He declared that the cenobitical life is superior to the eremitical; that fasting and austerities should not interfere with prayer or work; that work should form an integral part of the monastic life, not merely as an occupation, but for its own sake and in order to do good to others; and therefore that monasteries should be near towns.
The life St Basil established was strictly cenobitical, with common prayer seven times a day, common work, common meals.
The Vallombrosians (1038) near Florence maintained a cenobitical life, but eliminated every element of Benedictine life that was not devoted to pure contemplation.
It is a curious coincidence that the sister of each of the three great cenobitical founders, Pachomius, Basil and Benedict, was a nun and ruled a community of nuns according to an adaptation of her brother's rule for monks.
The life was fully cenobitical, regulated in all details by minute rules, and with prayer and meals in common.