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Lions Roar : January 2016
TALKING ABOUT EMOTIONS with your kids isn’t always easy, but this year’s blockbuster Pixar film Inside Out can be a real help. It’s not specifically Buddhist, but it explores important truths about the nature of the self and emotions that parallel Buddhist teachings. And kids— and adults—will love it. Inside Out is based on the work of two leading experts on emotions who consulted on the film: Dacher Keltner, codirector of the Greater Good Science Center, and Paul Ekman, coauthor with the Dalai Lama of Emotional Awareness. Writer–director Pete Docter takes five basic emotions—sadness, joy, anger, dis- gust, and fear/surprise—and transforms them into colorful characters who run a control panel that represents the heroine Riley’s mind. The film portrays the self as a combination of emotions, memories, and thoughts, all working together to cre- ate the illusion of a separate personality. It treats all emotions as equal in value and essential to healthy human functioning. Your children will naturally want to talk about this film with you. First, though, you may want to take some time to let its message into your own heart. You can ask yourself (and your partner, if you wish) the following questions: • How do these primary emotions arise in my own life? • Are there some that I particularly cherish? • Are there some that I try to avoid? • Do I see the value of each one? HEART & MIND Watch This Movie with Your Kids The hit film Inside Out will delight children and help them appreciate their emotions—even the difficult ones. MELISSA MYOZEN BLACKER offers tips for watching it together. ©DISNEY/PIXAR MELISSA MYOZEN BLACKER, ROSHI is the abbot of Boundless Way Zen and has a private practice in contemplative counseling. SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2016 21 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE