Library: Dharma of Money

Back to Library

How can we take our practice off the cushion and into the world, without a clear understanding of our relationship to money? Here are books that will help.

How Much is Enough: Money and the Good Life
by Edward Skidelsky and Robert Skidelsky

The policy recommendations at the end of this book seem unrealistic (universal guaranteed income, for example), but the discussion leading up to the proposed list of Basic Goods that must be realized in order to have a Good Life is thoughtful and worth deeply considering. The list: (1) Health. (2) Security. (3) Respect. (4) Personality. Which includes Autonomy, Spontaneity, Individuality, and Spirit. (5) Harmony with Nature. (6) Friendship. (7) Leisure. Meaning being the ability to do things for their own sake, not as a means to something else.


The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources
by Lynne Twist & Teresa Barker

This book was recommended by Diana Winston at the Spring 2012 DPP retreat on “Worldly Dharmas.” She said it transformed her relationship with money, and not just in the “be generous” and “live within your means” kind of way.

It’s having the same effect on me. Here’s a sample: “…we all have an identifiable, though largely unconscious and unexamined relationship with money that shapes our experience of life and our deepest feelings about ourselves and others….. Everyone is interested in money, and almost all of use feel a chronic concern, or even fear, that we will never really have enough or be able to keep enough of it.”

The biggest take-away I’ve gotten from this book is the understanding of what it could be like to live with a sense of sufficiency instead of the vague feeling that whatever I have, it’s never enough.


Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence.
Revised and Updated by Vicki Robins with Monique Tilford

I kept running across references to this book as I starting looking deeply into my relationship with money, but it was written in 1992 and I just didn’t think it would have much relevance to the current financial environment.

But then I saw this revised version, which was written in 2008, and I changed my mind. The style of writing is a little too “sales-y” for my taste, but the content is terrific. Especially the step-by-step process of looking at how much of my life I’m spending in order to make a “living,” and getting clear about whether or not I’m actually getting what I value when I spend that life energy in the form of money.