Can one learn hiri and ottappa (as an adult)?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
dharmacorps
Posts: 575
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: Can one learn hiri and ottappa (as an adult)?

Post by dharmacorps » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:39 pm

one can be afraid of wrongdoing because they are afraid of the consequences. It doesn't absolutely have to go deeper necessarily-- people can have developed moral compasses without the dhamma. Although admittedly best, most highly developed kinds of hiri and ottappa are more elevated and relate to concern for kamma, etc.

binocular
Posts: 5638
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Can one learn hiri and ottappa (as an adult)?

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:43 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:23 pm
Sorry, I might be being presumptuous here, but if you can see the drawbacks and unsatisfactoriness of YOLO frameworks, then you have the potential to develop hiri-ottappa.
I'll have to think about this. It seems bold.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

chownah
Posts: 7529
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Can one learn hiri and ottappa (as an adult)?

Post by chownah » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:58 am

Are some people here of the view that the only way to make progress on the path is through shame, fear, and dread?
chownah

justindesilva
Posts: 807
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Can one learn hiri and ottappa (as an adult)?

Post by justindesilva » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:56 am

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:43 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:23 pm
Sorry, I might be being presumptuous here, but if you can see the drawbacks and unsatisfactoriness of YOLO frameworks, then you have the potential to develop hiri-ottappa.
I'll have to think about this. It seems bold.
There is more emphasis in hiri-Ottappa in eastern Buddhist countries rather than western countries.
Let us realise that developing Hiri Ottappa ( moral shame and moral fear) means developing restraint on pleasure over happiness. Though a westerner might not agree such restraints were trained by encouraging women ( say in sri lanka and India) to wear clothes covering the body other than the feet and arms. They were encouraged to smile without showing the teeth.(this is not always observed in modern society) Bathing in public in swim suits in the past were discouraged to create such restraint . Of course good manners as of sociable and good families were maintained on the dining table and while seating with visitors to home etc were to establish this Hiri Ottappa. Having sex or exhibiting sexual habits in public is not having restraints of happiness over pleasure. A night club is often a place with less Hiri Ottappa. The often heard story of the father abusing the daughter sexually is a result of not developing Hiri Ottappa. Rapes often heard is a result of not having Hiri Ottappa.
This is why Lord budda emphasised on these two mental qualities to make this society a better place while developing Hiri Ottappa one trains better virtues or develop sila for marga phala. Mindfulness on our day to day habits and deeds are necessary to develop Hiri Ottappa.

binocular
Posts: 5638
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Can one learn hiri and ottappa (as an adult)?

Post by binocular » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:12 pm

chownah wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:58 am
Are some people here of the view that the only way to make progress on the path is through shame, fear, and dread?
AN 10.76, from the thread linked to in the OP, states:
“Bhikkhus, one who has a sense of moral shame and moral dread is heedful. One who is heedful is capable of abandoning disrespect, being difficult to speak to, and bad friendship. One who has good friends is capable of abandoning lack of faith, uncharitableness, and laziness. One who is energetic is capable of abandoning restlessness, non-restraint, and immorality. One who is virtuous is capable of abandoning lack of desire to see the noble ones, lack of desire to hear the noble Dhamma, and a mind bent on criticism. One whose mind is not bent on criticism is capable of abandoning muddle-mindedness, lack of clear comprehension, and mental distraction. One who has an undistracted mind is capable of abandoning careless attention, following a wrong path, and mental sluggishness. One who has an unsluggish mind is capable of abandoning personal-existence view, doubt, and wrong grasp of behavior and observances. One without doubt is capable of abandoning lust, hatred, and delusion. Having abandoned lust, hatred, and delusion, one is capable of abandoning birth, old age, and death.”
Moral shame and moral dread are stated to be the foundation of a complex process and practice that eventually leads to abandoning birth, old age, and death.

So it seems that according to this sutta, moral shame and moral dread are necessary in order to make progress on the path.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

User avatar
phil
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:08 am
Location: Tokyo

Re: Can one learn hiri and ottappa (as an adult)?

Post by phil » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:51 am

I would say that as a result of having heard the teachings, there can be more and more appreciation of the moments of hiri otappa that do arise, and appreciation of those moments will condition more. So our habit patterns will be learning, if you will, a kind of machine learning. Probably better to appreciate that sort of thing than setting out to intentionally cultivate it in a rushed way. As with metta.

For example, as a result of your excellent question I am quite sure people who have read and reflected on this thread will find later in their busy days that an awareness/appreciation of hiri otappa will arise unexpectedly.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AgarikaJ, Baidu [Spider], Dhammabodhi, Google [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot], newbee, Sam Vara, zan and 98 guests