Project Conversion

Project Conversion


Coaching Soccer (again) and the Conclusion of Purpose, Dharma, and Destiny

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That title is actually inaccurate. There is never a conclusion when it comes to exploring our PDD (Purpose, Dharma, and Destiny), so even though we bid the topic farewell, there is plenty of room to revisit and incorporate what we’ve learned int the future.

Speaking of incorporating what we’ve learned…

Some of you may remember from late last year that I coached my daughters’ youth soccer team in the fall season. I did this during our months with Wicca and Sikhism with few issues regarding religious articles of clothing. I coached because I complained the season prior about how the girls’ previous coach wasn’t teaching fundamentals and had no playing experience. I played soccer all my youth–including high school–so I thought I could do better.

So my wife said, “If you have a problem, then why don’t you coach?”

As any attentive husband out there knows, that question was rhetorical. She didn’t ask me to coach. What she really meant was, “Either do something about the problem or stop complaining.”

How many of you have gone through a similar situation? Yeah, I thought so.

This reminded me of how I came to Project Conversion to begin with. I complained about the problems within the religious world, but instead of contributing to the solution, I just wanted to gripe about the issues. In the end, I had to finally shut up and step in to help–even though I didn’t really want to.

I think we saw this in a few of the “Purpose, Dharma, and Destiny” examples over the last month. Let’s do a short recap.

Prince Arjuna experienced crippling fear in the Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita, when he was faced with battling his own family. Here, Lord Krishna (God incarnate) instructs him (and us) that we must face our dharma and do what is right in the face of all obstacles.

Next, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. helped us understand how to fully embrace and live out our life’s calling, even in the face of mortal danger. He died fighting for the civil liberties of all humanity.

Moses, the man God chose to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, showed how many of us will come up with excuse after excuse to avoid our purpose, dharma, and destiny. In the end, he relented and became one of the most inspiring figures of all time.

In another post we explored how haughty personal goals can sometimes overshadow our “domestic dharma”, that is, our duties and responsibilities to our homes and communities. I think the soccer coaching issue falls here, don’t you think?

Muhammad offered a glowing example of what happens when fear and uncertainty take hold of us when faced with our purpose, dharma, and destiny. He frankly did not want his calling and did everything possible to resist it. He was terrified of God’s awesome presence and afraid of what people might think of him. I’ve had some experience with that lately, and Muhammad has been a great teacher.

Our last example came not from a human, but rivers. We learned that in order to fully embrace our dharma, that we must avoid struggling as much as possible. Rivers occupy the lowest place (like submission or even prostration) and yet bring life and shape our environment. We must be as rivers and selflessly wear the garments of our calling or purpose. Do not worry about naysayers, do not stress if what you do or believe isn’t the most popular or acceptable thing. Just flow.

In the end, many of you asked me to share my personal path here at the end of the Project Conversion form of the journey. I never wanted to share that information and for some of you, it wasn’t well-received. I respect that. But I’m also not looking for fans, a following, or approval. It’s my path, my cross to bear, my burden given due to my karma, period. I also wasn’t looking for a path to begin with, so it’s not something I just came up with on my own. All I wanted was to do the project, learn a few things, write a book and call it a day. Life has a way of turning your plans on their head.

Like my situation with coaching, it’s not always what we want, but what we need to do.

The lessons over the last month have deeply impacted my path and how I go about following the purpose, dharma, and destiny laid before me. What have you learned?



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abowen

posted February 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm


Sam,

Hmm, see what I can do. Thanks!



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LilWabbit

posted February 5, 2012 at 9:15 am


“Sam,

That’s an interesting idea, though because I did not take any film footage of the last half of the year, what source material would he use?”

Interviews with you, your family, the members of the religions you became acquainted with. Some re-enactments can also be done. ;) That’s part of modern documentary film-making! ;)

Sam



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abowen

posted February 5, 2012 at 12:51 am


Sam,

That’s an interesting idea, though because I did not take any film footage of the last half of the year, what source material would he use?



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Sam Karvonen

posted February 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm


Andrew, have you thought of contacting Peter Bisanz or Morgan Spurlock with a suggestion of producing a full-length top-notch documentary on Project Conversion? Peter Bisanz directed the interfaith peace documentary “Beyond Our Differences” (featuring the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Deepak Chopra among others). Here’s the trailer to that documentary (I recommend getting the full film from the Amazon):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvvfa9bppNI

Morgan Spurlock of course made his breakthrough with his controversial film “Supersize Me” and has since been making blockbusting documentary films. Who knows, he might be interested in your project as well although he’s more into the “shock effect” genre.

I think your experience is worth showing to the world on film. You should approach some of the big names. At least you can say you’ve tried.

Warm regards from freezing Finland (it’s – 30 centigrade over here),

Sam



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