Making Waves and Riding the Currents by Charles Halpern
Making Waves and Riding the Currents by Charles Halpern

Making Waves and Riding the Currents

Activism and the Practice of Wisdom (BK Currents (Hardcover))
by Charles Halpern

Preface by Robert B. Reich, His Holiness the Dalai Lama
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Over the course of his distinguished career, Charles Halpern founded the first public interest law firm, created a unique law school to train public interest lawyers and became the first president of a major charitable foundation that established a distinctive grant program integrating social justice advocacy and contemplative practice. He started out content to accumulate knowledge, academic recognition and professional success, relying on the considerable cognitive skills that he inherited and sharpened at Harvard College and Yale Law School. Later, in his years of public interest advocacy and institutional innovation, he had a growing intuition that something was missing and he sought ways of developing wisdom that complemented the analytic, critical mode. These explorations-through meditation, vision quests and group work - began as an avocation and led Halpern to the conviction that the practice of wisdom is critical if we are to address successfully the challenges of the 21st century.
With wit and self-deprecating humour, Halpern describes the teachers he encountered (the cast of characters runs from Barney Frank and Ralph Nader to Ram Dass and the Dalai Lama) and the landmarks and guideposts he discovered on his journey. The reader will see the ways that Halpern managed the competing pressures in his life - principle versus compromise, taking risks versus playing safe, demands of family versus the demands of career and so on. Similarly, the reader will see how Halpern confronted challenges to his integrity and judgment and remained centered despite forces pulling him away from balance and compassion. Halpern's experiences and insights will be revealing to everyone who is searching for meaning and balance in life while seeking to build a more just, reflective and sustainable world. Halpern offers inspired guidance for 'making waves' (disrupting established patterns of injustice and discrimination) and for 'riding the currents' (being sensitive to all circumstances and carefully reading and taking advantage of all the surrounding forces).
And he shows how the 'practice of wisdom' (doing work aligned with one's values while devoting time to meditation and other contemplative disciplines) can magnify people's well-being, contributions and effectiveness.