Newspaper article International New York Times

Seeking Inner Peace? Dalai Lama Has a Site

Newspaper article International New York Times

Seeking Inner Peace? Dalai Lama Has a Site

Article excerpt

The Dalai Lama has commissioned an atlas of human emotions to further a lofty mission: turning secular audiences into more compassionate humans.

The Dalai Lama, who tirelessly preaches inner peace while chiding people for their selfish, materialistic ways, has commissioned scientists for a lofty mission: to help turn secular audiences into more self-aware, compassionate humans.

That is, of course, no easy task. So the Dalai Lama ordered up something with a grand name to go with his grand ambitions: a comprehensive Atlas of Emotions to help the more than seven billion people on the planet navigate the morass of their feelings in order to attain peace and happiness.

"It is my duty to publish such work," the Dalai Lama said.

To create this "map of the mind," as he called it, the Dalai Lama reached out to a source Hollywood had used to plumb the inner workings of the human psyche.

Specifically, he commissioned his good friend Paul Ekman -- a psychologist who helped advise the creators of Pixar's "Inside Out," an animated film set inside a girl's head -- to map out the range of human sentiments. Dr. Ekman later distilled them into the five basic emotions depicted in the movie, from anger to enjoyment.

Dr. Ekman's daughter, Eve, also a psychologist, worked on the project as well, with the goal of producing an interactive guide to human emotions that anyone with an Internet connection could study in a quest for self-understanding, calm and constructive action.

"We have, by nature or biologically, this destructive emotion, also constructive emotion," the Dalai Lama said. "This innerness, people should pay more attention to, from kindergarten level up to university level. This is not just for knowledge, but in order to create a happy human being. Happy family, happy community and, finally, happy humanity."

The Dalai Lama paid Dr. Ekman at least $750,000 to develop the project, which began with a request several years ago.

"'When we wanted to get to the New World, we needed a map,"' Dr. Ekman recalled the Dalai Lama telling him. "'So make a map of emotions so we can get to a calm state."'

As a first step, Dr. …

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