Creating a Cultivation Environment in a Rural Middle School
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings Master, Greetings fellow practitioners!
I am a rural middle school teacher who began Fa study in 1997. After July 20, 1999, because of not studying the Fa well, I didn't do things rationally and was put into the county detention center twice. Another time I was abducted and taken to a brainwashing class. I finally got out of there based on my firm belief in Dafa.
After April 2002, the very last time I was imprisoned and got out, I firmly kept Master's teaching in my mind:
"Compassion can harmonize Heaven and Earth, ushering in spring
Righteous thoughts can save the people in this world"
("The Fa Rectifies the Cosmos" in Hong Yin vol. II)
I cultivated myself seriously on this cultivation path. Based on my existing conditions, I created a practice environment with compassion, in order to offer salvation to predestined people. In the following article, I am going to share my experiences of clarifying the truth to school teachers, students and the county leaders. Please, kindly point out anything that does not conform to the Fa.
1. One must hold oneself upright and act with dignity on the cultivation path during this Fa rectification period
In April 2002, after holding nine days of a hunger strike, I got out of the detention center. A hospital diagnosis found many health problems at that time, yet my mind was very clear and I kept on sending forth righteous thoughts. I could feel that Master had been looking after me at all times. Without medicine, I recovered very quickly. My whole family witnessed the mighty power of Dafa.
However, within a couple of months, four Dafa practitioners in our township were arrested and taken to the county detention center. In the meantime, another two practitioners had no choice but to go into exile to avoid further persecution. The practice environment was damaged. At that time, I also felt like I could be taken away at any time. The township and school directors rotated shifts monitoring me at my home. To make it more convenient for them to monitor me, they let me rest at home for only ten days, and then I was forced to go back to work. During the most "restricted" time, both my husband and I were made to sleep at the school for one month.
I had lessons to teach during the daytime, but couldn't get a sound sleep at night. Quite frequently I received messages, cautioning me to hide. Because I was unable to focus during Fa study, all sorts of notions, such as seeking ease and comfort, and fear arose. Due to a lack of righteous thoughts, I was living a worrisome life. That kind of situation was really hard to deal with, and I felt pained. One day while teaching, my husband came and told me that the county police department officials ordered the township head to bring me to the police department to have a medical check-up. I knew if they saw I was recovered they would persecute me again. I realized that I absolutely couldn't co-operate with their plan.
That afternoon I went to a relative's home to send forth righteous thoughts and study the Fa. The righteous thoughts disintegrated the evil arrangement. The township head didn't find me, and the police could only let it go like that. The following day I went to work as usual. This experience gave me a huge shock. I am a Dafa disciple! My mission is to rescue people; how could I keep living in fear daily, suffering? I suddenly remembered Master's article,
"A Great Enlightened Being does not fear hardship
Having forged an adamantine will
And with no attachment to living or dying
He walks his path of Fa-rectification openly and nobly." ("Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions")
When I read "openly and nobly," my whole body shook. The feeling came from the very microcosm of my being. I burst into tears. It was Master reminding me while I had become lost. I felt like a load was taken off my shoulders. I relaxed instantly. I knew what I should do: be open and noble on the Fa-rectification period cultivation path.
2. Sticking to reason and using wisdom to clarify the truth
In August 2002 the school started a new fiscal year. The school head let me teach the freshmen politics course as well as be a home room teacher. I had taught for nearly 30 years, yet had never taught politics. Coincidently, there are some curriculum sections related to keeping a good moral character. I realized that this teaching assignment was Master's compassionate arrangement.
I made the best use of my time to study Master's new articles. The lecture, "Touring North America to Teach the Fa," moved me in a big way. I became even clearer that our Dafa disciples' duty is not merely to rescue the students and teachers, but is to rescue innumerable sentient beings of many great cosmic bodies who are related to the students and teachers in other dimensions. I started to get to know each student's circumstances. I found that none of them knew the truth about Dafa. Moreover, the parents of five students out of 42 were school teachers (including the principal). Two of the students had parents who were township government staff people directly involved in the persecution of Dafa practitioners in our area.
The environment in my township then was also very bad. But Master's new article, "Hurry Up And Tell Them" was just published. Therefore I "clarified the truth" with rationality and wisdom. First, I used some stories, like "Red Eye Stone lion," " Noah's Ark," "Injustice done to Dou E," and others to inspire students' kindness. I also talked about the universal principal of "good is rewarded with good and evil provokes retribution." By means of some real life examples, I convinced them that "atheism" was wrong. These children liked to listen very much. They often rode their bikes to my home after school. During clarifying the truth to them, I noticed that three of them, boarding school students, really liked to hear the truth. Therefore, on Saturday, I invited them over and let them stay in my home. While I was tutoring them in math, I also clarified the truth to them and let them watch a truth clarification VCD. They were all moved to tears. After understanding the truth, they went to tell the other classmates. They discussed the facts with them, which made a very good impact on the environment.
Afterwards, they often brought their good friends to my home. In this way, more and more students got to know the facts. These children were very sensible. When they ran into the school authorities they would say they were looking for teacher to make up class time.
In November 2003, Master's comments on a practitioner's article, "Expose the Evil Happening Locally to the Local People" was published. I wrote up the details about the persecution I had experienced. After it was published on the Clearwisdom website, in addition to spreading the information to the other villages, we purposely sent the truth materials to the township officials and school leadership. All the school teachers and students circulated what I had written. I felt then it was the right time, and hence I clarified the truth in class publicly.
I made use of the weekly class meeting to tell the students about the persecution I had suffered, and told them all the injustices Dafa practitioners had experienced. I talked about the truth of the "Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation" and the situation of Dafa spreading all over the world. Many children burst into tears while listening. During winter break I prepared a set of truth clarifying materials (including a VCD) and several Dafa books for each student, to let them take them to their hometown for their relatives and friends to read. Almost all the students took the package.
Just before leaving I said to the kids, "You all heard the stories I told you before - meaning those like the red eye stone lion. Today I am going to tell it to you again." I told them the story once again and filled them with good intentions. The students were listening silently, as if they heard it for the very first time. In the end I asked everybody, "Do you understand my idea?" The kids replied in chorus, "Yes! It is to let us go to our home town to let people know the truth, so as to rescue them." I said, "That's right! Let's do the same as that old lady in the story to liberate your relatives and friends." These kids started to express their plans - some would like to visit their Grandma's family, aunt's family and so on.
After practitioners began to tell people to quit the CCP and its associated organizations, I clearly understood that the Fa-rectification had advanced to another stage; therefore, the three of us who worked at the school shared our understanding together. We started to assist first the students in our own classes to quit the CCP's associated organizations, then we did the same for the other classes. We basically spoke with the students individually, at most with two. Very quickly our own classes quit. After understanding the truth, some students went to tell students in other classes to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. Hence, it was not long before nearly 200 students completed the process to quit the CCP organizations.
We not only clarified the truth to the students, but also to the school leadership and other teachers. Almost each week we brought the informational materials and put them in other teachers' departments or offices. For those in the leadership we talked one on one. There is a politics lesson teacher who initially was very hostile to what we were doing. Because the kids often argued with her about the false contents of the textbook after they had gotten to know the facts, attendance in her class was fairly difficult.
On the one hand, I tried to make it easier for the students, and on the other hand I explained the facts to her in more detail. In the end, she also quit the CCP's organizations. Only four teachers of all the school staff in our building didn't quit. The rest, more than 20 teachers, quit the CCP's organizations. When we were clarifying the truth to the students and asking them to quit the CCP's organizations, the school leaders were all aware of it, yet none of them forbade it. Therefore, clarifying the truth in this school has been quite smooth.
3. Only cultivating ourselves well can we correct students' words and actions
Master told us,
"while saving sentient beings, don't forget to cultivate yourselves."
"If you don't cultivate yourselves well you won't have mighty virtue, what you say will not be in line with the Fa, and then you can't possibly save sentient beings. When what you say has no mighty virtue and no power, it will have no effect, and the evil will capitalize on that." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2005 Manhattan International Fa Conference")
My every word and deed during my work with the students impacts them. The whole class changed significantly with the ongoing truth-clarification. The students became more and more harmonious, and cared for each other; particularly when I taught the junior grade last year, I didn't have to deal with many matters. For instance, setting up the daily on-duty schedule, collecting money to purchase reading supplies and so on, they did all these on their own. Their grades, discipline and clean-up work was splendid. Therefore, this classroom was nominated as the honor room for the school, from grades 6 to 9. I was also nominated as the "outstanding room teacher for the township."
Since these kids knew the truth, there is no more CCP culture on the classroom board. All that remains are some short stories, encouraging good deeds or how to become a better person. The phrase, "being a person means one should be sincere, kind and tolerant" was preserved on the blackboard for a very long period of time.
In recent years, the county Bureau of Education requested each classroom to post the national flag on the front wall, and an "encouraging" slogan on the two sides of the flag post. After the Nine Commentaries was published, I understood we should not let the sight of the evil Party's flag poison the students' minds in the classroom. After I pointed this out, the student leader took it down and put it into a fire when nobody was around. From that time on, my classroom posted neither the flag nor the slogans.
The county leadership and representatives from the school leadership came to supervise my class several times, but nobody ever pointed out the absence of the postings; it was just like nobody noticed this. There were CCP holidays twice when the leaders required each school to publish some articles and blackboard news. In order to deal with the inspection, our school leadership forced the students to draw the CCP flag and put our CCP signs on the school blackboard. It was drawn in the afternoon and had not yet been inspected, but by the next morning my students had erased everything. The school leadership noticed this yet didn't ask the students to re-draw anything.
When interacting with the students, I used compassion cultivated from Dafa to treat each of them. I intentionally told them some Dafa principles. Not only did some students read the Dafa books, but their parents also let them borrow Dafa books and take them to their home. These kids witnessed my cheerful, healthy disposition every day, and saw that I was never absent because of illness. They were all quite impressed. Two girls started to study the Dafa books in the summer of 2005. They regarded themselves as practitioners and followed the principles of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. Besides doing well in their schoolwork, whenever getting an opportunity, they would clarify the truth to schoolmates in other classrooms and encourage them to quit the CCP's organizations.
Even more astonishing was the fact that they used their own spare allowance and New Year's gift money to make Dafa truth materials. In 2006, their high school admission test earned them a score of over 500. Theirs were the 1st and 2nd places of the entire school, and they were admitted to a prestigious county high school. Their parents were highly grateful to me. I told them it's the might of Dafa that made this possible. I told their story to many colleagues. The 2006 high school admission test scores of our school turned out to be higher than in any of the previous years.
In August 2006 the new semester began. The principal sought me out and let me continue to serve as head homeroom teacher. Because a homeroom teacher's duties are most laborious, nobody likes to do it. The principal said, "Your class was very different from the rest. Your students did very well on the daily clean up. Nowadays no students like to work, but your class had no problems when the school gave some work assignments, which set a great example for the other classrooms. This year, would you please take the heavy duty again. Please, take care of the freshman class; we really don't have another appropriate candidate." I instantly had a thought that I must validate the Fa. Hence, I told him my teaching strategies from the previous school year of telling the kids the principles for being a noble person, the principles of "Truth-Compassion-Forbearance," and about the universal principle, "good is rewarded with good and evil provokes retribution."
I told him further of the two girls' high school admissions success story, and said that they earned such high scores because they studied Dafa. It was Dafa that had changed them from being lazy and selfish and wanting to play all the time. Isn't it a miracle? "Yes!" the principal replied. I said, "Aren't you asking me to take the homeroom teacher assignment this year? We practitioner are supposed to share the workload with you, but before I make a promise to you, would you first quit from the CCP and write your nickname down? It's been a long time that you have postponed this, and I am really worried about you." The principal was very touched, said OK, and wrote his nickname on my desk to quit the CCP. When he was leaving, he folded his hands in the "heshi" gesture and said, "Thank you! Thank you!"
4. Clarifying the truth thoroughly; only then can we liberate people
Master speaks of telling the truth with every lecture and asks us to clarify the truth. But when we did it, oftentimes we didn't do it very well. One day in September 2005, I ran across three students on campus who had just graduated from our school. They had just enrolled in the county high school. A boy student pointed at a girl student and said to me, "Teacher, she came back to get the certificate for membership in the Communist youth league, and I stopped her."
A similar situation occurred at another time when some students who really knew the truth stopped another student from re-applying. However, these situations showed that there were still some other students who didn't really understand the truth. This is because I did not clarify the truth thoroughly. This incident also let me see my shortcomings. I looked deeply into my mind. I found I was attached to the number of people I might impact and was too eager. I then studied Master's recent articles, compared them with Master's requests and got rid of these negative attachments. I did some make-up work by using the opportunity when students spoke to me by telephone to further clarify the truth. Since I have raised my "xinxing," there were no more incidents like that. The experience made me realize that only by clarifying the truth thoroughly is one acting with responsibility toward all sentient beings.
5. When one stands on a solid foundation, everything changes
The several years of cultivating myself made me realize that as long as we can really manage to keep true faith in Master and the Fa, there is nothing we cannot overcome.
At the end of 2003, I asked for all of my salary back (more than 8,000 yuan) from the township for the time when township agents had me illegally imprisoned. They gave it to me. My school and my family members absolutely couldn't believe such a thing had happened, because the township government had so much debt, including many years worth of old debts and sometimes couldn't pay the salaries owed to teachers. I realized with profound awareness that Dafa is superior; as long as the foundation is solid, everything can change.
To get my salary back I started with righteous thoughts and the mindset of rescuing people to clarify the truth to the county leadership. Then I gave them the truth materials and exposed the local evildoers. The county secretary initially was quite opposed to my undertaking. I clarified the truth to him for two and a-half hours. Finally, the evil elements that had manipulated him in other dimensions was destroyed with my righteous field. It is really as Master said,
"When disciples have ample righteous thoughts
Master has the power to turn back the tide."
("The Master-Disciple Bond" in Hong Yin vol. II)
For the 2004 and 2005 school year, our school deducted the Party dues from my salary. When I discovered this, I further clarified the truth to the leadership and got my "party dues" money back. I also told them, "Please don't bother me for such stuff. I have already quit the CCP." Since then I have never again participated in any activity dictated by the higher leadership.
In order to deal with the higher-level inspection/checking, the school used to make fake information in teachers' files every time tasks were assigned to the teachers to complete. Before the persecution I also took part in this. After the persecution started I realized that the consequences of doing such was serious. It was against the characteristics of the universe, Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. How could I be a practitioner? Cultivation is extremely serious. How could we take it as a game?
After realizing this I told it to the leadership very directly, "From now on, please don't assign me to such tasks. I am practicing Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. It was indeed because I refused to lie that I was illegally detained and suffered. Please, let me do some actual thing. It would be okay even if I had to do more work." From that time on, whenever the school got an assignment involving Party things, the principal would personally assign me some other work.
There is so much to talk about here. Generally speaking, our environment is easing up now. We can put Dafa books in the office at any time and sing the songs made by Dafa practitioners. The students frequently come to my office to listen to the truth and request Dafa materials. Having passed through many difficulties in these years, I always feel it's still far from Master's requirements. Along with the environment easing up, sometimes I didn't do the three things diligently. Therefore, I often used a paragraph of Master's lecture to encourage myself. I cite it here, to encourage all of us together:
"And so it is that when circumstances ease up, one is prone to becoming lax; when the pressure lets up it leads a person to feel relaxed and not make every minute count as before. But that's not acceptable. The fact is, you are cultivators, and you can't afford to cease being diligent no matter what kind of circumstances you encounter. The more relaxed or comfortable things get, in fact, the more serious is the test you face. Regardless of how the situation may change, the terms of cultivation and the cultivation state required of you will never change, and for this reason you cannot let up. Moreover, as you have seen, though the situation is changing, the evil specter has yet to be fully cleaned out, and right now it is still having a very negative effect." ("Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005")