Recommended Reading: Mindfulness and Money: The Buddhist Path of Abundance

An overshopper who completed the Stopping Overshopping Program read Mindfulness and Money shortly after she’d finished the work of the program. She recommended it highly. We asked her if she’d consider writing a short review for the newsletter and she’s graciously accepted.

Two years ago, I was deeply in debt and fighting the urge to shop on a daily basis. Jewelry was my drug of choice: I couldn’t have enough; I couldn’t buy enough. My life was falling apart and I had no idea how to fix it. The Stopping Overshopping program changed all that. I’m now debt-free, I have a rainy day fund, and I finally know what’s important. (It’s not jewelry!)

Shortly after I finished the program, a friend recommended that I read Mindfulness and Money: The Buddhist Path of Abundance. I thought maybe the book would help me with money management; instead, it deepened my understanding and attitudes about money. I learned that I can act skillfully or unskillfully in regards to money, creatively or reactively. I learned about five precepts that lead to the Path of Abundance, all of them extending or elaborating what I’d learned in the program: Cultivate Loving-Kindness, Cultivate Generosity, Cultivate Contentment, Be Honest, and Be More Aware. Especially helpful to me was the discussion of the third precept, “Cultivate Contentment,” and the five powerful antidotes it offers to compulsive spending urges:

  • cultivate the opposite: think about all the creative ways to spend time rather than succumbing to the desire to shop;
  • consider the consequences of allowing your craving to continue unchecked: figure out what it’s costing you;
  • cultivate a sky-like mind: attend to the feelings and cravings as they pass through your mind without acting upon them. (The practice of meditation is recommended.)
  • suppress the urges or simply tell them “no”;
  • make a commitment to change and to the cultivation of your highest values.

Money can cause suffering, as I and other overshoppers know only too well. But it doesn’t have to. This excellent book gives us the means to achieve peace around money.

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