I first tried meditation in the late 60s. In bell bottoms and tie-dye shirt, I went with college friends several nights a week to an old house in woodsy Los Gatos. I vaguely recall a robed man speaking softly as we sat on floor cushions with our legs crossed like pretzels. Then there was silence. Restless and fidgety, I just kept wondering when the darn gong would sound so I could open my eyes and get up and move around. After a few sessions I stopped going.
I'm 66 now and retired. Recently I joined a church that combines Eastern practices with its core teachings and saw that it offers group meditation one evening a week.
"I'll give it another try," I thought gamely, and showed up one night.
We sat in a circle around a sunken platform of flickering candles. The leader explained that there would be an hour of silent meditation. Right away I remembered my earlier failure. "Wow," I said. "That's a long time. Is it okay if I get up once in a while and walk around really quietly?"
Of course, they murmured.