Looking at Myself from Changes in the Classroom - Looking Inward Unconditionally and Becoming a Genuine Dafa Disciple
(Clearwisdom.net) I started practicing Falun Dafa in August 2008. Under the care and guidance of Master, I have walked my path steadily. However, for the past month, because I didn't study the Fa well, I have behaved like an ordinary person and the notions that I had from teaching for over 20 years surfaced. When I suddenly realized that I was a practitioner, I quickly looked inward and even asked practitioners to help me look for my attachments. I started teaching at a new school recently and when I first started teaching there, I taught my students the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I also clarified the truth to all the teachers. In just two months, two-thirds of the teachers had quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). All students in my four classes also quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. At that time, the only thought I had was to clarify the truth and save people. There were still two classes that I had not clarified the truth to about Falun Gong. Because there were several naughty kids in these classes, I started to develop an attachment of “differentiation.” In the end, they became worse and worse.
-From the author
Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I started practicing Falun Dafa in August 2008. Under Master's care and guidance, I have walked my path quite steadily and have been doing the three things well. Other practitioners consider me quite diligent. Recently, however, I have felt that I have been stuck at one level and can't move up. I can't seem to concentrate on Fa, study and many attachments have surfaced such as “doing things,” “seeking fame,” “looking after personal interests,” “disliking others,” and “showing off.” I feel that the harder I try to cultivate myself, the more attachments I end up having. I feel I have let Master down. I felt I couldn’t write a good sharing because I don't cultivate well and I have a lot of attachments. Then one day, a fellow practitioner said something that really touched my heart. He said, “Do you have to cultivate well to write a sharing? Isn't this an attachment to fame?” I know I must eliminate all of my attachments through cultivation.
Cultivating Myself in a New Environment
A month ago, I moved to a new practice site where they were all veteran practitioners who had started the practice before the persecution began in 1999. I found that there were a lot of problems there. I felt that they didn't do the three things well, and when I heard a practitioner praising himself, I thought, “I must have the attachment of showing off; I must cultivate my speech, too.” Compared to other practitioners who were doing well, I was not even up to par. I tend to validate myself instead of the Fa.
Master said in “A Cultivator is Naturally Part of It” in Essentials for Further Advancement:
“For a cultivator, all the frustrations he comes across among everyday people are trials, and all the compliments he receives are tests.”
I know Master has said it very clearly in the Fa. When I see veteran practitioners who can't sit in the full lotus position, or who have to use the dictionary when studying the Fa, my attachment of “disliking others” surfaces. Although I sound calm, my heart is not. When the attachment of “disliking others” comes out, I just suppress it. I shared with a practitioner who said, “Do you still doubt Master's arrangement? If this is the arrangement for you, there must be some attachments that you must let go. If you are put into such an environment, there must be something that you can improve on. Do you have complete faith in Master?”
I have been at the new practice site for over a month now. Other than studying the Fa and validating the Fa with other practitioners, I have never thought of what else I could cultivate by being among them. At the beginning, when we first studied a lecture, it took them more than two hours to finish it. Quite often, as they were reading Zhuan Falun, they would add some words, omit some words, or pronounce the words incorrectly. Now, they can finish a lecture in an hour and a half and make few mistakes. What an improvement! We have also cooperated in sending forth righteous thoughts, going out to hand out truth-clarification materials, and talking to people about Falun Gong. I look at myself and ask, “How come I haven’t raised my level?” It is because I have never thought of how I could upgrade my level in this environment. Master said in Hong Yin:
“Study the Fa and gain the Fa,
Focus on how you study and cultivate,
Let each and every thing
be measured against the Fa.
Only then, with that,
is it actually cultivation.”
I used to think that I understood Master's teachings, but I realize that I don't use Master's Fa to gauge my speech and actions. I only look at how other practitioners cultivate themselves and I tend not to cultivate myself using the Fa.
Master said in “Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference:”
“If a third person witnesses the conflict between the two, I would say that it’s not accidental for that third person to see it, and he too should think it over: ‘Why did I see their conflict? Is it because I still have some shortcomings?’ Only in this way can it be good.”
When practicing meditation, I am afraid of the pain and I can barely make it through one hour. But veteran practitioners have maintained their faith in Master and the Fa for over 10 years. Without their steadfastness, could I have become a Dafa disciple? Compared to diligent practitioners, I am so far behind. I don't look at practitioners' good sides. I only tend to see their bad sides. How abhorrent my human notions are!! If I really treat practitioners as my loved ones, I shouldn't be so harsh on them. What does such trivia account for? As practitioners, we should constantly put others' interests before our own. But I didn't. I wasted a month and a half, and a lot of my human attachments surfaced.
Looking at practitioners' good sides and cultivating myself well are what I must do at present. Master said in Zhuan Falun:
“Only by being among the most complex group of people and in the most complex environment can one cultivate the high-level gong.”
For the past month, because I haven't studied the Fa well, I haven't behaved like a genuine practitioner. The notions that I have developed over the course of 20 years of teaching have surfaced. I didn't rectify the teachers around me using righteous thoughts. I feel I have fallen behind, even though they all say I have a good temper. Nowadays, students are difficult to teach. My colleagues say that when I start a new class, I should give the students a whack to make my job easier in the future. As a result, when I got a new class of 50 students, I indeed gave them a whack. One of my students wouldn’t stop talking. I warned him three times, but it didn't seem to help, so I whacked his hand with a bamboo stick. I instantly felt a pain in my heart, thinking that I had lost virtue. I didn't search within, but instead, I tried to make myself feel better by using the excuse that teachers in the past used to hit their students with a wooden ruler.
Other teachers simply can't teach the two classes that haven't yet quit the CCP. Almost every day, I hear many complaints from teachers saying such and such parents are ignoring their children; such and such student comes from a rough family; his older brother is a villain; he is just like his brother, etc. I take their words for fact. I have consciously defined them in my mind. As a result, I am very mean to them. They are not allowed to run around. I even try to discipline my first grade students. Some activities are supposed to be fun, but I make it too seriously. As a result, my students quickly distance themselves from me. The students who always liked me suddenly don't dare to get close to me anymore. Although my students show good discipline on the surface, the closeness between us is lost. When I clarify the truth to them, they don't seem to be interested. Especially the two classes that haven't yet quit the CCP, they have even become more troublesome. Several students allow their demon nature to act out. I try to send forth righteous thoughts, but it doesn't help. I have tried various methods, but nothing seems to be working.
One day, I had a male student kick his female classmate sitting next to him. I looked at him and started sending forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil manipulating him. He then hit the bench with his hands. I remained unmoved and started sending forth righteous thoughts again, but it didn't seem to help. I then tried to recite the Fa and pretended to ignore him, but he only got worse. He grabbed someone's pen and started drawing on the table. I couldn't tolerate it anymore and hit him across the forehead with a book. He cursed me. I calmed myself down. I knew I hadn’t behaved in an appropriate way and really felt ashamed of myself. My Fa study, exercises, and sending forth righteous thoughts were all seriously interfered with and I couldn't calm myself down.
I started to think: “I am a practitioner and I must look within.” I shared with other practitioners and hoped they could point out my shortcomings. I found a pile of them, such as not having enough time for Fa study, not studying the Fa well, showing off, lack of compassion, etc. In order to catch up, practitioners said I must begin by studying the Fa well.
In “Drive Out Interference” in Essentials for Further Advancement II, Master said:
“The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.”
So, I started to do the exercises after sending forth righteous thoughts, and I read one lecture of Zhuan Falun a day. Then I started to prepare my lessons. After Master’s new lecture, “Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa” came out, I felt I must study the Fa more. But because I couldn't find my fundamental attachments, I didn't enlighten to anything sacred, even after reading it twice. The quality of my Fa study was very poor. Although I tried not to be moved by ordinary people and avoided discussing students with other teachers, the effect was minimal after one week.
I shared with practitioners again. They suggested that I must not have found my fundamental attachments and should look within again. I thought about how I got transferred to this school in the village (which offered lower benefits) from another school in the city where I had taught for over 20 years. At that time, I was thinking I would follow Master's arrangement: Whoever needed to know the truth about Falun Gong, I asked Master to send me there. When I first got here, I started to clarify the truth to all the teachers and instill my students with the principles of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. In just two months, three teachers started to learn Falun Dafa. Two-thirds of the teachers quit the CCP, and four classes of students I was teaching also quit the CCP. At that time, the only thought I had was to clarify the truth and save people. There were two classes who had not yet quit. Because there were a few naughty kids, I developed an attachment of “differentiating” them. I first tried to clarify the truth to the “better” students. In the end, they became worse. At present, I can't even talk to them. When I thought of how I started teaching them at the beginning, they were not like this. Although they were a bit naughty, they were still willing to listen to me.
By the end of the semester, I gave myself a grand reason: I wanted to transfer to another school, thinking that there were still a lot of schools where there were no Dafa disciples, thinking that those in this school who wanted to quit the CCP had already done so. I didn't want to care about the ones who had not quit, and just thought about transferring to another school. I thought I had this standpoint for the sake of Dafa. But in the end, not only was I not able to transfer elsewhere, I lost the chance to teach the two best classes who had quit the CCP, and it was arranged that I teach the two classes that hadn’t yet quit the CCP, and another class that had 50 students who didn't know the truth. I know it is Master's compassion. Such an arrangement was meant for me to cultivate myself better and save more beings. Although I know the rationale behind what happened, I didn't dig hard enough to find my attachments, and I didn't enlighten to Master's compassionate arrangement.
These poor kids are controlled by the evil Party spirit and the alien computer technology has demonized them. My human attachments and notions makes saving them very difficult. Master said in “What's a Dafa Disciple:”
“But the path will be very narrow—narrow to the extent that only if you are extremely righteous will things work out and will you manage to save people.”
I must use the Fa and the standard of a genuine cultivator to measure my every thought and action. Only by doing so can I walk my cultivation path righteously. I will cherish every life around me and listen to Master carefully. I must have compassion and not look at any person with a set of fixed notions. I will cherish my cultivation environment and walk my path righteously.