In Meditations: On the Monk Who Dwells in Daily Life Thomas Moore reflects on the spiritual practices which were at the heart of his daily experiences during a 12 year period in a Catholic religious order. This setting where solitude and community were alternating currents enabled him to develop an appreciation for the movements of Spirit and the attachments of soul. Moore, the author of Care of the Soul and Soul Mates, writes: "Monasticism may appear to be dying but that fading of a way of life offers us an unusual opportunity to regard it with increased imagination, drawing its lessons and attractions into our own lives."
For instance, monks can teach us how to structure our days so there is ample time for work, prayer, play, study, conviviality, and silence. The soul is fed by each of these streams and none should be slighted.
Moore shows how gardening, music, architecture, and learning can become spiritual practices that give meaning and texture to life. They also, in his view, can be seen as part of the pursuit of beauty. Moore shares what he learned from vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience. He hopes that contemporary religions will focus more on ritual, social engagement, guidance in contemplation, and care of the soul. And he envisions a new poetic theology which will revolve around an exploration of the mysteries of life.
At the outset, the author observes: "We don't have to become monks. But we can learn from their example of how to bring the monastic spirit, as a color and a flavor, into modern life." Meditations succeeds admirably in that noble goal.