Cultivation Story of a Primary School Principal in Taiwan
Greetings, Master, greetings, fellow practitioners,
My name is Xu Xiuying. I became the principal of a primary school a year and a half after I obtained Falun Dafa. I have reviewed my cultivation path. Master helped such an insignificant person as me to escape the current of everyday people's desires for fame, profit and emotion, to be rescued out of the destruction period of the old cosmos. How much care would it take to make such an arrangement and to work out the process in order to make such magnificent changes? This dawning awareness moved me to tears. I've also been afraid and worried, deterred by complacency, and also worried about other people's misunderstandings. Each time I encountered pressure and fatigue, I would also think, "Other people are so comfortable. Why did I do this to myself? Is this what I want?" The remaining poison of the old forces' attempts to interfere with us and drag us down at the microcosmic level. Many elements in the human world also attempt to prevent us from improving in different ways. During this period I was fortunate to have Master's Fa to guide me.
When I was very young, whenever I saw teachers, parents, relatives and friends, I would try to avoid meeting them. When the teacher asked me to be the head of the class I declined. Even after I'd been a student for over 10 years, I never raised my hand during the class to ask questions. Even when I became a primary school teacher, and then a head teacher, I was still not used to talking with my own child's teacher in the high school. When I saw my colleagues talking and joking, I could not help feeling distant, because I was always shy and reserved and lacked self-confidence. After I obtained Falun Dafa, some of my potential capabilities were realized. I realized that all my experiences growing up, my education, and my work practices were all for fulfilling my vows in the pre-historic period: to become a Fa rectification-era Dafa practitioner.
During the past four years, my family and friends told me many times, "Don't go to practice the exercises. Don't attend those Fa study groups. Educate your students well and don't teach them Falun Gong. Don't...otherwise we'll..." If everyday people telling me "don't" could deter me, I would have left Dafa a long time ago. But now my husband says, "It's up to you! As long as it is about Falun Gong, you will go however far away it is. Anyway I'm not able to stop you. " My grandmother says, "Come back early!" Because they have taken over a lot of housework for me, as a daughter-in-law I have been able to step out of the home to participate in validating Dafa. I think they will also be duly rewarded.
My identity as a primary school principal has allowed me many opportunities to organize activities with the education and culture departments. As a principal and as a practitioner I have been able to introduce Dafa to people in the education profession through letters, emails, and visits to VIP's. My identity as a Falun Gong practitioner has become more and more clear, and I don't worry about how others comment on me. When we display the ease of a Dafa practitioner, being proud in a dignified manner, others will also feel that it is indeed very fortunate to be a practitioner. I appreciate that Dafa has helped a shy, small woman to be full of courage.
My heart remains constant
While most Taiwanese are neutral towards or supportive of Dafa, it is not easy to promote Dafa in the schools. Soon after I came to my present workplace, my colleagues asked me to help the teachers and the community learn Falun Gong. I have also run a winter camp for the children and a Minghui School. But along with the supportive voices there was another, dark current: someone intentionally spread rumors and attempted to force me to resign. During that time it seemed everyone was looking at me strangely, and people were privately commenting on me. When the phone rang, it could be a head teacher from another school who asked me, "How come I heard...?" When the senior teacher from my school came to see me for a serious visit, it was perhaps because someone had again spread those rumors. The environment in those days was terrible, and the evil was everywhere.
Such tribulation also extended to my home. My mother-in-law and my husband queried me. My parents also called me many times to ask me to give up Falun Gong. I kept reciting Master's article "In the Dao" to control the rapid beating of my heart. That was the biggest crisis and the worst attack I had ever experienced in my life! Faced with such heavy pressure, I cried one night. I locked myself in a room to meditate, sent forth righteous thoughts, and asked Master to strengthen me and help me gain more courage and wisdom. I repeatedly read lecture four of Zhuan Falun and searched within. Things started to get better.
In the past, local people had always recognized my efforts in education. Some parents and members of the parent committee also felt that things were unfair for me and took the initiative to smooth things over. A teacher was even in tears because of my unfair treatment. I calmly comforted her, "Don't worry; it will pass very soon. This is just a tribulation to help me grow and learn to do things even better. I won't change my goals because of this tribulation!" Soon this matter blew over. On the positive side, people knew more about me and recognized my way of dealing with things. I didn't know who the person was that did such bad things in secret. I only knew that remaining calm thwarted this person's activities. Even later, after I discovered that this person was the one who often came to discuss administrative matters, we still never openly spoke, although we both knew in our hearts and minds. Even now he still comes to discuss things with me, and I still express my sincerity and tolerance with a constant smile. I think everyone should be saved, even though he does not know the meaning of Dafa. The compassion and image that practitioners exhibit with their every behavior also show the beauty of Dafa and are leaving opportunities for people to obtain Dafa in the future.
Master asks us to do what we want to do compassionately and not to compete with everyday people or to view others from the perspective of ordinary people. Humans just live for self-interest and indulge in the pursuit of happiness, sadness, love and hatred. Whenever I encounter conflict in the human world I silently recite "In the Dao" from Hong Yin to help me face it calmly:
The heart unattached----
In harmony with the world.
See as if see not------
Neither confused nor tempted.
Hear as if hear not------
Mind not disturbed.
Eat but taste not-----
Mouth free from attachment.
Do but pursue not-----
Often stay in the Dao.
Tranquil but think not-----
Mystical wonders will come out.
My deepest enlightenment is "Let go of the ego, dissolve into the whole body"
My husband loves the Falun Gong exercises but rarely reads Master's new articles. Every once in a while, he would participate in Fa study and sharing with me. Afterwards he would say, "You're a cultivator, so you should let go of the thought of pretence, but you still like to show off!" When he saw that I was planning Dafa related activities such as a Teachers' Workshop, a Famous Painters' and Calligraphers' Art Exhibit, he would say, "You're a leader again! Retired principal so-and-so has more spare time and rich experiences, but he didn't even come out for these activities. Who do you think you are?" "Falun Gong doesn't have an organization, does it? Cultivating yourself well would be good, but you are involved in so many activities! How can you be peaceful and clear minded?" I looked inside myself for those kinds of thoughts. I was not trying to show myself off, but I did fear that others would discover my attachments, such as "she didn't cultivate well but loved to talk," with the result that our sharing and study not benefiting us as a whole body. Due to our practitioners' lack of self-confidence and initiative, our Dafa-related work always fell on the shoulders of a few practitioners.
In the "Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students" Master said,
"As you go about validating the Fa, whatever you think of, see, encounter, or can recognize, go ahead and do it, and only then are you walking your own path and forging your own mighty-virtue. Isn't that how it works?"
Everything has to do with our cultivation, so that must be something arranged by Master for me to counteract my weakness, to give up the attachment of ordinary people.
Whatever we need to do in our cultivation, Master expects us to do, and it must be something that we can accomplish. Veteran practitioners in the early days went through that period of disseminating Dafa, so they deserved to be the Dafa disciples about which Master said, "of distinguished, great, mature and rational nature."
The process of the Fa-rectification has moved so fast, and there are so many things waiting for me to complete! It's because I obtained the Fa late that my personal cultivation and Fa-rectification cultivation are combined. Master also arranged for us to have opportunities to catch up with the pace of Fa-rectification and opportunities to temper ourselves and to mature. Would it work to move from being a human being to a divine being if it were not difficult? The procedure will be one of ridding ourselves of all kinds of attachments and thoughts while we're struggling on our way. The old forces are also watching us to see if the thoughts that move us are divine or human. When we can believe in Master and the Fa with righteous thoughts and righteous actions, all the hardships will become insignificant, because the Fa-rectification will be complete! All we have to do is to carry things out.
In the "Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students" Master said,
"The coordinators among Dafa disciples are in fact just coordinators, points of contact, and people who relay information."
"When you're validating the Fa and cultivating, that is a process of removing self, and only when you do that are you really validating yourself."
"Coordinators, ...Actually you're just liaisons, people who serve others, and you have no power or authority. Coordinate everyone well, and that's the best function you can serve helping Master at the human surface level."
This kind of idea has been guiding me when cultivating and managing the school. I have also influenced co-workers at school to change their divisive notions with the fundamental theory of Dafa.
Ordinary people also talk about assignments, trust, affinities, communication and coordination, because, no matter which social group, it is very hard to rely on any single individual for the organization to reach its goal. To look at it from another angle, every person plays the part of a leader and leads at different levels or in different areas. Only if we help each cog in a machine to perform to its maximum, can a huge machine operate smoothly.
To those of us in our forties, a few sentences can describe this very well: "When we were students, teachers were the superior; when we're teachers, the principal is superior; now that we are the principals, the students become superior." My most important, crucial task is to listen to complaints and to communicate, coordinate and deal with arguments and issues, so that everybody ungrudgingly puts forth his or her best efforts. This kind of role does need to be "unconventional" to overcome ordinary people's emotionally charged thinking.
Learning Dafa enabled me to "climb higher; bend lower." Many people could not understand me, so they complained about me. In order to save people, Master told us that Buddha came down to the human world and once begged for food. To lead people we have to lead people's minds to give full play to everybody's expertise. Is it a big deal if I was inconvenienced?
Requirement of the Fa becomes higher and higher
Each person obtains the Fa for a different reason. I was confused at the beginning. I didn't know why I should practice Falun Gong, either. Then I slowly came to understand that to practice Falun Gong one needs to study the Fa well and that there are strict xinxing requirements. The more serious part is to get rid of fear and the thoughts of leading an easy and comfortable life, and to step out the door and do the work of validating the Fa. I have forever joked, "I was only trying to find an exercise to improve my health and decrease stress. How was I to know that I would have to do so many things?" To awaken practitioners, Master took great pains. It took me two years to truly feel that I am the luckiest person in the whole world--I can practice Dafa cultivation! And I just realized that I am one of those who shoulder the great mission of validating the Fa.
I recall that my previous, usual attitude was, "Someone will do it eventually." But why couldn't that "someone" be me? I also know that Master's praising comment, "the greatness of the Dafa disciples" referred to others instead of me, but the threads of regret and eagerness come and go in the twinkling of an eye.
When I began studying the Fa and sharing with others little by little and took on more Dafa related work, I started to realize that the gap between those diligent practitioners and me was too great. It was a process of realization to disseminate Dafa in the early days. I started with "It's a qigong for healing illnesses and improving health" to help ordinary people connect to Dafa. Gradually I got to the requirement of leading people to higher levels. From practicing the exercises and studying the Fa, through Fa group study and practicing the exercises to validate the Fa, we realize that we should coordinate as a whole body to validate the Fa. Layer by layer, we get rid of the shells that formed in the old cosmos, like peeling an onion.
At the very moment when the Fa is rectifying the human world, as Master tells us, each being's behavior will determine his or her position. Those who don't meet the standard of the new cosmos will be sifted out. Therefore, the Fa requirements are higher and higher, the cultivation path is very narrow, any step could be off track, and any thought that is not so righteous could be taken advantage of by the evil.
In the early stages I thought, "Studying the Fa and practicing the exercises at the practice site will cultivate me very well." But in the next stage I thought, "Doing Dafa related work such as mailing and faxing at home can save travel time back and forth and also can validate the Fa well." But why does Master want us to cooperate with each other and improve as a whole body? It's because we have passed the stage of personal cultivation. We are going through the stage where we should cooperate and coordinate with each other and get rid of attachments in cultivation as a whole. It is because we're still deficient in some elements of an enlightened being of righteous Fa and we need to make up for them in the whole body.
In "Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students" Master told us
"If a certain region is doing well, then it's definitely something like this: the coordinators just say that something needs to be done, and Dafa disciples, of their own initiative, coordinate with each other and overcome the challenges together, fully utilizing Dafa disciples' wisdom, to get it done well and in a more ideal way. Even when the coordinators don't think things through too well or have even overlooked some things, the Dafa disciples will perfect it along the way--and that is your mighty-virtue."
If everyone understands this, validating the Fa and the progress of resisting the persecution would be so swift and splendid, just like "hundreds of energy channels being opened up. " Then, unlike now when just a few coordinators and instructors are taking on the responsibility for large amounts of work, they can urge and encourage other practitioners to step forward like "one energy channel bringing hundreds of energy channels into motion."
Difficulties will always be there. Don't complain when encountering difficulties. Don't do anything for anyone else to see, either. Master can see all that we do! History will keep records. Good will be rewarded, and evil will meet with retribution. In the near future we will perhaps return to our original homes. It won't be easy to see each other, so let's guide and support each other, encourage each other, never bring disgrace to Master's instructions, fulfil our grand promise of offering salvation to all beings and reach Consummation and return with Master!
Above are my personal understandings, limited by my cultivation level. I hope fellow practitioners will compassionately correct me.
Thank you Master! Thank you everybody!
(Speech at the 2005 Taiwan Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference)