Paul Wilkes believes that monastic spiritual wisdom can and should be accessible to all. Over the course of one year, he made monthly trips to the brothers at Mepkin Abbey, a Trappist Monastery. During each visit he focused on a particular aspect of monastic life, and each month's visit comprises a chapter of this book.
Each chapter opens with a description of Wilkes' physical visit to the monastery, which he uses to lead into difficult explorations of issues such as faith, prayer, community, and discernment. Each chapter closes as Wilkes searches for the proper ways to integrate what he has learned during his time at the Abbey into his life as a father, husband, teach, writer, and lay minister. He uses monastic wisdom to speak to the journey of faith itself, letting readers discover their own path "beyond the walls."