(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Dafa in February 1998. I am a middle school teacher. A colleague told me a story that really affected me. It was about a teacher who shared an office with me.

This teacher scolded several students because he thought they had berated him first. The students denied the accusation and were very upset. They complained to the head teacher and the principal, and wanted to take it to the District Education Bureau. Finally, a kind colleague stepped in and persuaded everyone to settle the dispute.

I was shocked and wondered why it happened to someone I knew. I searched inward to see if I had treated my students improperly, and whether my words and actions were based on the standard of a cultivator.

I was really embarrassed to find so many shortcomings! I noticed I hadn’t completely followed Falun Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and was not kind to my students. For example, I got upset when the students with better grades didn’t pay attention to my lectures. Why was I upset? I was afraid to “lose face” when they did poorly. And when they did well, it meant that I was a capable teacher, a better teacher compared to my colleagues. I wanted the students to do well for selfish reasons; otherwise I would not have been upset. This situation exposed my attachments to fame and self-interest.

I realized that the students’ academic performance was not entirely based on the teacher’s ability. Their accomplishments were also the result of their effort and hard work. If it were solely based on the teacher’s ability, then why didn’t all of my students do well?

I bluntly criticized the students when they talked or showed inappropriate manners in class. Sometimes I wanted to kick them out of the classroom. Although it seemed as if I wanted to maintain order in the classroom, it was actually to maintain my image and vanity.

Master taught us,

“For a cultivator, looking within is a magical tool.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX)

“Changes in your thinking can lead to changes in your surrounding environment.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX)

I used to dislike a female student. She was the class leader and had an overbearing and arrogant personality. She behaved really well in front of the head teacher, but once the head teacher was out of her sight, her behavior was worse than other students. She didn’t seem to like me, let alone respect me, and this went on for a while.

One day I thought, “Something is wrong. Why am I looking down on her?” (It was Master who pointed things out to me). I searched inward and realized she was a mirror of my own actions, and that I had almost the same shortcomings she had. I was a bit surprised.

I had seen myself as a flower, full of good qualities. Yet I could hardly find anything good in others. Sometimes I felt unsettled and secretly competed with my colleagues and superiors. I thought they were full of flaws, whereas I was the most capable and the hardest-working person.

I felt distressed and embarrassed that after so many years of cultivation I was still wrapped up in the “self.” Master said,

“I also want to tell you that your nature in the past was actually based on egotism and selfishness. From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism. So from now on, whatever you do or whatever you say, you must consider others—or even future generations...” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature,” Essentials For Further Advancement)

“Be considerate of others when you do things, and look at yourself when you get into disagreements. You probably all know how to talk about this and you know what these words mean, but at critical moments you don't put them into practice.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX)

When I changed the way I thought about the female student, her attitude changed too, as if she was a different person. She offered me a bite of her popsicle when I walked by her class on a few occasions. That really cheered me up! I thought she was so cute and innocent! She treated me as her favorite and most trusted teacher, and wanted to share her favorite snack with me. She was not even worried that I would report her for eating snacks.

Looking inward is such a great tool, and cultivation is truly amazing!

Chinese version available

Category: Improving Oneself