John Windsor, Derbyshire Transcendental Meditation Teacher
John Windsor has been a qualified teacher of Transcendental Meditation for over 30 years. He has given personal instruction to nearly 1,500 people and has led over 150 residential courses for TM meditators.
He taught for 20 years in the London Borough of Hackney, at a time when the area was reputed to be Britain's most deprived.
You'll like John. Expect a lot of laughs when you visit his Centre. But if this is your landing page, please read the first pages of this website first, because the effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation has little to do with the personality of the teacher and everything to do with the nature of the technique itself. The six-month in-residence training that TM teachers undergo ensures that they preserve the innocence and effectiveness of the teaching rather than puffing themselves up as gurus.
.. That's better. Now read on:
Before becoming a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, John was a national newspaper journalist and has only recently retired from writing about the art market for The Independent and The Observer.
After graduating in English from St John's College, Cambridge, where he edited the university newspaper, Varsity, he joined the Daily Mail as a staff reporter. His stint included three years in the Belfast office, during which the troubles started.
After that, having learned Transcendental Meditation in 1970, while on the Daily Mail's London staff, he joined The Guardian. His full-page article in The Guardian on Transcendental Meditation was drawn to the attention of Maharishi, who invited him to spend two days with him at the national headquarters, then in Lucerne, Switzerland. He stayed for two years. During that time he took a six-month in-residence training course to qualify as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation.
He moved from London to Derbyshire with his wife, Christine, in 2000.
As a teacher, he is renowned for his humour and for his deep insights into the simple, natural principles underlying Transcendental Meditation.
John welcomes inquiries from everyone, including those who have tried other methods of meditation.
He is recognised as a fully qualified teacher by Maharishi Vedic Institute.
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Why I Teach Transcendental Meditation
- by Derbyshire TM chairman John Windsor
Nature is smarter than we are. The same human brains that keep passing new laws and patenting new drugs, in the hope of solving life’s problems, are themselves evolving naturally, effortlessly, all the time. Nature is progressive. But with all the wars and famines, all the commotion, all the human failure, who has time to ponder whether there might be some way, some technique, of tapping directly into nature’s intelligence?
I stumbled across the technique nearly 40 years ago. That was when I learned Transcendental Meditation. Many people shy away from learning to meditate because they think – as I used to - that meditation means sitting and thinking. Or concentrating. Or trying to empty the mind. I applaud such practical-minded people because, by and large, that is all that other meditation techniques offer. Trying to control the mind is unhealthy - and difficult even after years of practice. But I struck lucky. Transcendental Meditation, as I discovered, is fundamentally different.
At the time, as a staff reporter on the Daily Mail in London, I was stressed and belligerent, especially when tipsy. So when my 25 year old younger brother – managing the family’s 50-bedroom hotel in Eastbourne, always unruffled, always with time for a game of golf - told me his secret, I resolved to learn -and to expose it if it didn’t work!
Result: since then, I have not only been meditating regularly – 15-20 minutes twice daily, sitting comfortably with eyes closed - but for the past 36 years I have been a qualified teacher of Transcendental Meditation, having taught some 1,500 people.
Right from personal instruction, I experienced greater clarity of mind, freedom from stress and heightened creativity – which within two years led me to a staff job on The Guardian. It was my whole-page feature on Transcendental Meditation in The Guardian in 1973 that prompted Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who had brought the technique to the West, to invite me to stay at his headquarters, then in Lucerne, Switzerland, for two days. I stayed for two years. My parents were horrified – but they eventually learned TM, too, and thanked me for it.
Why do I consider Transcendental Meditation to be so special? Let me tell you the story that I tell at my introductory talks in Wirksworth, Derbyshire. I point to the first-ever research on TM, by the late Dr John Allison, a London GP, back in 1969. It revealed a remarkably deep state of rest during TM, as measured by the drop in oxygen consumption - 16 per cent, compared with the 8 per cent known to occur during night sleep. At the time, night sleep was thought by physiologists to be the most effective form of rest available to us. The editor of The Lancet, the medical journal, at first rejected Dr Allison's research, pointing out to him in a letter that his figures for oxygen consumption were "incompatible with life"! His findings were eventually published in The Lancet as a letter - and since then have been replicated more than 20 times by universities and research institutes.
I tell my audience: “This big drop in oxygen consumption indicates that, whatever is happening during TM, it must be natural. How can that be?” Some people scratch their heads. I give the answer: “Because you can’t do that by trying. Only nature can do that for you”. Pennies begin to drop.
That is the secret of Transcendental Meditation. It is a natural process. That is, effortless. It goes all by itself. You do not have to try to fight out thoughts or try to control the mind. Conscious thinking is automatically transcended. Trying can only hinder transcending.
The elimination of accumulated stress that takes place during TM’s unique state of “restful alertness” is also natural, automatic.
For me, teaching Transcendental Meditation is like watching people wake up. There’s nothing quite like it. And I have never come across anybody who could not transcend. To those who say, “I bet I’ll be the first one who can’t do it” – a frequently voiced doubt - I reply: “If you can’t do it, I’ll put you in a glass case as a specimen”. I have never had to buy a glass case and do not expect to have to.
What intrigues me most are the studies of brain function during TM showing that the pre-frontal lobes, the so-called “CEO of the brain” – evolution’s most recent addition to our anatomy – initiate orderly functioning between all parts of the brain and that this effect is cumulative. Evidently, at this stage in our evolution, the pre-frontal lobes are not yet in complete communication with the rest of the brain. Unless you practice Transcendental Meditation.
So, whenever I read news of wars, famine and global warming, and our fitness to cope with such problems, I give a thought to what nature is doing and what happens when we allow nature to work for us during Transcendental Meditation. Are we bringing forward the next stage in our evolution? Is this the elusive partnership between man and nature? My advice: don’t dream about it. Just enjoy the benefits of Transcendental Meditation. They are real.