Realizing the Importance of Solid Cultivation after Winning an Award for Excellence in Teaching
Greetings, Master! Greetings, Fellow Practitioners!
I am a middle-school teacher and have cultivated Falun Dafa since 2004. Before going into the main topic of my sharing, I would first like to share two experiences that I use to validate the Fa.
Validating the Fa after a Miraculous Experience
This happened just shortly after I began to practice. One day I drove to the airport for a press conference. After I got off the highway, I went to the Department of Education to negotiate some contracts. After that, I was ready to go home. As I pulled my car out of the garage, I heard two banging noises from the engine. The next day, my husband took my car to a repair shop. The mechanic said to him with great surprise, “Who brought this car here? This car is absolutely not drivable! Not only does it not have brakes, the brake lines have stopped functioning. How could it have been driven on the highway yesterday?” I realized that I was driving a car that had no brakes whatsoever! After my husband told me the story, I knew that it was Master who protected me. In Zhuan Falun, Master said,
“If you truly follow the righteous way in cultivation practice, nobody will dare to do something to you at will. Besides, you have the protection of my fashen, and you will not be in any danger.”
Having Righteous Thoughts and Actions in Cultivation
My human attachments are tempered every day in the process of my cultivation. Nothing can interfere with me when I have righteous thoughts and actions. One example was my repatriation by the Hong Kong government in 2006. This happened a few days before I flew to Hong Kong. One day, I heard a loud snap from my left wrist when I pulled up my pants after using the bathroom. I thought that something might have broken. My hand was weakened afterward and had no strength. The next few days, I could only use my right hand to perform daily tasks such as driving or cleaning, but I didn't pay attention to it and my flight arrived in Hong Kong as scheduled.
On the day of arrival, many practitioners and I were held in an isolated basement by the Hong Kong police. I enlightened that, although I couldn't enter Hong Kong, I should still clarify the truth to the police in Hong Kong. I felt very encouraged after I had this thought. I stood up and started telling the police my cultivation experience, about the beauty of Dafa, how it is persecuted by the Chinese communist government, as well as the organ harvesting crimes. Other practitioners followed my lead and started telling their stories. Some police officers were moved by our stories, and we saw tears in their eyes. Unknowingly, my left wrist was healed.
After returning to Taiwan, I was interviewed at the airport by reporters and the story of repatriation was widely covered by the media. My colleagues said, “The school principal and director said you are a very brave person. They really admire you for the effort you have put into improving the human rights situation in China.” I suddenly realized that I did the right thing in filling out the “Declaration Form” in which I honestly wrote down the purpose of my trip to Hong Kong. My original intention was to let the school principal and director know that Falun Gong practitioners around the world have silently and selflessly contributed to the cause of human rights in China. I did this because I believed it was also a form of clarifying the truth to different sentient beings. Because of this incident, I understood the deeper meaning and importance of cultivating “Truthfulness” as a practitioner, as many sentient beings learned about the persecution through the newspaper.
Realizing the Importance of Solid Cultivation after Winning an Award for Excellence in Teaching
I won the “Excellence in Teaching Award” this year in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. The public ceremony took place on September 21. As I was watching the film that I submitted to the Department of Education about the Tienguo Marching Band marching through the Saitama Prefecture in Japan, a banner with “Falun Dafa” came into my view. I was deeply moved. The film stated: “Thanks to Mr. Li Hongzhi, founder of Falun Gong, who has taught me to set a good example for others...” I know from my heart that all the wisdom I have was given to me by Master. “Cultivation depends on one's own efforts, while transformation of gong is done by one's master.” (Zhuan Falun) The following is a recap of my cultivation experiences over the past seven years.
Nothing Happens by Accident
When I was selected to represent my school in the contest for the “Excellence in Teaching Award,” I refused to participate in the draw (like in the past few years), even though my colleagues, principal and director offered to write me recommendation letters. One day I enlightened that, although winning the teaching award can be very hard, I could validate the beauty of Dafa during the process and clarify the truth to the mayor, education executives, professors, committee judges, and other mainstream individuals. I had a thought: “I want to win the contest, because if I win, I can validate the Fa and clarify the truth to many people in the educational field.” Now that I had won the contest, it confirmed what Master once said in Hong Yin Vol. II: “When disciples have ample righteous thoughts; Master has the power to turn back the tide.”
Master wrote in Zhuan Falun: “As a practitioner, your course of life can be altered. Only through cultivation practice can your life be altered.” During my preparation for the contest, I realized that I had won at least one city-wide or national education award every year since I began the practice seven years ago. Because of these awards, I had been invited to give lectures at many schools. I would never have had these successes if I had not taken up cultivation in Falun Dafa. I have taken advantage of my lectures and spread the beauty of Dafa to many sentient beings with the help of the media.
I was most impressed by a male teacher who, after listening to my speech, was moved by it and told me, “I was unworthy of my students in the past. It is as if my life has just awakened. Starting today, I will try my best to teach my students!” The winning of many awards was built on my extensive teaching credentials and experiences, and all these accomplishments and wisdom were given by Dafa.
We Must Cultivate Well to Build Mighty Virtue and Validate the Fa
One of my colleagues who taught a class in the next room wrote me a recommendation letter entitled, “The God of Classroom Management, a Cultivator of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” It made me realize that my speech and actions represented the image of Dafa and I must be very cautious at all times. The school principal, director, and all my other colleagues knew that I held high standards for myself. They always thought that no matter how hard they had worked, it wouldn't compare with the efforts I had put in. This urged them to become more motivated. Nevertheless, there was a handful of colleagues who felt pressured by my dedication to work and kept their distance from me. Hence, I sometimes felt aggrieved and hurt. When this happened, I tried to calm down by studying the Fa and looking inward unconditionally.
One of my colleagues whom I had helped many times told me, “I apologize for misunderstanding you in the past due to my ignorance.” I said, “Never mind. I could tell from your words and expressions!” She felt very guilty and was embarrassed to tears: “It's been four years! I must have harmed you a great deal. Even though you knew that I hurt you, you are still willing to help me when you can. You have truly lived up the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance!” This incident has led me to understand the importance of being selfless and putting others' interests first. I have lately heard a school volunteer saying, “The fifth-grade students, under the guidance of Ms. Ye, have become the best team in school.”
I have always tried to use the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to guide me in getting along with my colleagues. I unconditionally offered them the teaching materials that I had prepared for myself over the years. I also helped them overcome their difficulties when they needed me. I even sacrificed my lunch and break times to correct my students' classwork. When I got home, it was very late. Because my class outperformed other classes, my colleagues were always very curious how I made it happen. They asked me, “How do you manage to be so effective?” My other colleagues would say, “She practices cultivation every day and removes all the impurities in her. That's why she has so much ability and compassion.” I enlightened that when we behave like a genuine cultivator, not only do we validate the Fa, but sentient beings around us will also help us validate the beauty of Dafa themselves. Like Master said in Zhuan Falun: "The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities."
Many teachers and the school administration always oppose each other. School principles and directors depend on teachers to meet their superiors' higher expectations. When I first began to cultivate in Falun Dafa seven years ago, the school principal and director invited me to tour the school to give lectures and share my teaching experience with other teachers. Since the school had never done anything like that before, no one dared to do it because they were afraid that other teachers would point out their flaws and embarrass them. I refused the principal and director three times but with no success. I finally enlightened that nothing happened to me by accident. I knew that I must overcome fear and complacency, so I agreed to give the first lecture of my life. I knew that if I was not a cultivator of Dafa, I wouldn't have accomplished anything. I took advantage of these lectures to introduce Dafa to my colleagues. Without my realizing it, Master had already brought me the beings who had a predestined relationship with me. After my lectures, many teachers in my school obtained the Fa.
All of my colleagues knew that I was a Falun Dafa practitioner after the lecture. I further took this opportunity to spread the practice to other staff members whenever possible. In 2005, I attended the national competition for creative teaching. After being admitted to the finals, my school principal hoped that I would bring four younger teachers with me so that they would receive the nominal group award. I readily agreed. When no one wanted to be the instructor for higher grade students (who were harder to manage), I gave away my position as an instructor for the lower grade students (who were easier to manage). I took time off and spent a whole day sharing with other teachers on how to manage a classroom successfully. When the school principal accidentally found out what I had done, he was very moved by my altruism and said, “You'd rather turn down giving lectures for which you can collect fee and selflessly take time off to share your experiences and information with your colleagues. You've truly lived up to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” On the surface level, the school administrators needed my professional help, but in fact, Master has given me more opportunities to temper myself and build my mighty virtue. Because of the good relationship I have with the school administration, it's easier for me to rent space from the school at a lower cost for Dafa activities. Meanwhile, they have also established their positions. This is Master's compassion toward saving more beings.
My students and their parents have established their fate with Dafa through me. I have always tried to remind myself that I am a practitioner and that I must be dedicated to the students. Because I won the trust and respect of their parents, they go to see the Shen Yun shows, subscribe to the newspaper, and visit the photo and art exhibitions. I took my students to see the photo exhibition at the Cultural Center one day. When my students saw the pictures of Master during the early times when he was teaching the Fa to the public, all of them were very excited and shouted, “Hello, Master! Falun Dafa is good!” I was very moved by that and still am. Because of cultivation, my creativity in teaching flowed out naturally and endlessly. This helped me enhance the moral education of my students. I also worked on instilling the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, looking inward, putting others first, the issue of loss and gain, and helped my students rectify their behavior. Some middle school students had a lot of problems before enrolling in my class. After they attended my class, they became different people. Because of this, I won endless admiration from my colleagues.
From the diaries that my students wrote, I could see that their lives were being purified, ridding t hem of pollution. One student wrote: “Recently, without realizing it, when I strive to live according to what Ms. Ye has taught me, I find that I have become a better person.” Luo Qi, who used to be a very indifferent student, wrote: “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance may look simple but the meaning is very deep. These three words have changed my life since fifth grade. I have now become more helpful to others and feel more open in sharing my thoughts with others.” I remember one day shortly after I took up the practice I took my students to an outdoor activity. There was a calligrapher who offered to write something for one of my students and asked him what he wanted him to write. He said, “Please help write 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance' for me, because Master Li wants us to be good people.”
There was a middle school student who had greatly disappointed his teachers and parents. Within a very short time, his father saw the positive changes in him after attending my class. He wrote me a very touching thank-you letter. Some parents said, “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance not only changed our children but also our families.” I knew that when they praised me, they did it from the standpoint of ordinary people, but I had to use the standard of a true practitioner to measure my behavior. In fact, I still have a lot of inadequacies. I always replied by telling them, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!” Some parents, who are Buddhists, said, “Yes, Falun Dafa is good! Indeed, it is truly good!”
When the contest was in the final stage, the evaluation committee came to visit my school. One parent, who was the former director of the Hengchun Marine Museum, said, “My child was a naughty kid. Under Ms. Ye's guidance, he has changed himself and become a different person. He is now a double-major student in an oversees university. When he comes home, he always goes to say hello to Ms. Ye.” Another parent, an air force lieutenant-colonel, said, “Speaking as a lieutenant-colonel of the Air Force in the Republic of China, Ms. Ye is a great and dedicated teacher!” Convinced by the parents' testimonies and my colleagues' recommendations, all of the committee members were very moved and said finally, “Wow! The Army, the Marines, and the Air Force have all come out to support you!” Through these experiences, I have come to understand that how we behave in ordinary human society affects our validating of the Fa.
Cultivation is a serious matter. I ran into a small test during the committee members' visit. They asked me some questions regarding the “National Exhibition of Inventions” to see if I had contributed anything to help the winner. I told them, “I am sorry! I didn't give him any guidance. He put my name there because he wanted to thank me for giving him the instructor position.” The school principal and director were very nervous because they were afraid I wouldn't be elected if I told the truth. On the contrary, all of the committee members were moved and thought that I was a very solid teacher that had played a great role in guidance. Thus, the only elementary school teacher award, which was given by the city, was awarded to me.
Since I started cultivating in Dafa and up to winning that award, I have always held the belief of “Gaining things naturally without pursuit” that Master taught us.
I realize that Master's arrangement of my path is the best one and that there are no role models. The only way is to use the Fa as my guide and do what the Fa requires. Only then can we walk our paths correctly and fulfill what Master has arranged for us.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!