Our Experiences Starting a Minghui School
Dear fellow practitioners, I represent the practitioners from the Minghui School, New Jersey Bridgewater Branch in the United States to report our experiences on starting the Minghui School. The title of our report is "It Seems Like There Isn't a Voice, But It Is Stronger Than a Voice."
1. Minghui School Opens to the Society
Bridgewater City is located in the center of New Jersey. There was an estimated 300 students registered in the local Chinese School before. About five thousand Chinese families live in the Bridgewater area. Last year, when we decided to start a Minghui School, there was a lot of interference.
One practitioner was applying for a green card and needed to have a physical checkup. Her check-up report said that she had high blood pressure, and heart disease. Her blood pressure was at 180 and her heartbeat was intermittent. Her children, who are non-practitioners, forced her to go to the hospital and did not allow her to be involved in any Minghui School activities.
During one important teleconference for the Minghui School preparation, one practitioner suddenly started to vomit, and became dizzy and very sleepy.
One practitioner, who was the first to suggest starting the Minghui School, had to stay in the hospital overnight to take care of her father because her father suddenly became very sick. This practitioners husband asked her: "Why do you need to start the Minghui School. Can't you do something else?"
Almost every practitioner had more or less interference. We all realized that it was not as simple as we thought it would be to start a Minghui School. Most practitioners were also involved in other projects, as well as delivering the newspaper weekly, etc. In addition, we had to guarantee to have classes every Saturday because this school is opened to all people in society. Therefore, how we arrange our time wisely and how we do things well in all aspects are all very important tasks set in front of us.
We saw how the poison of the Chinese Communist Party has penetrated the overseas communities. In order to have their kids learn Chinese, many parents send their children to the Chinese schools that are heavily influenced by the Chinese Communist Party. These kids were poisoned by the evil partys culture. For example, during the 2006 Chinese New Year Gala, the Chinese Communist Party hosted a show called "The Same Song" in the Greater New York area. There were around 100 students and parents from one Chinese School who joined the show. In addition, they also sang "The Same Song" at the schools Chinese New Year party. From this example, you can see how deeply the Chinese Communist Party has poisoned the Chinese people overseas. We all agreed that we should not let that happen, and that it was our responsibility to start a Minghui School to clarify the truth. This is also part of the Fa rectification.
Even though we started to prepare the school in the middle of July and we did not have any experience at opening a school, we tried to do things with our righteous thoughts, eliminate all human notions, and overcome the difficulty of lacking people and time. With the wisdom from Falun Dafa, we did our best to work with each other. After the intense planning and preparation, we finished all procedures to start the Minghui School, established the school rules, and created the school website. In addition, we got permission from the Board of the Education to rent the school classrooms for free. Finally, in September of last year, our Minghui School formally opened and around 30 students joined!
2. Studying Fa Is the Foundation for Taking the School to the Right Direction
The purpose of starting the Minghui School is to let the families see the beauty of Dafa through the school and truth clarification. We want to plant the seeds of "Truthfulness- Compassion-Forbearance" into childrens hearts through our teachings and behavior. Based on Falun Dafas principle, we not only have to teach the Chinese language well to lay a good foundation for the children to learn the Semi-divine Chinese Culture, we also need to incorporate the meaning of Dafa into our teaching. This was a big challenge for us.
Our school is different from the other regular Chinese schools because the teachers in other Chinese schools just teach the students based on the textbooks. Our school is also different from the other Minghui Schools, which are only open for practitioners so that teachers and students can study Fa, do exercises, and cultivate together. As teachers and practitioners, we have to study the Fa well and cultivate ourselves well. Only after that will what we have said be based on the Fa and have its power. We can then apply what we learned into our teaching. We can then change the students' thinking and eliminate the CCP party culture from them. Otherwise, we are restricted and we cannot reach the goal of clarifying the truth and saving people. In fact, this required us to have higher standards.
The only way to guarantee that we will do a good job is to study the Fa more. Before our meeting, we always spent a lot of time studying the Fa together. We repeatedly studied the Fa that is related to the Minghui School. In Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students, Master said,
"The same is true for Minghui schools. Dafa itself doesn't have schools, but Dafa disciples are saving sentient beings and clarifying the truth, are leaving behind the best things for the people of the future, the beings of the future, and they are nurturing new, young Dafa disciples."
Masters positive response to the Minghui School had increased our confidence to start a Minghui School. The responsibility that Dafa gives us opened our cultivation journey. We treated our teaching seriously. Before school opened, we met together to research the teaching materials and to rehearse the teaching. After the school opened, we had regular meetings to discuss the issues and shared teaching experiences to improve our quality. Last year, we applied Dafa into our teaching to help our student distinguish between good and bad, beauty and ugliness, and kindness and evil. Therefore, it is much better than just teaching the student information.
3. Minghui School Is Not Only a Cultivation Environment for Practitioners, It Is Also an Environment to Clarify the Truth and Save Sentient Beings
Starting the Minghui School provided a rare and precious cultivation environment for us. It was not easy to balance the complicated teaching jobs and other Dafa projects, our regular jobs and family life, and to study the Fa and cultivate well. But we faced it with a positive attitude and we also cherished this cultivation environment. We guaranteed ourselves that we would study the Fa no matter how busy we were. Therefore, we achieved twice the effect with half the effort. During the teaching, one practitioner realized that she still had the CCP poison which would affect her teaching. So she continuously looked inward, eliminated the poisonous factors and improved herself. One practitioner always felt it difficult to do the second Dafa exerciseholding the law wheel. After she joined Minghui School, she had a light and wonderful feeling when she held the law wheel. The Traditional Chinese Culture class teacher always felt very relaxed after the class. Here, from the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank our benevolent Masters caring and protection.
Starting Minghui School also reduced the distance between us and the non-practitioner family members. It also provided them the opportunity to be involved in Dafa projects. Two non-practitioner family members voluntarily got involved in teaching and managing the school website which helped us to pass a very difficult period of time. We believe that what they did will bless them tremendously in the future. One practitioners husband did not want to send his child to the Minghui School because there is a Chinese school near their home. He did not understand why his wife wanted to send their child to a school which was far away. But when he saw that his child made a big improvement within a short period of time and started to become interested in Chinese culture, he was very happy. Now he also drives other practitioners kids to school and voluntarily does some routine work at the school. One practitioners family member in mainland China opposed her involvement in the Minghui School because he was afraid that she could not go back to China. After he saw the Minghui School website, he liked it a lot. He even printed out the teaching material and taught his four year-old daughter. Now, he has become a loyal reader of our website and he often gives us suggestions.
Minghui School opened a door for predestined children to learn the traditional Chinese culture, which includes the inner meaning of Dafa. In order to stop the Fa rectification, the old evil forces have systematically destroyed the traditional Chinese culture. In our traditional Chinese culture classes, we not only teach the traditional Chinese culture, but we also choose the Dafa-related teaching materials. For example, by telling the classical stories of "Pan Gu Creates the Universe", and "Nu Wa Creates Human Beings", we let the children know that God does exist and where human beings came from. By collecting fables from the Dafa websites and reading those fables to students, we teach them to be humble. We also use the cultivation stories of the young Dafa disciples to inspire them to get rid of the attachment of jealousy and the competitive mentality. We use the well-known classic story "Kong Rong (153-208, famous literary scholar in Dong Han dynasty) Gives Away the Pears" to teach students to always consider other people first. In addition, we also introduce famous people in Chinese history such as Yue Fei (1103- January 27, 1142, a famous warrior in Nan Song dynasty). By showing the loyalty that Yue Fei demonstrated as well as the punishment that the traitor received, we teach the students that "Good will be rewarded with good, evil will be met with retribution" is the law of this universe. We also teach them the poem Visiting Yue Feis Temple from Hong Yin. When we talked about the splendid culture in the Tang Dynasty, we told them the stories about the wise emperor called Tang Taizhong (January 23, 599-July 10, 649, second emperor of Tang dynasty). Combined with the classical educational material Di-Zi-Gui (1), we introduce traditional moral values, manners, and behavior to students. We teach the students to respect their parents and elders, to love and care for their siblings, and to be nice to others. The parents like what we are doing. They told us that their kids learned a lot. With the help of the Sound of Hope radio network, we made some stories on CDs which has Dafa music as background music and gave it to the students as gifts. Many parents and children listen to this CD while they are driving. Both parents and children like it a lot. The parents ask the children to follow what their teacher says in the traditional Chinese Culture classes. Some parents asked me why the music is so beautiful. We told them that it is music composed by Falun Dafa practitioners. We let them feel the beauty of Dafa directly. Therefore, when the kids listen to the stories and study the traditional Chinese culture, they also learn the good things that they cannot get from the other schools. If they do not obtain Dafa, maybe they will never have a chance to know those secrets of heaven. Of course, this is also those lucky childrens blessing. By the way, our traditional Chinese culture website has been listed under the Minghui School's special column on the Minghui website.
One non-practitioner parent told us that her son always fought with his younger sister. After he joined the Minghui School, he learned to get along with his sister. Her daughter was very active. The pre-school did not accept her because she always walked around in class, which would affect other kids in the class. So she had to hire a nanny to watch her at home. She changed two nannies within one year. After she joined our school, her mother was so surprised to see her daughter sitting in the class listening to the teacher quietly. She was very grateful to us. After the two nannies came to school and got to know us, they felt that we were very nice and had a high moral standard. They also wanted to learn Falun Gong.
4. We Introduced "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance" in School on Falun Dafa Day
This years Falun Dafa day happened to be on a Saturday. After some discussion, we decide to introduce Falun Dafa to all of the students in our traditional Chinese culture class. We also sent a letter to all parents. On May 13th, we put Dafa posters in the hallway. We finally showed people "Falun Dafa" the Universal Law. The photos of children practicing Falun Gong attracted many students and the beautiful Dafa music surrounded the whole school building. The traditional Chinese culture class teacher had the students read and write the words: " Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance is good ", and "Falun Dafa is good." The teacher also introduced to the students how Dafa is spreading around the world. We also taught the children the Dafa exercises. Later on, we organized a spring outing and we showed all the parents the Dafa exercises again. We are really happy for these young children because they got to know about Dafa. We were also very happy for the parents who understand Dafa.
During our truth clarification, we took advantage of the three media outlets. Every Saturday, we always bring The Epoch Time newspaper to school. One Saturday afternoon, we forgot to bring in the newspaper, and one parent expressed his regret: He said, "I like this newspaper a lot. I can read the newspaper while I am waiting for the kids. Please do not forget it next time. " We also showed parents the truth clarification DVD and the 2006 Chinese New Year Gala. Before the Chinese New Year Gala last year, we invited one practitioner from New Tang Dynasty TV Station to introduce the Gala to students. The traditional Chinese culture classes also use some of the content from NTDTV program such as You-You-Zi-Zai. We encourage our students to watch this program. During the 2006 Chinese New Year Gala, we gave the students the CD from the Sound of Hope radio network. Overall, we let the people know about our three media outlets.
Of course, our school is still in the early stage and we still have a lot of shortcomings. There are still many areas that need to be improved. We also need everyones support. The parents feedback is positive; they say our school is different from other schools. Our atmosphere is very peaceful. Our teachers are nice and serious about their teaching. The students like our teachers. They no longer hate the Chinese language class. The most important thing is that the parents have a positive understanding about Dafa after everyones hard work. I just wanted to share the good news here. Two days ago, we received a proclamation from Bridgewater Mayor Patricia Flannery. She proclaimed that the town welcomes and encourages the cultural diversity brought to the town by the Minghui School. She recognized our effort of opening the Minghui School with the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance."
In the past year, we have helped each other and worked together to create a soundless music from our hearts. This music is filled with our firm belief towards Dafa and the love towards our school. We believe that this soundless music is more powerful than one with sound. We believe that this music will fill more peoples heart in the near future.
Finally, lets look over the Fa related to Minghui School from Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students,
"And of course, setting up a Minghui school is just a great thing. Now that they've been set up, I hope you will run them better and better, make them bigger and bigger, and set up more and more of them. They are, for all beings, a blessing, and for the evil beings, it clears them away."
Thank you, Master!
(1) Di-Zi-Gui is one of the traditional Chinese texts to head start children. Author Mr. Li Yuxiu is a Xiucai (lowest degree) in Kangxi (May 4, 1654, - December 20, 1722, third emperor in Qing dynasty) times, who taught young children all his life. Its contents are mainly teachings of basic Confucius moral values.