Many people hold the view that the vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience embody laws or regulations that govern a religious or monastic lifestyle. Diarmuid O'Murchu offers a very different understanding of the vows, based on a much more ancient tradition. O'Murchu claims that the vows are first and foremost about values and not about laws. And in this provocative work he suggests that the Eastern concept of non-violence is a core value of the vowed life in all the monastic traditions known to humankind. At a time when all forms of religious commitment are being questioned, this value-oriented approach is refreshing and reassuring. O'Murchu holds up each vow like a jewel, turns it, lets light shine on it and presents it with a new glow, a new undersanding. Not only vowed religious, but everyone interested in living these core values will appreciate his insightful and challenging views.