What's Shame Got to Do with It?

Updated: Jul 1

Exploring Shame, Contempt and Disgust through a Contemplative Lens with Dr. Eve Ekman.


Most of us would do almost anything to avoid feeling shame, an emotion that creates a feeling that we are fundamentally flawed. Transforming this emotion must be done through careful examination from all sides from its evolutionary purpose to its contemporary manifestations in “cancel culture.” Additionally, we can examine our other “self conscious” emotions of contempt, disgust, and guilt — these emotions which perpetuate the judgement and “othering” that further polarizes us from others and degrades our ability to engage with our full hearts of empathy. We will unpack the scientific understanding of shame, contempt, guilt, and disgust and consider their impact on our lived daily experiences. We will consider: Are these emotions to be avoided at all costs? Is there any purpose to these emotions, do these emotions have any kind of a message for us? How can we learn to manage these emotions mindfully and with compassion?


NOTE: This interview was recorded in front of a live Zoom audience as part of the Healing the Body, Healing the Mind Online Conference in partnership with Jamyang Buddhist Center’s Science and Wisdom LIVE project.