A. In many situations it certainly is not a failure to cry. Crying is a wonderful safety valve and one I myself have made use of several times over the years. In emotional situations during sitting practice we do our best to contain our habitual reactions, but if the emotions become too powerful then we sometimes need to ‘let go’. Sometimes we need to grieve. This is necessary to be emotionally balanced, but when it crosses the line and becomes more like a self-indulgent expression of an ingrained habit, then we need to be careful.

There may be a tendency to self-indulge and feel sorry for ourselves. This can be quite an unskilful habit, so it is always good to be aware at these times. If you see that you are crossing that line, then try as best you can to resist falling into what is often an immature state. Feeling sorry for myself was a strong tendency of mine. In pulling myself out of the habit, I felt I was cultivating inner strength, allowing myself to bear-with life’s trials more successfully.