these days... more zazen (shikantaza/samadhi), not enough karate, and moving towards less clutter and fewer hobbies.
activities picking up again are gardening, shooting, and hunting preparations and still look forward to resume aikido training... Hopefully, beekeeping, providing home for honeybees do not take up much time.
I did manage to watch all of "Downton Abbey."
I view Zen (Ch'an) Buddhist zazen practice as an indispensable aspect to wiser martial arts (combat prevention or survival) & life training.
This really rings familiar to me, particularly the part about having less hobbies and focusing more on the few activities I'm choosing. I don't know zazen meditation, but I would descrbe the ones I have experience with as promoting similar effects. Misogi and Chinkon Gyo both seem to apply to that idea of instinctive-wisdom you described and, for me, they have been central what little practice I've managed to make happen.
That's cool about the bee-keeping! I've trained with a couple guys who do that and it seems fascinating, never mind delicious! Also, considering I recently heard the honey market is aparently full of bogus non-honey (no pollen, etc. in the sugar), it's a good way to ensure you're actually eating real honey.
I view meditation as a means of promoting autonomy through refining the conscious and subconscious perceptions. My first exposure to meditation came when I was a kid. During tough times in particular, I would find a quiet place and just sit and focus on breathing and then think about whatever was bothering me, always returning periodically to calming my breath. It would always help, even if just a little...either I would come up with logical answers (that invariably helped) or I would at least calm down so I could engage the problem without the emotional tension. It provided a calm center to some fairly chaotic situations and I'm convinced made a big difference in how I turned out today compared with some of my friends growing up. Having an organized mind is just as important as having an organized body.