Two book about the life in monastery show to me several elements that are important to the balance between life and work. They are Peter Seewald's "Die Ruhe der Mönche" and "Die Heilkunst der Mönche." The former book illustrates the life in monastery from the point of a Catholic German middle lady, who has left the faith for a long time and is curious about Taoism and Yoga. During her own stay in a monastery, she gradually realizes that balances among herself is essential for mind and body conditions.
She reported a very curious point about the human sense of time that has strong connection with the number seven. The revolutionary age in France tried to destroy the connection of people with church about calendar. Red Russia changed the seven day calendar into the ten day calendar, though it failed disastrously because first animals and second humans lost their health immediately. Human needs the Sabbath or the holy day once a seven day week. The most strategic way to corrupt human is to break the cycle of time. It is obviously demonish. Actually, many companies, and even non-profit organizations like universities nowadays would like to break that golden rule of the Sabbath. They often say, "We should serve for the need of our customers," or "Students need more time to learn." A demonish university that I well know calls their students as "customers"! What kind of companies can punish their customers as the universities are allowed to do so? Such stupid and malicious universities change their academic calendar not often, but much worse year by year. Everybody inside such ones corrupts first human relations and second their own health on the mind and the body both. I really hate and accuse of their evil intentions.
In monastery, wisdom rules the cycle of the life inside it. It is the regulations that were set by St. Benedict before the medieval ages. They are still suggestive to the contemporary. His primary concern is to live a moderate life as a human being on the mind and body. Each rule looks somehow strict but the purpose of its installation is very clear. He removed obstacles that otherwise should bring turmoil into life in a community. Regulations must be with responsibilities of a person who cares of the object of them. If no responsibilities among the community, regulations become just a hellish yoke to it.
The latter book about the medicine of the monastery is very much interesting. How to live a moderate life according to the Benedict's regulations is found inside the book. Sometimes even those living moderate lives face diseases. How to prevent them and haw to ease them are well discussed in the book. Not only nice soup but also pray is the key word for easing your life.