(Minghui.org ) I'm an elementary school teacher who has practiced Falun Dafa since 2008. This is the first time that I have submitted an experience sharing article to a China Fahui. 

Declining Gifts

Everything has a monetary value in today's China. It is commonly believed that if parents would like their children to get attention from teachers, they need to give them red envelopes – normally with cash inside – or other gifts. I'm a cultivator and thus follow Falun Dafa's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

As a teacher, my responsibility includes helping the students understand the facts about Dafa, instead of filling their minds with defamatory statements about this cultivation practice. Many parents misunderstand Falun Dafa because of the propaganda by the communist party. Thus, it is important that I validate the preciousness of Dafa with my words and actions.

I teach students academic knowledge and take good care of them. I boil water and prepare medicines for those who have a cold. I keep the students' stomach warm when they have a stomachache. I offer students hot water during the winter to keep them warm. Parents are very touched. They know that I am a cultivator. They see the facts of Dafa through me. As a result, they no longer hold misunderstandings about Dafa.

Parents used to send me red envelopes and gifts during holidays. They said they merely wanted to express their gratitude for taking such good care of their children. But I declined all the gifts. A parent suggested that each parent give 300 yuan to the principal and asked him to pass the money to me. My principal refused and also told them that I would decline the money.

A parent who was a salesman visited me at school and said, “My headquarters gave us some bottles of wine. These are not available in our area. I know you don't take gifts, but I got the wine for free. Please accept it. You have taught my child for almost six years. You have even spent your own money to buy prizes for kids. You bought ice cream for students in the summer. We are so grateful for all you have done for the students throughout these past years. I insist that you take the wine!” 

I thanked him but declined the wine. He then said, “We admire you for being such a good teacher in this material world. Your school is such a pure land!” I responded, “Our school is a pure land because my practicing of Falun Dafa creates such an environment.”

These parents initially wanted to transfer their children to another school upon learning that I was a Falun Dafa practitioner. But, I won their respect and admiration. I safeguarded the dignity of Dafa with my words and actions. I have validated the greatness of Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa. Parents have also experienced the preciousness of the practice.

Letting Go of the Attachments to Fame and Jealousy

Something happened recently that revealed my strong attachment to fame and self interest.

My school was reviewing and giving out “outstanding teacher” awards. I should be an outstanding teacher based on my job performance. A young female teacher cried and said that she wanted the award. The principal didn't see hope in persuading anyone else. He came to me and asked me to “give up” the “outstanding teacher” award. I had “donated” the award three years in a row. Yet I agreed without hesitation to give it up again.

I mentioned this to a colleague on our way home. She said, “You shouldn't give up the title. That teacher doesn't work diligently. Yet she wants to be 'outstanding?' We shouldn't help her take the award for granted.” I felt that the colleague was right.

The assistant principal mentioned this matter to me again the following day. He said, “You work the hardest in our entire school. Your class is doing so well. This outstanding award should be yours. You always give it up. Without the outstanding award, we cannot raise your title or salary. I don't think it is fair for you to not even have the award once in the past years.” Somehow, I started agreeing with the assistant principal and was feeling a bit upset.

I spoke with my husband, a fellow practitioner, about this. He shared with me on the Fa and reminded me what Master said:

“For instance, one day his workplace gave out an apartment unit. The supervisor said: 'All those in need of the apartment come here to describe your conditions and explain why each of you needs the apartment.' Everyone provided their own reasons while this person did not say a word. In the end, the supervisor found that this person had a greater need for it than others, and that the apartment should be given to him. Other people claimed: 'No, the apartment shouldn’t be given to him. It should be given to me because I need the apartment badly.' This person said: 'Then you can go ahead and take it.' An everyday person would see him as foolish. Some people knew that he was a practitioner and asked him: 'As a practitioner, you don’t want anything. What do you want?' He responded, 'I’ll take whatever others don’t want.' Actually, he was not foolish at all and was quite bright. Only in terms of personal, vested interests, would he be like this. He believed in following the course of nature.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)

My husband asked me to reconsider the issue. I searched within and asked myself, “Why did I tell others about my giving up the outstanding award?” I knew it was because I couldn't let go of fame. What's behind the fame? It was money.

The outstanding award would lead to a change in my title. This would also result in an additional 600 to 700 yuan per month or 7,000 to 8,000 yuan each year. This is a permanent raise. It's a sort of wealth. I had thought that I had let go of fame and self-interest and often told others, “We can't take money with us at death.” However, my attachment to fame and self-interest revealed itself in a test. I realized that I had only cultivated superficially and didn't truly let go of my attachments.

Master said, 

“Cultivation is a process of giving up human attachments to the greatest extent. Why do you care so much about that thing? It’s because the thing that lingers in your mind, that you are attached to and care so much about, is a wall—a wall that prevents you from leaving humanness behind. I ask that you have each of your thoughts gradually break away from humanness and enter a godly state. Yet every thought of yours is linked and tied down to this place of humans. It’s just like a ship that’s about to set sail, yet its ropes are tied to the dock. Many ropes are tied up, and you can’t leave unless you untie them.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in New Zealand”)

I found my deeply rooted attachments to fame and self-interest. With Master's help, I can truly remove them. Master asks us to become enlightened beings who place others first. I need to do my best at work and follow the course of nature when it comes to fame and self-interest. I should be calm regardless of any gain. I need to live by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and help my colleagues to see the beauty of Falun Dafa.

Clarifying the Truth about Dafa

I had previously only sent text messages about Dafa to people and distributed brochures. With others' help, I started clarifying the truth about Dafa over my mobile phone. I didn't know what to say at first, as I was too nervous. I then wrote down my messages on a piece of paper and read them during the phone calls. Even though my speech was not organized, I helped nine people quit the communist Party and its youth organizations.

I still remember July 23, 2014, when I helped the most people in my group of practitioners quit the Party. I knew that it was Master's encouragement, and it encouraged me to step forward. I have persevered in clarifying the truth with my mobile phone ever since.

My school has a policy: The teachers who have high school age children can leave before the noon break to prepare lunch for their children. I prepared lunch for my child the night before, so I could use my lunch break to make truth-clarification phone calls every day. 

The winter can be very cold in northern China. I often stood for two hours in the snow to make phone calls. I warmed my hands with hot water upon returning to my office. I then taught my afternoon classes.

It has been four years since I've been making phone calls at lunchtime. Despite not having time for lunch, I don't get hungry because I want people to learn the truth about Dafa. I make two hours of truth-clarification phone calls during a work day, and spend more time on weekends. I study the Fa in the mornings and make phone calls in the afternoon. I usually make phone calls for two to three hours, sometimes over four hours. I have helped more than 16,000 people renounce the Party over the past four years.

My motivation and perseverance come from Master's support and the power of Dafa.

I was once pulling weeds under the baking sun with a few leaders of our school. Our logistics director said, “I admire Falun Dafa practitioners. I often say in my heart, 'Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.'”

I have validated the greatness of Dafa with my words and actions. My colleagues are receptive when I clarify the facts, which is different from the propaganda they hear from the Party. Other than one person who passed away due to illness, all my colleagues have chosen a good future by quitting the communist organizations.

Improving Through Solid Cultivation

I was indoctrinated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and had been teaching the students the way I'd learned. Therefore, the influence of the Party on me was quite strong. I used to speak aggressively and was inconsiderate of others' feelings.

The indoctrination was deeply rooted in me. I know that all I can do is to study the Fa more and more seriously. I can then let go of the indoctrination and I will be free of it. But, I must cultivate solidly and treat myself as a cultivator at all times.

I no longer lose my temper and keep reminding myself that I'm a cultivator. I need to keep a compassionate and peaceful mind.

I still have a lot of attachments to remove, such as resentment, jealousy, and the show-off mentality. These are all obstacles on my cultivation path. I will cultivate diligently, and do the three things well.

Thank you Master! Thank you fellow practitioners.