What Is the Foundation of Education? (Photo)

November 21, 2011 at 9:00 am | Posted in Asia, Culture, Discussion, Good Advice, Life Lessons, Moments from History, Reflections, Relevance to Today, Stories from China | Leave a comment
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By a Falun Gong practitioner in China

(Clearwisdom.net) Wang Shouren was a scholar and educator during the Ming Dynasty. Because he used to live in Yangming Cave, he was known as Mr. Yangming – Wang Yangming.


Wang Yangming, scholar and educator during the Ming Dynasty

Wang Yangming wrote an article based on a conversation he had with Qiao Baiyan (Qiao Yu), when the latter visited him before taking up a position as Minister of Rites in Nanjing. The article was written as parting words of advice and encouragement for Qiao Yu.

Based on their conversation, Wang Yangming’s article expounded the fundamental issues regarding education, pointing out that education must be focused and meticulous; however, if these two aspects deviated from the Dao, both would fail because of addiction or eccentricity. By “Dao,” he referred to the Great Way from which all things were generated and developed. Education must be focused and thorough. If one understands the great way of how all things are generated and developed with a focused and diligent mind, then one would be naturally good at those less important things such as writing and other skills.

The story of chef Baoding dismembering an ox as skillfully as a professional butcher is a typical example to demonstrate this concept. The story tells about a chef who, when dismembering an ox, demonstrated incredible skill. Not only were his movements graceful, but the sounds of dismembering the ox were rhythmic, almost musical. How could a chef have reached such a level? He gave a rather unique answer, “I’m very interested in pursuing the Dao, much more than skill.” He made it very clear that the reason he was able to do this so skillfully was because he paid much more attention to understanding the “Dao” than acquiring a skill.

From this we can find it quite easy to understand why ancient people required teachers to “disseminate the Dao, to teach knowledge, and to expound and remove confusion.” The Dao here does not mean the general pattern of things, but the great way by which all things in heaven and on earth were generated. The fundamental issue in education is to disseminate the Dao to students. The “Dao” has been interpreted differently in the classics of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism.

However, today’s China has experienced one political movement after another after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) usurped power, and China’s true traditional culture has been destroyed. The CCP has also distorted the traditional culture in order to maintain its evil rule over China. Meanwhile, due to the influence of positivist science from the West, people nowadays find it hard to understand the exact meaning of what the ancient people tried to convey. The way people try to solve problems has been reduced to simple and rigid ways of thinking, such as “only attending to the superficial or minor aspects rather than tackling the root of a problem,” and their understandings of the universe, the human body, as well as all things on earth, are really naïve and laughable, just like blind men trying to describe an elephant.

We can be gratified that, at this time when humankind is confused and lost, Falun Dafa is being disseminated. The fundamental characteristic of the universe, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, is being made known to humankind and sentient beings in different dimensions, so that people can clearly understand the mysteries of life, the universe, and all things in heaven and on earth. Therefore, if teachers tell their students about Falun Dafa, then they are truly filling their duty to “disseminate the Dao;” if parents educate their children according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, then they are molding a beautiful future for them.

Here two examples of how people benefit in their studies and work by following the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

How I Became a Top Student at a Prestigious University

Yang Qing said in his article published on the Minghui/Clearwisdom website that when he was little, he studied hard in order to avoid criticism from his father. Still, his marks were only slightly higher than average. In high school, he started to think about life and held a strong desire for success and fame. He studied very hard and was eventually admitted into a highly regarded university. His high school grades were not bad, but they were not outstanding, either, and he paid a very heavy price. He often had to study till late at night; he lost much hair and had black rings around his eyes. He looked like an old man in his graduation photo.

After he entered the university, he felt as if he couldn’t go any further. He became lazy and slacked off. Movies, outings, parties, and campus activities became part of his life. An overwhelming sense of emptiness and confusion crept in after succumbing to those temptations, however, and he started reading books on philosophy and religion, but still could not find a satisfactory answer. Later he read Zhuan Falun and was deeply touched. The principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and “returning to one’s original true self” lingered in his mind. Suddenly he understood the true meaning of life.

In his article he said, “Through continuous study of the Fa, I understood that students should study hard so that they can be ready to take responsibility in their work and for society in the future. I followed the requirements of the Fa to eliminate my attachments to fame and gain in my studies. For example, sometimes when I was doing my homework I would think about getting good grades. Immediately I realized that it was an attachment to fame and gain and I should let go of it. I would then think that I should do well so that I could be responsible and serve society better in the future. When I did well in my assignments, sometimes I would like to show off a bit, but I realized that I should let go of this attachment. My mind became calmer and unruffled, and my daily life was more fulfilling.”

A classmate told him one day, “You are No. 1 in the whole class!” He thought his classmate was joking, because he did not spend as much time as he used to on his schoolwork, since he needed a lot of time to study the Fa and practice the exercises. Like everyone else, he just attended lectures, did his homework and did a bit of reviewing before exams. There were more than 200 students in his class, and he was not one of the outstanding ones. In fact, he would have considered that he had done well if he placed in the top third of the class. He was really surprised when he got his results as he had indeed been awarded the honor of being the top student in his entire class.

Yang Qing wrote in his article, “It turned out that, through constant Fa-study, my mind had become much calmer, and I was no longer attached to fame and gain. The learning became easier, and I could quickly understand what the teachers were saying. I earned first place without putting in any extra effort. Falun Dafa has purified my mind and opened my wisdom. From studying hard out of fear of my father, to studying for fame and gain, and then to studying with a clear understanding, Falun Dafa has manifested its miraculous power in me!”

Magical skills of “threading a needle with a fine shred of ginger” and “cutting up meat on top of bean curd”

On August 6, 2010, NTDTV broadcast a video clip, showing the Shandong Cuisine champion Chen Yongming demonstrating his magical skills of “threading a needle with a fine shred of ginger” and “cutting up meat on top of bean curd.”

On TV, Chen demonstrated his cutting skills. Then he had his eyes covered and showed his skill in “blind cutting.” He used the ginger shreds he cut to thread a needle. He could pick up any shred and thread a needle with ease. He also demonstrated his skill in cutting meat on top of bean curd. All the piecess he cut were nice and neat and even in size. It was really amazing.

“When you and your knife become one, you can reach an incredible level in terms of skills,” Chen Yongming said, “You may have heard of the state in which a man and his knife become one. Someone may say, ‘What you are talking about is something spiritual, but we are talking about skills.’ In fact, mind and skills are two combined into one. When you combine mind and matter into one, you will find your skills can reach an incredible level. When your knife and your heart become one, instantly, you will know how finely you are cutting.” He said, “If you want to be a good chef and want to reach a certain level in this trade, being able to combine heart and knife into one, man and wok into one, then you must first purify yourself.”

In fact, the consummate skills demonstrated by Chen Yongming are legend in the culinary arts, and nowadays hardly anyone is able to perform them. After he participated in the Culinary Competition hosted by NTDTV, Chen Yongming said without reservation that he acquired such skills during his practice of Falun Dafa. After practicing he suddenly felt he had improved and acquired these unique skills naturally.

Chen Yongming’s cutting skills demonstrated that his enlightenment had reached a state of elevation, not something one can achieve by just practicing, because man and the knife must become one. There are many other similar examples.

People have gained good health and moral elevation through cultivation under the guidance of Falun Dafa. They continuously enlighten to the “Dao” in their professions and various skills, and, with the guidance of the “Dao,” they have enlightened to and increasingly elevated their skills. We have further realized that, as professionals in education, introducing Falun Dafa to students is truly guiding them to follow a righteous path in life.

Posting date: 3/22/2011
Category: Traditional Culture
Chinese version available at http://minghui.ca/mh/articles/2011/3/1/教育的根本是什么(图)-236909.html

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