[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] A Teacher's Cultivation Journey as Reflected through Six Principals
(Minghui.org) I was a school teacher. In 1989, I arrived at a local school in Shandong Province from Northeast China to take on a new teaching position.
I would like to share my experiences and enlightenment gained during these past decades in my dual role as a Dafa disciple and a school teacher.
First Principal: “What a waste of talent!”
My arrival created quite a stir of anticipation by reason of my critical expertise. The principal looked to me with positive expectations. Unfortunately, because of my poor physical condition at the time, I wasn’t able to fulfill my responsibility to head a training class.
When I was at university, appendicitis surgery left me with long-term sequelae that constantly rendered me unconscious due to severe stomach pain.
Later, I underwent laparotomy and was diagnosed with a case of serious neurosis that ended up torturing me for over a decade.
Later still, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. This was in addition to arthritis, chronic gastritis, headache, eye strain, and other ailments.
Except for my hair and nails, my entire body was riddled with pain.
My situation worsened when I was in Shandong, where I had to make necessary environmental and living habits adjustments.
I was constantly on sick leave and could barely perform any assignment. Physical imbalance led to behavioral conflicts. I sunk into an abyss of despair that no words could describe.
The principal remarked with regret, “What a waste of talent!”
Second Principal Honored My Talent
In June 1996, when I felt that I was at a point of no return, a colleague gave me a book called Zhuan Falun. I practically devoured the book in one sitting. My whole world brightened. Master Li Hongzhi's words reached my heart and touched my soul.
After I started practicing Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa), all my ailments quickly disappeared. The physical and mental changes were enormous. My complexion turned rosy. My spirits soared. My worried relatives and friends all remarked about the wonder of Falun Dafa.
Life became happy and relaxing. The feeling was beyond amazing.
I followed Master’s requirements to be a good person and to put others first in all things. I accepted all assignments unconditionally and performed them to the best of my abilities. Falun Dafa cured my body and increased my wisdom.
Two years later, I received an honor and award for having conducted the best high-quality class at the provincial level.
I knew that a provincial level high-quality class honor and award is extremely rare, so my attaining that honor and award was considered groundbreaking.
Through my every word and deed, the beauty and goodness of Falun Dafa seeped into my classroom, touching everybody and everything in a most positive light.
In 1999, the City Board of Education sent 40 experimental secondary school principals-in-training to attend my class.
The summary of their evaluation stated, “This teacher’s class is simple and peaceful, no grandstanding or demagoguery, very honest and natural, worthy of emulation.”
From that, our small town secondary school became well-known. Our principal was happy beyond measure.
In the 2000 school year, our school system underwent a competition for professional ranks and titles. Several first-level teachers would have to be demoted to the secondary level with lesser pay. All first-level teachers were fearful of demotion.
When every teacher was planning a speech to speak on his or her own behalf, I went to the principal and said, “I am a Falun Gong practitioner. I don’t want to enter into any competition. I want to request a voluntary demotion so as not to add to your problem…”
I knew that the principal had done her best to protect me from the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of Falun gong all along and I truly wanted to lessen her burden.
However, the principal responded solemnly, with tears in her eyes, “You are such a fine teacher. There is no way I would allow your demotion.”
Third Principal Changed from Cooperating with the Persecution to Secretly Protecting Me
At first, my third principal, under the directives of Jiang Zemin [former head of Chinese Communist Party who launched and directed the persecution of Falun Gong in China] and his cohorts, cooperated with the Party order to send me off to be “transformed”.
A vehicle was waiting. I refused to get in. When he tried to force me, I would not budge. He asked the deputy principal and other assistants for help, but nobody paid him any heed.
When I returned from my “transformation” session, I sought him out and explained to him the beauty and goodness of Falun Gong and how I had benefited from the practice.
I told him, “I do understand your position. I will not bear a grudge. But I do hope you will try your best to protect the other Falun Gong practitioners employed in, or attending, your school.”
The principal smiled and said, “I thought you hated me and were here to get even.”
I smiled back and said, “We practitioners don’t get even. We practice Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.”
In the meantime, I had won the municipal high-quality class award, and my teaching experiences were promoted throughout the entire city.
The principal’s attitude toward me changed, from cooperating with the authorities to secretly protecting me from persecution. This change came from his genuine admiration of Dafa disciples.
Fourth Principal Promoted Due to My Outstanding Performance
My fourth principal was a young man who hoped I could not only contribute to the development of the school but also to the advancement of his career.
During his time at our school, I won the national level high-quality class award.
I became the first and only recipient of such a high honor.
A provincial education expert gave me this commendation: “This teacher’s display of warmth, friendliness, approachability, accessibility, and overall affinity is unmatchable by any other teacher. She is in a different realm, all her own. That has nothing to do with her learned teaching technique. It is all about her individual accomplishments through self-training and cultivation. In this rather backward locality, the students she teaches have also reached a high degree of discipline. She truly has me personally amazed.”
And so, our school’s reputation spread far and wide. Four years later, the principal left for a promotion, with joy and contentment in his heart.
Fifth Principal Protected Me from Being Persecuted
My fifth principal had strict expectations of me. He often said, “The higher reputation, the more stringent the requirements.”
Faced with a workload overload, I was moved to complain. However, I thought about how Master has taught us.
“A benevolent person always has a heart of compassion.With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy.”(“Realms” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I empathized with the burden of being a principal, so I always finished my assignments with composure and good humor.
My students often asked me, “Teacher, why are you always looking so happy, as if your life is full of blessings?”
I told them with a smile, “That’s because I practice Faun Gong!”
I had approached the principal personally to talk to him about the beauty and goodness of Falun Dafa, described to him how I had benefited from the practice, and asked that he treat Dafa disciples with kindness.
One time, somebody reported me to the authorities and I was about to be arrested. The principal used all his persuasive power to convince leaders at different levels of the fact I was a good teacher. Parents also voluntarily spoke up to protect me.
When I was notified that the authorities had authorized a ransacking of my residence, I burst into tears.
I said to the principal, “I have been practicing Falun Gong for many years. The Party’s persecution of Dafa disciples and their families has created so much pain and suffering. We shouldn’t be persecuted. We don’t want to be persecuted. It’s very difficult to endure. But, I’ll promise you, Falun Dafa is just so wonderful. I will never give it up.”
The principal had meant to give me a lecture, but he comforted me instead, saying, “Don’t cry any more. Everything will be alright.”
As it turned out, the impending arrest never materialized.
The principal said to me, “Pay attention to your personal safety from now on.”
“I smile –for sentient beings there is hope”(“I Smile” in Hong Yin)
Sixth Principal Initially Terminated My Teaching Duties, Then Assigned Me to Be His Assistant
When the sixth principal arrived at the school, he was sure that the last principal’s transfer was a result of my status as a Falun Gong practitioner. So, he terminated all my teaching duties.
I dropped from being a well respected educator to being a nobody. My sense of humiliation and injustice was immense.
But I held firmly to Master and Dafa’s teachings. I looked inward. I refused to place any blame on the principal. I continually expanded the capacity of my heart. I performed my assigned chores every day with a smile on my face.
I used to initiate contact with a new principal as soon as he or she came on board, to talk about the beauty and goodness of Falun Dafa.
However, I reckoned that I couldn’t do the same with this new principal. So, I decided to just let my words, actions, and demeanor show the goodness of Dafa and move his heart.
Very soon, the principal’s attitude toward me changed. I was assigned to be his assistant.
Starting from 1996 when I began Falun Gong practice, the realm of my thinking and the skills of my teaching continuously improved. I was the recipient of multiple high-quality class awards and honors at the school, county, municipal, provincial, all the way to the national levels. I had become known as a “miracle” among ordinary teachers.
That “miracle” came from a Dafa disciple’s mentality of empathy and selflessness stemming from Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance as well as the wisdom generated through cultivation practice.
My retirement was approaching. The principal wanted me to leave behind for the school and its future students my teaching experiences and skills.
Many teachers who had witnessed my deplorable treatment, moved by their sense of fairness and justice, angrily advised me not to comply with the request, since they were also aware how arduous the task would be.
That put me into some kind of quandary. Faced with an anticipated voluminous project, I became hesitant.
I resorted to some intensely quiet and diligent Fa study.
“We have also said that if every one of us cultivates his inner self, examines his own xinxing to look for the causes of wrongdoing so as to do better next time, and considers others first when taking any action,…” (Zhuan Falun)
I am Master’s disciple. I must listen to Master. I must put others first.
I set to work hard and eventually produced an 80,000-word volume of realistic case studies and personal teaching experiences, which I presented to the school without reservation.
The principal thanked me profusely on behalf of the school. His “thank you” was really an open acknowledgement of “Falun Dafa is good!”
I had worked under six principals in the span of more than 20 years and experienced all sorts of ups and downs.
Before Falun Gong, I was mired in physical ailments and struggling with issues of fame and self-interest.
After I started the path of Falun Dafa cultivation practice, I understood the carefree feeling of selflessness and experienced the wonder of being assimilated to Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Dafa transformed me and benefited a multitude of people around me.
Master has showered me with so many blessings and bathed me in His limitless mercy and grace.