Making Waves and Riding the Currents

Charles Halpern (Author)

Publication date: 12/13/2007

Making Waves and Riding the Currents

Making Waves and Riding the Currentsvividly demonstrates the life-enhancing benefits of integrating a commitment to social justice with the cultivation of wisdom. It is a real-world guide to effectively

This book is about working for a more just, compassionate, and sustainable world while cultivating the wisdom that supports and deepens this work.

Charles Halpern is a social entrepreneur with a remarkable record of institutional innovation. He founded the Center for Law and Social Policy, the nation’s first public interest law firm, litigating landmark environmental protection and constitutional rights cases. As founding dean of the new City University of New York School of Law he initiated a bold program for training public interest lawyers as whole people. Later, as president of the $400 million Nathan Cummings Foundation, he launched an innovative grant program that drew together social justice advocacy with meditation and spiritual inquiry.

In his years of activism, he had a growing intuition that something was missing, and he sought ways of developing inner resources that complemented his cognitive and adversarial skills. These explorations led him to the conviction that what he calls the practice of wisdom is essential to his effectiveness and well-being and to our collective capacity to address the challenges of the 21st century successfully.

With wit and self-deprecating humor, Halpern shares candid and revealing lessons from every stage of his life, describing his journey and the teachers and colleagues he encountered on the way—a cast of characters that includes Barney Frank and Ralph Nader, Ram Dass and the Dalai Lama. Making Waves and Riding the Currents vividly demonstrates the life-enhancing benefits of integrating a commitment to social justice with the cultivation of wisdom. It is a real-world guide to effectively achieving social and institutional change while maintaining balance, compassion, and hope.

This book is about working for a more just, compassionate, and sustainable world while cultivating the wisdom that supports and deepens this work.

Charles Halpern is a social entrepreneur with a remarkable record of institutional innovation. He founded the Center for Law and Social Policy, the nation's first public interest law firm, litigating landmark environmental protection and constitutional rights cases. As founding dean of the new City University of New York School of Law he initiated a bold program for training public interest lawyers as whole people. Later, as president of the $400 million Nathan Cummings Foundation, he launched an innovative grant program that drew together social justice advocacy with meditation and spiritual inquiry.

In his years of activism, he had a growing intuition that something was missing, and he sought ways of developing inner resources that complemented his cognitive and adversarial skills. These explorations led him to the conviction that what he calls the practice of wisdom is essential to his effectiveness and well-being and to our collective capacity to address the challenges of the 21st century successfully.

With wit and self-deprecating humor, Halpern shares candid and revealing lessons from every stage of his life, describing his journey and the teachers and colleagues he encountered on the way a cast of characters that includes Barney Frank and Ralph Nader, Ram Dass and the Dalai Lama. Making Waves and Riding the Currents vividly demonstrates the life-enhancing benefits of integrating a commitment to social justice with the cultivation of wisdom. It is a real-world guide to effectively achieving social and institutional change while maintaining balance, compassion, and hope.

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Overview

Making Waves and Riding the Currentsvividly demonstrates the life-enhancing benefits of integrating a commitment to social justice with the cultivation of wisdom. It is a real-world guide to effectively

This book is about working for a more just, compassionate, and sustainable world while cultivating the wisdom that supports and deepens this work.

Charles Halpern is a social entrepreneur with a remarkable record of institutional innovation. He founded the Center for Law and Social Policy, the nation’s first public interest law firm, litigating landmark environmental protection and constitutional rights cases. As founding dean of the new City University of New York School of Law he initiated a bold program for training public interest lawyers as whole people. Later, as president of the $400 million Nathan Cummings Foundation, he launched an innovative grant program that drew together social justice advocacy with meditation and spiritual inquiry.

In his years of activism, he had a growing intuition that something was missing, and he sought ways of developing inner resources that complemented his cognitive and adversarial skills. These explorations led him to the conviction that what he calls the practice of wisdom is essential to his effectiveness and well-being and to our collective capacity to address the challenges of the 21st century successfully.

With wit and self-deprecating humor, Halpern shares candid and revealing lessons from every stage of his life, describing his journey and the teachers and colleagues he encountered on the way—a cast of characters that includes Barney Frank and Ralph Nader, Ram Dass and the Dalai Lama. Making Waves and Riding the Currents vividly demonstrates the life-enhancing benefits of integrating a commitment to social justice with the cultivation of wisdom. It is a real-world guide to effectively achieving social and institutional change while maintaining balance, compassion, and hope.

This book is about working for a more just, compassionate, and sustainable world while cultivating the wisdom that supports and deepens this work.

Charles Halpern is a social entrepreneur with a remarkable record of institutional innovation. He founded the Center for Law and Social Policy, the nation's first public interest law firm, litigating landmark environmental protection and constitutional rights cases. As founding dean of the new City University of New York School of Law he initiated a bold program for training public interest lawyers as whole people. Later, as president of the $400 million Nathan Cummings Foundation, he launched an innovative grant program that drew together social justice advocacy with meditation and spiritual inquiry.

In his years of activism, he had a growing intuition that something was missing, and he sought ways of developing inner resources that complemented his cognitive and adversarial skills. These explorations led him to the conviction that what he calls the practice of wisdom is essential to his effectiveness and well-being and to our collective capacity to address the challenges of the 21st century successfully.

With wit and self-deprecating humor, Halpern shares candid and revealing lessons from every stage of his life, describing his journey and the teachers and colleagues he encountered on the way a cast of characters that includes Barney Frank and Ralph Nader, Ram Dass and the Dalai Lama. Making Waves and Riding the Currents vividly demonstrates the life-enhancing benefits of integrating a commitment to social justice with the cultivation of wisdom. It is a real-world guide to effectively achieving social and institutional change while maintaining balance, compassion, and hope.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Charles Halpern

Charles Halpern is one of America's most distinguished public interest lawyers and advocates.  He founded the first public interest law firm (the Center for Law and Social Policy), then became the Founding Dean of the new law school at the City University of New York, then became president of the new $400 million Nathan Cummings Foundation.  He, additionally, is the founder and board chair of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, a leading force in bringing meditation and inner work into universities and other mainstream institutions.  He  has been involved in many other progressive and activist organizations, such as founding the think tank

Demos: A Network for Ideas and Action.

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Endorsements

“It was long believed that wisdom is to the soul what health is to the body. Charles Halpern has lived as if there is no distinction—that body, soul, wisdom, and health are one and the same in a life fully lived with great passion. This most creative of public citizens—lawyer, educator, philanthropist, catalyst of ideas and institutions—has put into practice what he writes in these pages. A nation wandering in the wilderness, as we are, could not ask for a better guide toward clarity and compassion.”
—Bill Moyers, journalist

“Charles Halpern is uniquely qualified to give advice about how to work for a better world. His experience as a lawyer and social entrepreneur combined with the study and practice of mindfulness and Buddhist philosophy leads him to the conclusion that cultivation of wisdom and compassion makes for more effective activism. He challenges us to apply the lessons he has learned in our own lives and work. This book is highly readable, inspiring, and important.”
—Andrew Weil, author of Healthy Aging and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health

“An honest, humorous, and profoundly illuminating account of one man's persistence in navigating the lessons of personal integrity, mindfulness, and balance while contributing successfully to greater wisdom and compassion in our social institutions. I highly recommend this book to anyone who cares about leadership and social change, and bringing the inner and outer arcs of one's life and work together into a life-serving and meaningful whole.”
—Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Coming to Our Senses and Arriving at Your Own Door

“At a moment when many activists may feel overwhelmed and enervated,
Making Waves and Riding the Currents provides strength, insight, a path. In describing the course of his own remarkable career, Charles Halpern provides a model for social transformation that rests on persistence, bravery, and the need for conscious reflection as an integral component of civic regeneration. This is a revivifying sourcebook of good causes, great ideas, and transcendent lessons about the personal and collective benefits of working in the public interest.”
—Patricia Williams, Professor, Columbia Law School, and columnist for The Nation

“Nothing is more needed in the world today—yet more elusive—than wisdom. In this fascinating memoir of his life and work for social justice and environmental sustainability, Charlie Halpern shares with us his path of learning to integrate mind and heart in pursuit of wisdom. Enlightening lessons for each of us!”
—William Ury, coauthor of Getting to Yes and author of The Power of a Positive No

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