Minghui School: Helping Young Dafa Practitioners Play Their Role in the Fa Validation Process
Shared at 2003 Washington DC Falun Dafa Conference
(Clearwisdom.net) Since Dafa practitioners in Washington DC set up the first Minghui School on January 6, 2001, Sidney, Australia, Toronto, Canada, and cities in Taiwan and Thailand followed. More schools have been set up in the past year in New York, New Jersey, Tokyo, and Seoul. Taiwan has applied for a "Minghui Education Association". A few weeks ago, we heard that Vancouver and Ottawa has set up their schools in recent weeks. More are planned around the world. So while we are so busy doing Fa-rectification work, why Minghui School? How can we let it play its part in the validation of Dafa? Let me share our experience, and please point out any shortcomings.
(1) Why Did We Establish the Minghui School?
Talking about school, let's first talk about the issue of Dafa practitioners' children. Suppose families of three are all Falun Gong practitioners, and the child is one third of the family. Undoubtedly, though the children live in yours or our homes, they were born for the reason of Dafa; they are young Dafa practitioners who have predestined relationship with Teacher. They are particles of Dafa not to be ignored. Having made this point clear, we should not ignore strict discipline, and should not allow them to be polluted by unhealthy language and behavior. Otherwise we are unworthy of Teacher's compassion to us. While busy, we should not allow children to be a disturbance, or disrupt the solemn atmosphere of a Dafa Experience Sharing Conference. Only by disciplining them with Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance can we create a good growing environment that is suitable for them. That's the duty of parents.
During the past four years, in China Jiang Zemin's regime has been persecuting Falun Gong with all indecent means. They tried their best to deceive people, and even school students are not spared. Outside of China, Chinese parents mostly send their kids to Chinese Language School on weekends, but the vicious Jiang regime also aims to deceive overseas Chinese children. The evil will not even spare the children. We know that the current society, including education, has deviated from the right way. Western education encourages students to pursue fame and money, to put oneself above others. As Dafa practitioners, in addition to taking care of the Dafa practice of our children, we should also transfer the right way of education we have learned from Dafa to society, so as to rectify the deviated concepts and leave the right way for the future. So we decided to establish a school with Dafa practitioners as teachers, and Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance as guidelines, a school open to people of all races. That is how Minghui School originated.
Actually, opening a school created an easy way to contact and communicate with ordinary people, and opened another channel to clarify the truth of Dafa to people. While being persecuted, we still spend our own money to run schools and promote righteous traditional Chinese culture. This is viewed by society as a definitely positive thing. After our Minghui School had been founded for about half a year, the "Washington Post" took the initiative to report with a full page that Falun Gong practitioner had established an unprecedented school. It reported why the school was established, what is taught in the school, etc., calling us "a school teaches truth and Falun Gong practice. " We knew this was Teacher encouraging us to run the school better. The "flourishing" of Minghui schools is a head-on blow to the Evils.
I read an article at the Minghui.ca website that tells that a child Dafa practitioner had to leave home because his parents were persecuted. Other practitioners told him that young Dafa practitioners outside China could go to a Minghui school, and he really hoped he could also. A Dafa practitioner with his third eye open saw that there are Minghui schools in higher dimensions. Also I read a suggestion of a Dafa practitioner in China. He suggested that we produce videos of Minghui School as a truth verification tool. He said: "Among our truth clarification videos, I seldom see videos about Minghui schools. I think Minghui schools prove two points: firstly Dafa is welcomed, otherwise parents would not send their kids there; secondly, Dafa is non-political, because no parents would send their kids to accept political training from childhood. When people in China see that many pure people are studying and practice Falun Gong in the Minghui School, their hearts will be shocked. Their doubts about Dafa will dissolve. This kind of truth is powerful truth beyond their imagination."
Early this year, Teacher told us in the "Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the US West Fa Conference": "The human society of the future is one without religion, and everyone will be a part of society; people will be participating in everything of that society, and perhaps the Fa-truths at this level of human beings and their inner meanings at higher levels will be integrated throughout the textbooks that students study. So in this Fa-rectification it's being made possible for man to become Gods. It's not a change at this level of human beings--it involves a systematic harmonizing and perfecting of the entire cosmic system, it's the harmonizing and perfecting of the Fa. This type of event where people persecute Gods who are here to save people won't exist again. Situations like Jesus being crucified will absolutely never be allowed to happen again. So how we walk the path of cultivation well in this place of ordinary people has become of utmost importance."
These words encouraged us to run the Minghui schools solidly. We also felt our responsibilities are huge. No matter what difficulties we have, we will try our best to run our Minghui School the best way, because this is a school for the future human beings.
(2) How to Let Minghui School Play It's Role in Validating Dafa
How should we run Minghui School during the Fa-rectification period? We had no models to follow; we had to open up our own way. We know that as Fa-rectification Dafa practitioners, our personal cultivation is linked to our Fa-rectification activities. Child practitioners are the same. They should cultivate themselves well and at the same time build up their mighty virtue through truth clarification and the process of saving sentient beings.
Firstly, we taught non-Dafa practitioners' children according to their cases. For the child practitioners, we emphasize their study of Dafa. Speed is not the priority; we require them to understand Dafa as much as possible. Dafa is supernormal; they will learn Chinese in the process of Fa study. But parents should also cooperate in this respect. The ordinary teaching method is to let kids learn a certain amount of Chinese characters before they are taught to read. Here is a good example: a four-year-old girl has gone though Zhuan Falun four times. Now no matter what page you turn to, she could read it fluently. At the beginning, her mother led her to read word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence with patience. Gradually, she turned from a difficult girl who cried in the Fa-study to a lovely girl everyone liked. She takes part in the Fa-spreading activities of the Minghui School very earnestly.
In addition to Fa study and sending forth righteous thoughts, we arranged many truth clarification activities, such as teaching children to chat on the internet, address envelopes, make flyers to rescue Charles Li, write letters to congressmen or the president etc. They work hard in doing things; they are not a burden, but are good helpers.
In the Dafa truth clarification and spreading work in the Chinese community, Minghui School acts as a bridge. In the beginning of 2001, many Chinese groups in Washington DC did not like to contact Falun Gong directly, but they could accept Minghui School participating in their activities. Minghui faculty members and students also do volunteer work in the community. Once over ten Chinese and western Dafa practitioners volunteered to pull weeds at a Chinese Senior apartments. After the work we had lunch and chatted with the seniors. Some seniors studied Dafa right there. This simple event changed the point of view of a Chinese group leader toward us. Now he frequently appears at our parties or gatherings, or the parties of Chinese groups to appeal for an end of the persecution of Falun Gong.
For various reasons, we could not attract many children from non-Dafa practitioner families to our school. To increase our school's influence, firstly, we arranged some activities that would be interesting to more people; secondly, we take part in the community activities. Students not only know how to demonstrate the exercises of Falun Gong, but also are good at singing, dancing, and playing music. They also drew attention from the media: many children were interviewed and photographed for the newspapers. When they told their true stories of positive changes after they practiced "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance," they moved people's hearts.
These years, Minghui School students travel a lot with their parents, and take part in many activities. What is worth mentioning are this year and last year's Oriental Cherry Festival Parades. The Cherry parade is one of the two big parades on the Constitution Avenue; we know those are good chances to let more people to know about Dafa. Last year, Minghui School prepared a program called "Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance Around the World." Students wrote letters to ambassadors to introduce Minghui School to them, tell them our school is based on Falun Dafa, that its purpose is to bring Truthfulness-Compassion- Tolerance to people, without respect to differences between age or race. We especially wrote down the meaning of "Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance", helping them to understand it.
At the same time, we asked them to supply the spelling of Truthfulness-Compassion- Tolerance in their own language so we could put it on our banner for the Oriental Cherry Parade. Within two weeks, we got scores of responses from countries all around the world. Some thanked us for including their languages in our program. One country said the three words "Truthfulness-Compassion- Tolerance" are really beautiful! Minghui School faculty members and students spent two days making a banner called "Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance Around the World" with the three words in different languages on it. On the parade, "Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance" in over 20 languages was displayed along Constitution Avenue and won much praise.
One shining spot in this year's parade was that students from Minghui School walked in the front of all non-governmental groups wearing white clothes printed with "Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance". They held lotus flowers and balloon ribbon to lead the way. The healthy lovely images of children who are practicing "Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance" won much applause from the audience.
The Fa-rectification process moves quickly. When Minghui School appears in such an eye-catching position, we feel that we need to improve in many aspects. For example, we still don't have good teaching books for the children outside China: books that fit the need of children who cultivate Dafa and those who don't. I think compiling the books is not a difficult task as long as our practitioners truly coordinate harmoniously with each other. Such a book contains the essence of cultivation and can be left for future human beings. In this dimension, it seems that many things we do have only a small impact, yet in other dimensions, everything Dafa practitioners do today has great impact and will affect future human society.
Minghui schools are not schools of Dafa; they are only schools run by Dafa practitioners. It helps to clarify the truth and save sentient beings using a way that conforms to everyday people's ways. Conforming to everyday people as much as possible does not mean that we want to run an ordinary school; we show Dafa's wonderfulness and our pure insight to people through schools that are easily acceptable to everyday people. This is our true purpose. We don't seek money or fame, and we don't mind hard work and suffering in running the schools, because like other truth-clarification projects, we want to validate Dafa. Teacher has told us: "But today's Dafa disciples are doing something different from the cultivation ways in every other period in history, and that's because you are shouldering a greater responsibility that surpasses your personal Consummation. Saving sentient beings and validating the Fa, these far surpass your personal cultivation, they're even greater things. And that's something that the old forces can't handle correctly, and they're interfering with you. Negate them, and face all of it with the right thoughts!" (Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the US West Fa Conference, February 15, 2003)
We hope all Minghui Schools around the world can reinforce connections with each other. No matter what difficulties and interruption there might be, we should keep powerful righteous thoughts to save more people in a way that's acceptable to ordinary people.