[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] Falun Dafa Changed Me Fundamentally and Purified My Soul
(Minghui.org) I worked as a speech therapist in a special school in Australia from 2013 to 2015. Not only did Dafa give me wisdom and creativity to do better in my work, but it improved my moral standards and had a positive impact on the whole school. I am now busy with the task of raising my two young children, but my memory of those years is very vivid in my mind.
On this special occasion of World Falun Dafa Day, I would like to share some of my previous experiences. After reading Minghui's call for submissions from Western practitioners, I was determined to participate to validate the greatness of Falun Dafa and show the world how we westerners have benefited from the practice.
Letting Go of Reputation
When I first started at the special school, I was told that the previous speech pathologist had quit because of the pressure she felt from teachers and parents. Being the sole speech therapist in the whole school was a huge task which required to handle referrals from all the grades. The students all had a mild to moderate intellectual disability and many of them had autism.
My first attitude was to stay positive and to give it a go, no matter what the final outcome. I reminded myself not to be concerned with critics, but to endure with a smile and not to overthink it. Every day at home, I would read one chapter of Zhuan Falun, the main teachings of Falun Dafa, listen to the audio conference in the car on the way to work and sometimes memorize Hong Yin before going to sleep. I would also do some of the exercises on the beach before going to work in the morning. I felt my mind was filled with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
My first language was French. I was well aware that teachers were going to have a negative impression of me after hearing my accent. On one of the first days, Teacher Lucy (alias) told me during a meeting with my superior and many other teachers: “Are you the new speech therapist? But you have such an accent! Are the kids going to understand you?”
I couldn't help but feel embarrassed. My confidence level dropped.
A few months into the job, I started to develop a good rapport with the teachers. One day, the school had hired a new occupational therapist, Annie (Alias), and I took her around the school to introduce her to teachers. When I introduced her to Lucy, she said to Annie in front of me: “How refreshing! Someone without an accent!”
I felt ashamed and hurt straight away in my heart but I quickly remembered that I am a Falun Dafa practitioner, and that I should learn to endure any humiliation. Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, said:
“As a practitioner, the first thing you should be able to do is to not fight back when you are beaten or sworn at—you must be tolerant.” (Zhuan Falun)
We left Lucy's classroom and I said nothing to Annie about that comment. In the past, I would have said something despising about Lucy to Annie to protect my reputation. Later on that day, Annie told me: “I am really inspired by your professionalism and work ethic.”
I said: “I try to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in everything I do.”
We quickly became good friends and she later learned the Falun Dafa exercises.
Thinking of Others First
In my previous workplace in a private practice, we were in high demand and parents paid $92 per hour for our services. However, in that special school, the therapy team was expected to help whenever and wherever they could, which was also one of the reasons why most therapists did not want to keep working at that school.
When the principal rostered us into doing bus pickups with the classroom support staff in the morning, I did not complain like my colleagues. We usually needed a lot of planning to do for the day in the morning. Very little time would be left of the day with the roster call. I tried to change what seemed like an injustice into something positive. I used this opportunity to get to know more children and to teach the students how to greet appropriately, something we were working on in the classrooms.
A few months later during swimming week, we were asked to help all week at the pool. I offered to be in the water to support teachers. Being at the pool meant we could not write our language reports or handle more referrals, but that was what the principal wanted us to do, as they were short staffed. Nobody in the therapy team wanted to swim, so they all decided to stay out of the water and help write notes for teachers.
I spent the week in the water and supported Max (alias), a very autistic student, without complaining. I just wanted to help where I could. Max's swimming teacher and his mother were deeply touched as it was very stressful to have him in the water with a lot of other students. During that week and the following ones, my skin was very dry from being in the pool so much. When sitting in meditation in the lotus position, I felt stinging pain. I told myself to persist, endure and not complain in my heart. The pain would stop after a few minutes of meditation.
When I was about to start my maternity leave, many teachers expressed their appreciation for my work. One day as I entered the room, the behavioral consultant that I had a lot to do with, said: “Someone very pure just entered the room.”
I thought that Falun Dafa is so powerful. It can change anyone fundamentally and purify his soul.
Cultivating Forbearance at Home
Looking forward now with my two boys, a two-year-old and a seven-month-old, I will strive to instill the universal principles to them as they grow and develop. The tests I now have to overcome at home are much different. My sons offer me a lot of opportunities to become more patient, especially when they yell for things all throughout the day. I am reacting less and less to them now and I am calmer.
I have learned to eliminate my negative thoughts, such as: “This behavior is unacceptable!” And remind myself that I am a Falun Dafa practitioner cultivating forbearance and compassion. I want to broaden my heart so it can become limitless.
I listen to Master Li's audio conferences while my sons are playing and I recite Hong Yin poems to them when we go for walks or play on the swings. I do the exercises once a week at a community center and show my two-year-old how to do the sitting meditation every morning before breakfast. It lasts only a few minutes, but I think a little bit every day can make a big difference later.
My two-year-old loves stories, so I told him about Han Xin who endured the humiliation of crawling under someone's legs from Zhuan Falun. When we pretended to play, I showed him how to smile and say: “No worries” when someone hurts him.
I often heard him singing Falun Dafa Hao (Falun Dafa is good). He talked about deities in the sky, as I taught him to believe in things he couldn't see. A few months ago, an amazing incident happened. My husband had been burning wood in the backyard and the next day the coal was still hot. While we were having a chat about the veggie garden, my son fell and put his hand in the coal. My husband shouted and immediately put my son's hand in the pond. My son was in shock. I hugged him and recited Lunyu and repeated to him: “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good, Falun Dafa is good.” We put ice on it, but he didn't want to leave it on. The next day, there was no trace of a burn on his hand. My husband and I were amazed.
My friend later told me that a local boy put his hand in hot coals and had to be helicoptered from our town to a city hospital.
Falun Dafa has uplifted my mind and inspired people around me to become better. Such a good practice is severely persecuted in China. I feel responsible for all those lives who have been misled by the communist propaganda against Falun Dafa and hope they will quickly learn the truth and stand on the bright side.
(Submission to “Celebrate World Falun Dafa Day”2018 on the Minghui website)