As your consciousness descends deeper and deeper, you move from a peripheral mode of thinking toward the creative source of thought itself: ex nihilo, out of nothing, come creative thoughts. Here, thought is uninfluenced by language or concepts.
Ordinarily when you speak, for instance, you are trying to articulate your thoughts through language. For the most part, the words you use are conventional and reflect the commonplace thinking of your time -- this is the case even when you're alone. Hence the reason for maintaining silence on retreat, and not talking while meditating -- if you practice remaining speechless for a long enough time, you begin to realize how severely limited your thinking has become through shaping thoughts into the words and concepts of everyday, middle-range consciousness.
In the retreat state, however, you are able to get in touch with a mode of thinking as it emerges from the depths of consciousness. In fact, after a period of time spent meditating, you may find that your way of thinking becomes dramatically different. [...]
Thus as distractions arise, the goal is to keep returning to the life source of creative thinking -- thoughts that are beyond words and without words. Thus, as you watch thoughts take shape and arise in your mind, begin by observing the assumptions that lie behind them.
Like an anchor dropped to the ocean floor, what this exercise does is to help shift your concentration from the periphery of consciousness to the depths of your being. This changes how you respond to conditions and disturbances arising in the outside world. Instead of reacting superficially, or cutting it out altogether, you respond from a very deep place within yourself.
--Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan