A carefree boy, good-natured and well-mannered, found himself at play in the forest. While running through a grassy field, he chanced upon an overturned basket. Thinking nothing of it, he continued on his way - but from the corner of his eye, he noticed something unusual. The basket was moving. Not quickly and not steadily. But sure enough the basket was slowly making it's way along the ground.

He stopped to investigate further. He noted there were no strings attached which might be pulling the basket. And there was no wind about which might be pushing the basket. And the basket was not on a hill such that it could be moving from it's own weight and gravity. Yet certain as the sun in the sky, the basket continued to make it's trek.

He pondered, "Maybe this is magic. Or maybe this is the will of God. Or maybe this is in my imagination. Maybe the basket is starting a journey. Or maybe the basket is returning from one. Maybe the basket is motivated by love. Or maybe the basket is running in fear." But whatever the elusive reason, the boy was transfixed. And remained so until sundown, at which point the boy ran home.

Immediately upon seeing his father, the boy eagerly explained the story of the basket and asked his father what might be the answer to the riddle of the basket's motion. "Well," asked the father, "Did you turn the basket over to see what was underneath?"

It was as if a flash of lightning went off in the boys head. "Of course," he suddenly realized with the clarity of epiphany, "there must be something under the basket!"

The next morning, at first sun, the boy leapt from his bed and ran back to the forest field. But the basket was not to be found. It had wandered off in the night, never to be seen again.

But for the rest of the boy's long life, he made it his mission to turn over every basket. To learn everything he could about every situation. To seek truth.

In 1923, that same boy, now a man, founded the Pho Monastery in the forested mountains of the Catskills of New York State. The monastic mission paralleled the boy's mission which had been set in motion so many years before - to seek truth. Pho, from the ancient Thai word for basket.

For the next 75 years, Pho Monastery has stayed true to it's cause of helping seekers find their way to the path of Truth.

With over 100 monks in residence and thousands of visitors per year, Pho Monastery has been a mainstay in the local community. Offering a respite from the hurried ways of a troubled world, Pho Monastery, with its cultivated grounds and many walking trails, with its well maintained buildings and gracious attitude, has afforded an opportunity for the many to overturn baskets.

Did the boy ever find out what was under that basket? No. That one truth has been lost. But thanks to that experience, many more were found.






(c) 1997-2003 Pho Monastery