An Interview with Paul Ekman, PhD

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Paul Ekman, PhD

Lessons From a Groundbreaking Career: An Interview with Paul Ekman

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About Paul Ekman, PhD

Paul Ekman, PhD is a world renowned psychologist who pioneered the field of studying human emotion as well as truth and deception. Paul was greatly influenced by Darwin's belief in a universality of emotions among humans and dedicated three decades of laboratory research to exploring these ideas. The 2000 meeting with His Holiness drastically altered Paul's research and world view, producing a series of academic articles on emotion and contemplative practice, co-designing the cultivating emotional balance training with Alan Wallace, and co-authoring a book with the Dalai Lama, Emotional Awareness. Paul and his daughter created the Atlas of Emotions at the request and with the support of His Holiness from 2014-2016.

You can find online training tools for emotion recognition and Global Compassion Webisodes with Paul Ekman on his website.

About Eve Ekman, PhD

Eve Ekman is a contemplative social scientist focusing on emotional awareness working in health care, wellbeing, and technology. Eve draws from interdisciplinary skills and first-person experiential knowledge from clinical social work, integrative medicine, contemplative science, and meditation. Eve is a Senior Fellow at the University of California Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, Director of Cultivating Emotional Balance Training Program, and volunteer clinical faculty at the UCSF Department of Pediatrics. Eve is a second-generation emotion researcher and has collaborated with her father, Paul Ekman, on the Atlas of Emotions project. Eve shares her dad's deep love of bagels and is a devout practitioner of cold water ocean play.

To learn more about her work you can visit the Atlas of Emotions, an online website for emotional awareness commissioned by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and co-created by Eve and Paul Ekman. You can also learn more about a contemplative science training for learning emotional balance that was founded by Alan Wallace and Paul Ekman and is currently lead by Eve Ekman and a global teacher network at Cultivating Emotion Balance.

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  1. Indhumathi Gopal May 4, 2021 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Wonderful dad-daughter conversation. Heart warming to see the love between the two. A real eye opener about what are emotions, how to be a crusader and do good to others.
    I come from Hindu tradition from S. India and have been in Charlotte teaching as a professor in an university. The conversation reminded me of the Bagvad Gita, where Lord Krishna imparts knowledge to Arjuna as to how to lead your life following Santhana Dharma, controlling the mind and be altruistic with your goal to help others.. I am not surprised since Buddhism started in India and spread to other continents, there is n overlap of traditions between the two. thank you for this enlightened presentation….

    Thank you…

  2. Natacha May 4, 2021 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    WoW what a fabulous father and daughter Interview. Thank you for your work!

  3. Caroline May 4, 2021 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    it was a beautiful conversation sharing a deep relationship full of wisdom and colourful emotions….thank you very much!

  4. Agna May 4, 2021 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh, this was so sweet to watch. The father and daughter connection. The clarity of mind at this age. Very interesting clues. I’m deeply grateful. Thank you.

  5. Anuradha Sant May 4, 2021 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    A very heart warming and insightful conversation. Made me smile a lot and also reflect. Sending you all warm hugs ( virtually ) 🙂
    Thanks for all your work and bringing to light the language of emotions.

  6. Ruth Wilde May 5, 2021 at 2:47 am - Reply

    Deep-felt gratitude to you both for such an enlightening interview. Wonderful to see such a connection between father and daughter. Dr Ekman comes across as such a gentle being. I’m very far from having an academic brain But was drawn to the topics in the 5 day Summit. You both expressed all you shared and delivered so very clearly. Left me feeling I’d love to meet you both. Thank you

  7. Geraldine Maughan May 8, 2021 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    How did Dr Ekman junior, as a young person, get her emotions past Dr Ekman Snr.!!! It was lovely to watch Dr Ekman go at her dad’s pace and wait for her dad to work through and articulate his thought process without interruption. or completing his sentences. If we could all develop this skill to wait, there might be less miscommunication in our families, workplaces, communities and the wider world. Thank you both.

  8. Claudia May 8, 2021 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Wonderful to see and listen both of you. It feels my heart with gratitude and admiration. Thanks for giving us this beautiful gift for the soul.

  9. Claudia Giunta May 9, 2021 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    What an emotional interview & work! Of course, you both touched my heart and my soul.
    Thank you for being there for us <3

  10. Irene Suarez May 10, 2021 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Warm greetings from Ecuador, I am enchanted with your approaches and remind indigenous practices in the Amazon River Basin with 14 different nations. The practice of chakramamas in fostering the biodiversity of plants and rituals such as wayusa drinking at 4am to share dreams with the families.
    I am following the conferences as much as I can celebrating Mother´s day.

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