I was raised as a Quaker in the Philadelphia area. That culture is a part of me. I attended Quaker schools. Meeting for Worship was always a part of my life. Jesus and God to me were not a big part of the experience. Sometimes people would stand and share messages about Jesus or God, but the messages were just as often about the spirit, or nature, or peace.
As a teenager, I enjoyed gathering with other young Quakers (young Friends) at annual gatherings. These did not feel like religious gatherings, but youthful gatherings, where we would do youthful things like developing crushes on each other and hooking up. That is what I enjoyed most. We were pretty good kids.
After college, I became interested in Buddhism when I became depressed. I started reading Buddhist books. I was drawn to the kind and compassionate language and practical advice about how to work with your mind. Although I was adept at sitting in meeting, in silent worship, for up to an hour at a time, I did not know how to meditate in the Buddhist way. I dabbled with meditation and Buddhist literature for 15 years before I started to practice daily meditation. As I did in my 20’s I turned to Buddhism at 40 to help me deal with difficult emotions. After a couple of years of sitting daily meditation, a friend recommended a Zen temple to me. That is how I came to Zen. Now, I sit Zen meditation (zazen) in the morning and evening. I have a good relationship with my emotions.
Zen has taught me that I am a Quaker, and that my youthful Quaker experience with Meeting for Worship was good preparation for my Zen practice. My Zen practice is good preparation for my Quaker practice. It is the same practice.