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Enough! A Buddhist Approach to Finding Release from Addictive Patterns

Enough! A Buddhist Approach to Finding Release from Addictive Patterns

by Chönyi Taylor

Snow Lion Publications (July 2010)

I wanted to read Chönyi Taylor’s book because I wanted to do—or at least read—something good for myself. But I was also hesitant, for a few reasons. First, I thought reading a book about addictions would throw mine in my face; second, sometimes books with Buddhism in the title can feel a bit inaccessible to non-religious individuals; and third, I have a strong aversion to exclamation points in titles, especially in combination with long strings of upper case letters.

Needless to say, I read on, and I’m glad I did. Essentially the book is about reclaiming the ability to make positive choices in our lives, especially as we grapple with addictions. Taylor’s definition is broad; addictions are big and small and varied. It’s not just about drinking, drugs, and gambling, but addictive patterns as a whole, which could mean arguing, overspending, self-criticism, and so on.

Enough! is set up as a hands-on guide that first identifies addictive behaviors, discusses how they might take root and how they are triggered, and then offers a plan of action. This plan involves a series of meditations. I’ll admit I was initially turned off by the idea. To me meditation meant some form of discipline that I don’t have. It quickly became clear, however, that Taylor’s meditations are really just exercises that ask us to devote some time reflecting on ourselves, our patterns, and our motivations. If you have a habit of responding to difficult situations with anger, for example, one meditation might be to make a list of all the times you can remember where you reacted this way. Another might be to imagine yourself responding differently—more positively—to these situations. Taylor says this last one is especially important as it helps a person re-train herself to behave differently through mental practice.

The final step in the plan is maintaining release from addiction, and Taylor recommends that this be accomplished through devoting energy to developing and maintaining healthy, loving relationships that make us feel a sense of interconnectedness. It sounds like a pretty big step, but there are meditations to help out here as well.

Enough! is a great resource for anyone interested in choosing to improve the quality of his/her own life. It could be used alone or in conjunction with other therapies and support groups. Taylor includes an “Explanation for Professionals” that describes how many of her techniques work in conjunction with western psychology, especially cognitive behavior therapies.

You can order the book directly from its Ithaca-based publishing company at, or contact your local bookstore and have them order it for you.

sarah quintal

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