Advertisement

Project Conversion

Project Conversion

Project Conversion Archives

Fringe Month: What is that?

posted by

I’ve seen comments on forums where people actually Googled “Fringe” as a religion. Okay, in all fairness I do have the other religions listed by name. I’ll give you that. But I thought it was funny. Fringe month will cover […]

Advertisement

My Time Ends with Buddhism

posted by

Another month, another religion, another goodbye. Buddhism, you and I…it’s been real, pal. That’s the overall lesson of Buddhism, isn’t it? Learning to open ourselves up to reality free of our input and biases. Indeed, it’s hard to wash a […]

Advertisement

End of Month Video: Buddhism

posted by

Here is the end-of-the-month video for my month with Buddhism. Hope you enjoy. I sure as Zen did… httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfi2sJwOvik

Advertisement

A Buddhist Walks into a Christian Homeschool Convention…

posted by

…And he is asked to leave. Just kidding! Lighten up people, it’s Friday. As many of you know, we are a homeschooling family. One of the coolest things about homeschooling is that everything becomes a lesson. If we go to a […]

A House Divided…

posted by

In my community, like much of the South, one’s allegiance is judged based on two categories: where you go to church, and which sports team you support. Given my “promiscuity” with Project Conversion and the fact that I’m not a […]

Interview with Buddhist Author, Sumi Loundon Kim

posted by

One of my favorite aspects of Project Conversion is all the incredible people I meet during each month. Each person has a unique view or form of expression toward his or her faith, from music to art and philosophy, all of which […]

Buddha by the River

posted by

This is a special week for Project Conversion. Not only is this the last week for Buddhism, but also for the first half of the year. I will spend this week reflecting on both Buddhism and my experience with the […]

Rapture. Epic Fail or Conspiracy of Compassion?

posted by

According to Christian talk radio host Harold Camping, the so-called “Rapture” is supposed to take place today at 6 P.M. within one’s own time zone. New Zealand just called. No Christians were sucked out of their cars, homes, etc. and […]

Meat. On the Buddha’s Menu?

posted by

On January 1st of this year, I became a vegetarian. I didn’t want to abstain from meat (roasted chicken and New York Strip were my favorite), but Project Conversion began with Hinduism and therefore I had to surrender my desire […]

He Wants Meditation, She Wants Sex

posted by

Sounds like a title from the “Self Help” section, doesn’t it? Hmm, maybe it should be… Many times here on Project Conversion, the social issues that affect the faith hit close to home. Remember when I did this: I decided […]

Buddhism: The Day Humanity Went Solo

posted by

Stephen Hawking, one of the most influential scientists of all time, recently had this to say about heaven. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for […]

Dharma Music with Ravenna Michalsen

posted by

I know, I know, “Culture and Arts Week” was last week, but this is Buddhism and we don’t get attached to forms and rituals nowadays, do we? Dharma-skippy we don’t. And, once you meet today’s artist, you’ll be glad we […]

Every Buddha Has His Day

posted by

Happy Vesak (Buddha Day), the day Buddhists around the world celebrate the birth, Enlightenment, and worldly departure of the Buddha. Vesak is held on the 17th day of May for the Gregorian calendar for 2011, and various days within other lunar calendars (yeah, […]

Buddhist Art: The First Date

posted by

I decided to do things a little differently with today’s post. Because our Facebook Page congregation is so active and involved with Project Conversion, I thought I’d let them choose today’s subject matter. Life is sweet when we have choices, […]

Meditation: The Science of Presence

posted by

Meditation is a tough topic because while I try to practice every day, it is a difficult science. I call meditation a science rather than an art because art is highly subjective. Unlike the faith required by many religions in order to carry out daily […]

Living with the Monks

posted by

My Mentor gave me two instructions before I left to stay with the monks: 1) keep an open mind, and 2) bring back a flower. I’ll get back to you on that second one. So I packed  and left early […]

Mother’s Day

posted by

Every year we set aside one day to honor our mothers. Some get breakfast in bed. We purchase gifts. We take our mothers out to dinner…all to celebrate on one day what our mothers do for our whole lives. Why […]

Off to the Monastery

posted by

How is everyone? Great to hear. Now I know you’re going to be upset; I am leaving for the Wat Carolina Buddhist Monastery in about 20 minutes which means no internet and therefore no highly interesting, enlightening, and charming blog posts […]

The Currency of Kindness

posted by

The package in the mail was unexpected. My life changed once I pulled the contents from the envelope. I grew faint and nearly passed out from shock. This, was a random act of kindness. Brothers, Right Thought (from the Eightfold Path) […]

Andrew Bowen: Monk Edition

posted by

My youngest daughter: “That’s a whole lot of bald, Daddy.” Me: “Well, you could shave your head like me and become a Buddhist nun.” Youngest daughter: “No, because nuns don’t get to say bad words.” My youngest daughter, at five years […]

Karma: The Revolving Door

posted by

I’m hesitant to write this post. Honestly, I don’t think I’m ready. As I sit in front of my tiny wooden statue of the Buddha, flanked by two candles, I cannot help but hear a faint whisper saying… “Time is now.” […]

Buddhism: A New Month Rises

posted by

Good morning, my friends. I have looked forward to this day, for Buddhism is part of the spiritual/philosophical tradition of the Indian subcontinent…a tradition that spoke deeply to me during my time with Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism). To define Buddhism as […]

Judaism: End of Month Video

posted by

It’s tradition around here to leave a video of what I’ve been up to all month. Typically I post this vid on the last day of the month, however due to the fact that the last day of April falls […]

Learning From Job

posted by

Few people enjoy tests. In fact, many of us are in the middle of final exams right now and those are never fun. The fact remains however, that much of life seems to be a test. If you prescribe to one of […]

Judaism: The End is Near

posted by

Is it just me or did April just fly by? I can’t believe we’re already in the last week of Judaism, but here we are. Tradition holds that I take this week to reflect on what I’ve learned, what I’d […]

Being Jewish for Easter

posted by

For 28 years, the Easter holiday was standard procedure: visit family, eat a lot, and vaguely remember that Jesus bought the farm, rose from the dead, freaked out one or more of his disciples for 40 days, and started a new religion. This […]

Social Issues: Surviving the Holocaust

posted by

I didn’t want to talk about the Holocaust. In fact, I’ve avoided it for a few days now. The attempt however, is both unfair and futile. How does one avoid one of the greatest blights in human history? You can’t, […]

Pesach at the Bowens’

posted by

Shalom folks! Today I thought I’d share a few photos and experiences of Pesach here in the Bowen home. I was invited to attend two different Pesach seders, however my wife’s work schedule made it impossible for me to attend. That’s […]

Passover

posted by

Pesach (Passover) is arguably the most important Jewish holiday. Beginning at sundown on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan (that’s April 18th for us this year) and lasting through the 22nd, Pesach marks the evening in which […]

The Jewish Stream

posted by

Michael J. Solender, my Jewish Mentor, could see the confusion on my face as I tried to follow four simultaneous conversations going on…in the library, and not quietly. This exchange included an older gentleman from South Africa, a young lady (probably late […]

Andrew the Ascetic?

posted by

Reality check, 1…2…3. I wasn’t sure what to write about for today’s post until I showed up for my math class last night. In case you’re new around here, I’m also a “non-traditional” college student. As soon as I walked […]

Food: The Glue of Jewish Culture

posted by

Three aspects serve as the cornerstones of Jewish life: Torah, Family, and Food. Indeed, food is the glue that ties the Jewish people together and likely to be the focal point of any social gathering. What strikes me most about the culinary […]

The Holy Struggle: Jacob

posted by

Project Conversion is the study of struggle and serendipity. Much of what has transpired was unexpected and unintended. This has been a blessing, and I am thankful for these lessons, however there is one post I have anticipated and looked forward […]

Drunk-Dialing God

posted by

We’ve all heard the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” and the last three months have taught me that hell is a state of mind in which your soul is in anguish due to separation from […]

Weekend With My Jewish Mentor

posted by

No journey is complete without a map, and that is exactly what Michael Solender is for my month with Judaism. From the moment I stepped out of my car after a 2 1/2 hour trek to meet him, Michael had […]

Month Four: Judaism

posted by

Shalom everyone and welcome to Month Four of Project Conversion: Judaism! Today’s post will be short as it’s about 4 A.M. and I am preparing to visit my Jewish Mentor, Michael Solender. Michael lives in Charlotte, NC which is about […]

Month Four: Judaism

posted by

Shalom everyone and welcome to Month Four of Project Conversion: Judaism! Today’s post will be short as it’s about 4 A.M. and I am preparing to visit my Jewish Mentor, Michael Solender. Michael lives in Charlotte, NC which is about […]

Zoroastrianism: Conclusion

posted by

Here we are: the end of our third month of Project Conversion. March was a turbulent ride, but we are here–we made it out alive, and we are all older and wiser. Because this month began on a Tuesday, each […]

Faith and Devotee: It Hurts so Good

posted by

I enjoyed this song before the radio played it to death, however anything can rise from the ashes when watered with new meaning. The song is “Love the Way You Lie,” by Eminem and Rhianna. I rediscovered it while in the fiery […]

Revelation by Fire

posted by

This last week is about reflection–about what we’ve learned during the last month. So much has happened. So many trials…have I passed? That was my question this morning during prayers. In studying the Gathas I picked up on how personal Zarathushtra […]

A Gift to my Mentor: Update

posted by

Ushta te, everyone, and good morning. Remember the post toward the end of last month entitled “A Gift to my Mentor“? At the conclusion of each month, my World Religions instructor asks me to present a summary of the faith I […]

Dan Jensen: An American Zarathushti

posted by

If you’ve followed along, you saw this coming. Conversion within the Zarathushti Faith is a hotly contested issue and as we observed so far this month, not even I was able to escape its grip. In a nutshell, many (if not most) […]

Nouruz: Bringing in the New Year…Again

posted by

The last time I celebrated New Year’s, I was chugging my last beer before the start of Project Conversion and, at the stroke of midnight, asking myself what the heck I was getting into. Little did I know what this year had […]

Arts and Culture Week: The Farohar

posted by

To kick off our Zarathushti Arts and Culture Week, I thought I’d start off with the most recognizable symbol of the religion: the Farohar. Also known as a fravahar or fravashi, this Zarathushti symbol adorns many fire temples, homes, and worn as jewelry […]

Consider the Stars…the Light

posted by

I attended church service with my wife and two daughters yesterday. I do this on occasion at the request of my wife–not because she wants me to “convert”, but because time is so precious now with all the work I […]

Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds

posted by

Humata, Hukhta, Huvareshta. Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds…the practice of this is the central tenet of the Zarathushtrian Faith, the path of Asha. Asha is often described as the law of the cosmos, or the way things ought to be. […]

Thus Spoke Zarathushtra

posted by

When Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher of the 1800’s, wrote the novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra as an attempt to turn our concepts of God and morality on their heads, he selected his protagonist, a man called Zarathustra, because: Zarathustra was the first to […]

Welcome to the Zarathushti Faith

posted by

First of all, let’s address the title of this post. Zarathushti? I thought this was the Zoroastrian month. Never fear. Through my 12 hours of intense research, including several lengthy phone calls with my Mentor, I discovered that the term […]

A Gift to my Mentor

posted by

I had no intentions of making an entry today. Honestly, I’m worn out. I gave two talks today at two colleges about Project Conversion and my Zoroastrian month begins in a little under three hours. But something amazing happened this […]

Baha’i: Conclusion

posted by

Here it is, my humble attempt to recap my month with the Baha’i Faith. My words, nor this footage, suffice to describe the experience I’ve had. The lessons I’ve learned, friends I’ve gained, and wisdom I’ve gleaned will last a lifetime. Please […]

Death in the Family

posted by

I’m not sure where to start with this. Sometimes we forget just how powerful we are–the potency of our being . Our words, deeds, and even our thoughts resonate throughout the lives of those we interact with everyday. Indeed, no man is […]

Baha’i Week 4: Lessons for the Future

posted by

Project Conversion is a dynamic process, and it seems like changes are occurring every second. Indeed, to adopt a faith for a month–to drape oneself in the garments of a brand new perspective–is a dramatic metamorphosis. The only question is, what […]

The Last Study Circle

posted by

Yeah, yeah I know. In the last post I promised to talk about changes I might include going forward with Project Conversion, but I thought you folks would be interested in the events of last evening. They were special because […]

Baha’i Week 4: Review

posted by

Allah-u-Abha! We are here already! Man, seems like we were just doing this during my month with Hinduism. And now…I wish I didn’t have to think about it, but alas, dharma calls. As many of you know, Week 4 of […]

Baha’i Week 4: Review

posted by

Allah-u-Abha! We are here already! Man, seems like we were just doing this during my month with Hinduism. And now…I wish I didn’t have to think about it, but alas, dharma calls. As many of you know, Week 4 of […]

Wrapping up Social Issues Week

posted by

I’ll be honest, this has been one of the hardest weeks of Project Conversion thus far. This month in and of itself is filled with learning curves, lessons learned, and unexpected realizations (more on that next week), but the emotional […]

Baha’i Persecution: Day 3

posted by

Today we will hear from 21-year-old Sina Sabet Sarvestani, first cousin to Raha Sabet. Sina’s story is one of bravery in the midst of great difficulty, and the ability to peel darkness away from light. Please read and pass along the following account:  Personal […]

Baha’i Persecution: Day 1

posted by

I’ve waited all month for this. The Baha’is have been exceedingly kind to me as I’ve explored their faith. They’ve welcomed me into their world with open arms…as if I were already one of them. Now, I get the chance […]

Interview with Jon Rezin, founder of Next Movement Records

posted by

    Every once in a while, someone comes along with an idea or a passion that establishes your faith in the human spirit. Jon Rezin, founder of Next Movement Records, is such a man…and he’s bent on making the world […]

Flying the Monthly “Red Eye”

posted by

Allah-u-Abha and good morning! While catching up over the phone last night, my old friend asked me concerning Project Conversion, “Dude, how’s it going–I mean–how are you holding up?” I thought for a moment, trying to clear my head of […]

The Baha’i Faith/Day 1

posted by

Allah-u-Abha and welcome to my review of Day 1 with the Baha’i Faith! The greeting “Allah-u-Abha” means “God the Most Glorious” and the founder of the faith, Baha’u’llah, bears a name which means “The Glory of God.” There’s a lot of […]

Project Conversion: Hinduism:Conclusion

posted by

This is it; Project Conversion’s last day of its first month. For 31 days, I have lived and breathed 24-hours a day, seven days a week as a Hindu (Saivite to be exact). The Rig Veda declares that “Truth is One, […]

Month One: Day 27/Hinduism in Review

posted by

When I was a kid I hated to try new things. I was a creature of habit. My parents had to make me try new things. “You’ll love soccer, if you tried it out.”   No thanks. I’ll stick to being […]

Day 23/Unexpected Blessing

posted by

I had no intention of posting another entry until later this week, but life doesn’t usually play out according to our plans, does it? During this month of exploring Hinduism I’ve paid visits to a local temple during their Sunday […]

Project Conversion: Hinduism/Day 22

posted by

Namaste everyone, and welcome back to Project Conversion. It’s hard to believe that we are in the final week of Project Conversion’s first month! As stated in the “About” page, each week of every month is split into the following […]

Hinduism/Day 19: The Varnas (caste system)

posted by

  The varnas, otherwise known in the West as the “caste” system, is probably the most controversial and villainized aspect in all of Indian culture and Hindu theology. Because Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) is such an ancient and integrated faith and way of life, […]

Hinduism/ Week 3: Interview with Professor Bharat J. Gajjar

posted by

Professor Bharat J. Gajjar has written many books including Hinduism in the West and in India, and joins us today for Hinduism/Week Three: Social Issues.     Andrew Bowen: How about we start with some background?   Bharat J. Gajjar: I am 79 years […]

Day 14: Guest Artist Surprise!

posted by

Welcome back to Project Conversion: Hinduism! Today is pretty special as we celebrate what appears to be a nice alignment of events. January 14th marks the beginning of Makar Sankranti, a time when Hindus celebrate the passage of the sun from the Sagittarius constellation […]

Vegetarianism: A Hindu Way of Life.

posted by

Around the world, followers of Santana Dharma (Hinduism) are recognized by a few conspicuous traits. One of those is the practice of ahimsa, the concept of non-violence. Because Hindus believe that everything that takes birth, ages, and dies has a […]

Hinduism: Week Two: Sacred Marks

posted by

Hinduism is a faith defined by a rich tradition of artistic fluency dating back for millenia. In light of this, nothing–even the gods themselves–are what they seem. Manifold layers of meaning are embedded in everything from a simple hand gesture to […]

Interview: Meeta Gajjar Parker

posted by

  Welcome to Project Conversion, Hinduism! For week 2 of each month, I will focus on the culture and arts associated with that particular faith. I had a chance to speak with singer/songwriter Meeta Gajjar Parker about her life as a Hindu and how […]

Hinduism: Day 5

posted by

Namaste everyone, and welcome to Day 5 of Project Conversion: Hinduism. As promised, this post will give you an idea of my daily routine as I continue to immerse myself in the deep and majestic faith that is Sanatana Dharma.    […]

Hinduism: Day 1

posted by

It’s finally here! Project Conversion began its first day with Hinduism and I must admit, I have much to learn.  The day began at 8 A.M. Traditionally, an observant Hindu wakes before sunrise to perform their morning puja (ritual worship) […]

Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Project Conversion. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Religion 101 Happy Reading! ...

posted 2:34:58pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Is God an Immersionist?
In the world of faith, folks often point out the obvious fact that God does not belong to a particular creed, religion, race, or school of philosophy. This sentiment establishes the divine as one which transcends divisive terms of ...

posted 7:00:59am Jul. 12, 2012 | read full post »

Immersion in Relationships: Five Ways to Bring your Relationships to Life
I did something last night with my wife that we haven't done in a very long time... Okay, not from that far back, but it ...

posted 10:58:33am Jul. 10, 2012 | read full post »

The Path of Immersion: An Introduction and How Entering the Path Leads to a Deeper Sense of Self
Today marks my official declaration of fidelity and discipleship to the Path of Immersion. Along with that declaration, I also invite you to join me in whatever capacity feels the most suitable. The Path of Immersion is not one which demands ...

posted 6:00:19am Jul. 09, 2012 | read full post »

Farewell, Project Conversion: The End of an Adventure
When I converted to Christianity at the age of 15, I assumed the faith with a passionate resolve. Despite the positive instruction from my pastor and others, I (for reasons I cannot explain) transformed into a fiery evangelist, launching ...

posted 12:49:25pm Jul. 05, 2012 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.