In this age of interspirituality when people are going deeper into their own religions and also exploring the teachings of other traditions, monasteries have become centers for meditation, study, and multifaith dialogue. Although the number of Christian monks and nuns is in decline, more and more lay people are going to these places for silence and solitude — two highly prized qualities in a world of noise and speed.

Catholic monasteries have long been known as treasure houses of devotional opportunities and resources. But there are other settings available too — Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, and Sufi communities that lead contemplative lives and offer visitors soul nurturing experiences. Monks from different traditions are also meeting together to share the adventure of prayer, meditation, compassion, and service of others.

For those who are contemplating experiencing the monastic life on their spiritual journey, we have gathered a mix of books and DVDs, both feature films and documentaries.