This study examined the question of how the qualities that arise from the practice of traditionally East Asian disciplines such as Zen and related martial arts might be effectively applied to dyadic interactions. Long-form interviews of about 40 minutes each were conducted with academics who have studied these topics and with expert practitioners who have extensive direct experience. Most subjects had significant cross-cultural experience, having studied and/or practiced in both the U.S. and in Japan. Detailed analysis of transcripts of these recorded interviews indicated that, in particular, the seated Zen meditation practice known as zazen generates personally transformational qualities that immediately and significantly enhance dyadic interactions. A discourse on cross-cultural issues and implications, explanation of key Zen concepts and principles, and examination of the effects of more extensive Zen practice are included.


Sachi Sekimoto

First Committee Member

David Engen

Second Committee Member

Vinai Norasakkunkit

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies


Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License