For the first 15 minutes, I thought about lunch and shopping that afternoon. But after 30 minutes I ran out of distractions, and actually began listening. A roomful of people spending an hour in silent prayer is better than any tranquilizer. Calm replaces worry and fear. You actually feel at peace and refreshed! After an hour, one member shakes the hand of the person beside him. Others do the same and we all adjourn to the next room for refreshments.
It was during refreshments that I noticed how modest they all are. Nobody dressed to impress. If you asked an older man what he did for a living, he might say, "Oh, I'm a teacher." Later you learn he's an IU professor emeritus of Greek literature. And he came to Meeting on a bicycle.
What do Quakers believe? In a nutshell, they believe it's possible to have direct, unmediated communion with God, and they are committed to living lives which outwardly attest this inward communion, instead of reciting creeds. If you have five spare minutes, here's a video of Quakers explaining what silence (or expectant listening) means to them. youtube.com/watch?v=