Date of Original Version
This paper examines the connection between Buddhist essential teachings and human communication in the East Asian context. The essential Buddhist essential teachings, including the perception of reality, living the present moment and mindfulness, compassion, the four noble truths, and the six paramitas are first delineated. The paper then analyzes how these Buddhist teachings influence East Asian communication behaviors from five perspectives: ontological assumptions, communication ethics, communication behaviors, relationship development, and rhetorical communication. It is concluded that although Buddhist teachings show great impact on the life of East Asians, the influence of other religions and thoughts should not be ignored.
Recent research on Asian communication has provided insights into the concepts of yuan, dependent origination, (Chang & Holt, 1991a, 2002; Ishii, 1998), guanxi, relationship and networking, (Chang & Holt, 1991b; Chen, 2001) and facework (e.g., Hwang, 1997; Jia, 2001). Taoist perspectives, such as acceptance and wu-wei (non-action) on conflict and persuasion, as well have drawn communication scholars’ attention (Chen & Holt, 2002; Crawford, 1996, 1997, 2002). In addition, in studying Taoist and Buddhist perspectives on conflict and emotional adversities, Chuang (2002) unveils the spiritual and philosophical roots of Asian values through Buddhist teachings. This paper extends Chuang’s study by further examining the connection between Buddhist essential teachings and human communication in the East Asian context.
Chuang, R. & Chen, G. M (2003). Buddhist perspectives and human communication. Intercultural Communication Studies, 12(4), 65-80.