(Clearwisdom.net) I don't remember exactly when the following incident happened but it was sometime last summer in Manhattan.

One day my throat suddenly became so sore I could not drink or eat anything, so I decided to put off eating until later when the soreness was gone. I knew that it was some kind of interference so I tried to deny it and went on as usual with my daily life but without eating.

On the second day, I almost could not move. From the time I awoke in the morning to taking shower and then walking to the subway station, I had to drag my body as slowly as moving a mountain. Sensing that it was not due to fasting for two days, I was sure this must be caused by something else.

I kept sending forth righteous thoughts, intending to deny all arrangements by the old forces. But one day during the anti-torture exhibit, the aching in my esophagus and stomach was so severe that I had to call up my strongest will power and strength to be able to stand there. Half an hour before the end of the daily exhibit, after suffering the pain for several hours, I could not help it and had to give up and leave early. Getting back to my residence I fell flat into bed without changing my clothes.

The aches persisted to the next day, but I kept to my regular activities while ignoring the pain. One fellow practitioner noticed my problem. When I relayed the events of the previous few days she insisted that I should eat and drink as usual in spite of the ache.

"Even if the pain is terrible, you should eat right away. Old Forces, you do not have any authority to torment a Dafa practitioner." While she was uttering these words with benevolence and dignity, suddenly it dawned on me, too. I immediately drank the fruit juice she gave me. Then, after doing the third and the fourth sets of Falun Gong exercises as well as sending forth righteous thoughts, the soreness was totally gone.

At home, when I was getting ready to eat some rice, the pain started again. As I swallowed, my throat was fiercely painful. I knew what it was all about and ignored the pain, finishing up the whole bowl of rice. Since then, I have not had a relapse.

It would seem that the old forces use bodily pains to try and frequently interfere with Dafa practitioners. There are different degrees of denial of interferences from the old forces. In the case mentioned above, my earlier behavior--to act as usual while skipping eating--was a kind of denial based on admitting the existence of the interference. It was wrong to admit the pains in the beginning. Thus, a more thorough denial of the pain and interference would have been to continue my regular eating habits in spite of the interference.

When we are trapped in a problem, it is always very hard to see it objectively. The more we can get out of the problem and the more we can deal with it without human notions and emotion, the better we can identify the essence of the problem.

The root cause of my interference might have come from many aspects. One that I now realize is my feeling a little tired of doing the same thing every day for 10 months. It is a big challenge to be clear-headed and concentrate our strength on saving the sentient beings. When the interference occurred, I sensed that sometimes I was bogged down with selfishness by wishing to leave Manhattan for ease and comfort. During the daily activities, whether at the anti-torture exhibition or clarifying the truth, I was okay. But when I alone in the off-hours, the selfish ideas would come bubbling out.

Teacher says,

"If you do not help stop a murder or arson, what would you get involved with?" (Zhuan Falun)

When we know that something more serious than a murder or arson is going on in the universe, how can I indulge myself wishing to relax and take it easy? When my pains got more severe, I felt that the leftover old forces were not just testing me but were trying to kill me. I sensed that they were desperately taking advantage of any small thing to interfere with practitioners and Fa-rectification.

Teacher says that,

"Cultivation practice is extremely arduous and very serious. If you are being careless for a moment, you may stumble and become ruined at once. Therefore, one's mind must be right." (Zhuan Falun)

We are practicing cultivation lost in a maze. Therefore, when we are less diligent about doing the three things (studying the Fa, clarifying the truth, and sending forth righteous thoughts), we may easily forget our important mission and the selfish factor will arise inside our mind and body. This can cause interference.

Judging from this viewpoint, our root problem lies in selfishness.

Teacher says that,

"Selfishness is a fundamental attribute of the cosmos of the past." ("Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference (Q&A portion)")

Thus, I realize that the substances of the old universe are imperfect in regards to selfishness. When we have selfish thoughts, it is equivalent to our agreeing to the old universe's maintaining and continuing to exist inside our body.

The streets of Manhattan are definitely a frontline in our saving people. To keep my clear mind there every day, I must cut across the hard-to-notice but more realistic frontline in my own heart. In this forward position on the battlefront, I must make upright choices between selfishness and selflessness and between the old and the new universe.