(Minghui.org) Hello, Master! Hello, fellow practitioners!

I am a pre-school teacher and I began practicing Falun Dafa in 2014. I teach children from 4 to 6 years old. We teachers have a great responsibility—one of our missions is to sow seeds for the future. We must set an example. We must constantly and sincerely improve. Young children are like sponges. They can read you and they see if you are not aligned with what you say.

Dafa is formless and sometimes we don’t see the impact of what we do or say, but we are blazing a path...an invisible path. 

Educating Students with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance 

Of course if the impact of everything we did was visible, it would be too easy. Our cultivation would be too easy and we could not improve. Encouragement suddenly blossoms when we are on the edge of the precipice. At the turn of a corner former students, now in middle school, call out with beaming smiles and talk about Dafa, or grateful parents happily tell you that Falun Dafa’s values of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are still alive and well in their homes and that their own children are able to gently remind them when these values are not respected. My heart also expands when I notice that when we patiently show children how to solve a conflict, our colleagues begin to do the same. 

We influence our environment. The children I teach now look each other in the eye to talk. They do not run away from conflicts. They speak with benevolence to each other. The other listens with patience and in turn, speaks his truth. We teachers are just in the background to listen and offer encouragement. By applying Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in their daily lives, children develop good educational habits, shake hands with a smile, and do not harbor resentment or anger. 

Language is crucial because it is the best weapon against violence. When children don’t have the words to express their thoughts, they raise their fists. 

Using Traditional Chinese Culture to Inspire and Educate Students

We need to lay the foundation for a good education. After their family, school is the second most important part of society that shapes young children. 

While reading stories and legends on the Clear Harmony website, I discovered the story of Cangjie. He was sent by the Heavens to China to create the Chinese ideograms. Cangjie was born with four eyes. I explained to the children the beauty and the depth of meaning behind the Chinese character for "listen." It alone symbolizes many things: the ears, but more importantly the eyes, the heart, and the mind, so when I speak in class and they have to listen, I often remind them, “With what do we listen?” And in chorus, they answer, “Ears, eyes, heart, and mind.” When a child turns around or talks, I joke and tell them, “You listen with your hair" (when I can’t see the eyes) or "You listen with your tongue" when he speaks when I do. So I wait, and they smile and understand. 

The children have begun resolving issues on their own now. When a child has done something wrong, I remind them, “Do you remember what Mr. Li Hongzhi (Falun Dafa’s founder) says?” They smile because I’ve repeated it so many times. Master said, “...one thought can determine the outcome of things, for better or for worse.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun

In the playground, there’s also been a sharp decrease in children who come to complain. Now, when they fall down, they get up very quickly...and if they come to see me, it is to say with a smile, “You saw, I didn’t cry! It is not serious. I’m not in pain.” Or they tell a friend, “Come on, it’s not a big deal. I’m not in pain.” Or they say, “There’s no need to tell the teacher, we’ll both discuss.” All these examples warm my heart. Education is a matter of patience and communication.

Including Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in the Curriculum 

Paths are opening up in the world of education. In my school, I gradually started to introduce Falun Dafa to the students. It started off by introducing the practice to the students who volunteered to join an extra-curricular activity. We then encouraged the children in the kindergarten class that I taught to do the exercises once a week. We also try our best to put into practice the universal values of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in our classroom.

Master arranged for me to work with my colleagues to introduce Falun Dafa into the teaching curriculum for the classes with children of different ages. The first three-year teaching plan was accepted due to its focus on enriching the school learning environment and improving the mental and physical well-being of the students. Three years later, my colleagues naturally continued to include Falun Dafa in their consecutive teaching plans. 

This went on until the pandemic happened and the group practice lessons had to be stopped in order to avoid close contact among the students from different classes. However, through word of mouth, more and more families knew that I taught the students to meditate. Therefore, this has already become a natural phenomenon in the school and no one feels surprised about it.

Master also arranged for me to teach the parents how to practice the Falun Dafa exercises during an extra-curricular activity where I had the chance to interact with them. As I am in charge of a practice site every weekend in a local park, many times the parents join us there and we practice the exercises together.

Invited to Introduce Falun Dafa in Other Schools

After I established a good relationship with the parents, Master arranged for a student’s parent, who was the secretary of a secondary school, to introduce my method of teaching to the dean of her school. The dean was very interested in meditation as he was also searching for something that could benefit his students both physically and mentally. He contacted me and another practitioner and I was invited to introduce Falun Dafa to a few classes during the ‘Citizen Responsibility and Physical and Mental Health Month’ that was held in February every year for 3 consecutive years. 

This year, Master once again arranged for the parent of a child, who I taught in kindergarten, to contact me. She is the person in charge of a private junior high school and the teachers there discovered that the students’ emotions were affected greatly by the need to wear a mask. They seemed to be depressed and she felt that they should do something for them as soon as possible.

She called me and said she hoped that I could come and introduce Falun Dafa to their six classes of 13-year-old students. She also hoped that I could work with this parent, who is also a history teacher, to specially make a trip to her class to talk about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) criminal acts of harvesting organs from living Falun Dafa practitioners in China. This junior high school happens to have two teaching themes for this year: one is "Citizen Responsibility and Human Rights" and the other is "Physical and Mental Well-being." As I was introducing Falun Dafa to the students, the teacher saw that her students were spreading the message to the other classes and she was greatly inspired.

Overcoming My Dependence on Others

The challenges I encounter every year are different. The first year, when I was introducing Falun Dafa to one of the high schools, I was a bit worried as I was only used to interacting with young children but not high school students. I was not sure how they would react or how I should interact with them. A few practitioners came with me, so I was not alone. I just needed to eliminate my fear. Before we entered the school, we sent forth righteous thoughts and I recited what Master said in Zhuan Falun in my mind, 

“...good is a far greater force than evil.” (The Third Talk, Zhuan Falun)

“Your practice will have a good chance of success if you can disregard any supposed Buddha, Daoist deity, divinity, or fiend that tries to tempt you.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)

I also kept reminding myself that I am a Falun Dafa practitioner so I only follow Master’s arrangement. When I began to talk to the high school students, my fear immediately disappeared.

During the second year, we worked with other practitioners to prepare Powerpoint slides to introduce Falun Dafa. That was my first time using this equipment so I was worried. I worried that I would not know how to use the computer and my mind was full of fear. Of course, there were also disturbances when we used the equipment. I tried my best to keep calm, be patient and not be anxious; while the other practitioners were thinking of ways to resolve the issues with the equipment. I sent righteous thoughts, got rid of my wild thoughts, and told myself not to think about the problems. Amazingly, 5 minutes before the students entered the room, a mathematics teacher came and settled the problem in a few seconds. We chatted for a while and discovered that she also teaches in our city. I understood that Master had arranged for her to come and help us.

Introducing Falun Dafa During the Pandemic

The following year things got a bit more complicated. Due to the pandemic restrictions, only 2 of us could go and there was no guarantee that we would be allowed to give our introduction. Until the last minute, we were worried that only one of us could enter the classroom. Looking inward I discovered that I had a reliance on that practitioner. This time I must face the test myself. I was also worried because that day I had flu-like symptoms including a fever. 

I reminded myself that I am a Falun Dafa practitioner, “I must go to the high school no matter what. Even if it means that I have to do it myself or if I have a fever.” I told the old forces, “Nothing can stop me. You have no control over me. All of these symptoms are fake. They are nothing. Nothing can make me waver. Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!”

I maintained my righteous thoughts and both of us finally got to go together. My illness symptoms also disappeared completely. Through this experience, I eliminated my fears: such as my fear of technology, my reliance on other practitioners, my worry that I am not as good as the other practitioners, my fear of illness, and my desire for comfort. I also got rid of my preconceptions about teenagers.

Through these experiences, I understood that once we assimilate to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Compassion will fill our hearts. The courage to face one's fears, the courage to face one's shame or shyness, the courage to forgive others, and to forgive oneself. The courage to move forward on one's own path, to move forward in one's own professional and personal environment, and to cut all the moorings of our boat of suffering and to finally rise. Joy will fill our hearts because we will be totally assimilated to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

I understood that what defines a Dafa disciple is courage and bringing hope to the world’s people. We live among ordinary people, but we must not be carried away by their emotions or our emotions. 

As Master said, 

“Dafa disciples are the hope for humankind, and you are the only hope. Saving all beings is our mission, and the responsibility is tremendous. Only by cultivating yourselves well will you be able to do well the things that Dafa disciples must do.” (“A Congratulatory Letter to the European Fa Conference in Paris”)

Just this morning, I watched the very inspiring video: “What is a Shen Yun Dancer?” and the word “HOPE” is still before my eyes.

I’d like to share with you this poem from Hong Yin II, The Lotus. I have been teaching it to my kindergarten students for several years now. 

“The Lotus
(in Yuan verse)

A myriad of pure lotuses,planted by meHaving braved snow and harsh cold, bloom togetherWith the sky clearing, spring comes to fill the gardenDivine branches boast a floral assortmentWhose fragrance fills the air and wafts beyond the heavens(Hong Yin II)

Surprisingly, the “difficult” children were the first to recite it by heart. I sometimes hear them reciting it in the playground as a group with a broad smile and sharing it with anyone who will listen. This beautiful poem deeply touches their hearts. 

The children went to other classrooms and recited it in on Human Rights Day. A colleague told me, “They made me cry when they told us that we teachers are the big lotuses and that they are small lotuses.” 

The children also took turns reciting it to their parents when we organized small workshops to present our work. I saw the tears in the eyes of the parents and said to myself, “They are so young, I didn’t think they could memorize and recite this poem, it is so beautiful.”

I saw that while learning to memorize and recite this poem, the kindergarten kids were immersed in Dafa’s energy. They are growing and improving. 

Initially, we learned the poem sentence by sentence. This method gave courage to those kids who were shy. We had the students memorize and recite the poem in groups in front of whole classrooms. Then, they did so in pairs and finally, it went down to one child reciting in front of the entire class. During the process, I saw their joy and Dafa in their eyes. Each and every one of them faced their fear with courage and was able to recite in front of so many people. 

Afterward, these children recited this wonderful poem to their parents, family, and neighbors. I heard a lot of positive feedback and it was such an enriching experience for me. Thank you, Master! 

Thank you to fellow practitioners for pointing out my attachments so that I can eliminate them and continue to improve in my cultivation. 

(Presented at the 2021 France Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)