefit others who have similar doubts.
Physical fatigue layer is the first obstacle to enlightenment. We limit ourselves by thinking, "I can do only this much and not more", and allow a chronic fatigue to set in us.
Let me explain in clearer terms. I know of a few friends of mine before they became ashramites. After entering the ashram, these are their words, “Before I used to slack, laze around and I used to have many moments when I used to feel lonely and lethargic. Now, there is no scope for these negative and lazy thoughts. Every moment is fresh and new. We just keep living every moment intensely. Every single moment is fresh and we just enjoy the process of working however late we stay up. There just seems to be an overflowing energy and no physical tiredness at all.”
The Master is tapping our own energy to get us out of tamas. He is like a transformer to convert the rajas to satva and not give anyscope for inactivity or tamas. In this process, every moment looks new; every moment we are working but are not bothered by the final result. We are enjoying every moment without being bogged down by any negative thoughts about the final goal.
It may have looked like labor or a burden of hard work for you. That is because you probably never enjoyed the work, or did not have the intensity or maybe your connection with the Master was not deep enough for you to flow through the process. To us, serving the master is blissful seva, that we look forward to.
Take an example of any successful person. If they had not considered work as meditation and worked intensely, they would not be what they are.
And don't make your own interpretations of Master's words. If you were really an insider, you would not have misinterpreted and misunderstood the Master's words - they do not need separate meditation. "What is meditation?" If you get a correct answer for that, you can get a correct answer for the master's words.
And why are you trying to be the spokesperson for those working in ashram? They are all blissful. Either come in and experience it yourself and enjoy the blissful activity or just relax - don't misinterpret and miscommunicate.