When Spirit Calls: A Healing Odyssey


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Monkfish Book Publishing
Publish Date
6.2 X 1.1 X 9.2 inches | 1.0 pounds
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About the Author

Joan Diver: As Boston's Hyams Foundation's first executive director, Joan Diver was nationally recognized for her creative leadership. A student of diverse spiritual paths and speaker from the heart, Joan has since offered healing to seekers, led contemplative and healing church ministries and partnered with her husband, Colin, in his role as President of Reed College. Their urban story is chronicled in J. Anthony Lukas' Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the lives of Three American Families. When Spirit Calls is Joan's first book.


"There are countless books about spiritual awakenings, but Diver's strong, intimate writing pushes readers along a path that's rough but worthwhile going, for them as well as her." --Booklist

"An extraordinary exploration into the world of healing ministries, spiritual guides, and esoteric experiences. Those who remain enclosed in a world of 'hard facts' will be challenged, for sure, but those who are open to other dimensions, other worlds within this one, have a wide-eyed journey ahead."--The Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III, Retired Rector, Trinity Church Boston; Ninth Dean, Washington National Cathedral (2005-2011); author of Sermons from the Cathedral: Soundings for the Journey

"Joan Diver is a highly respected leader and accomplished foundation executive who left an inspiring legacy of social change. Her grounding in work for justice, followed by her fall into faith and mystery is captured in this compelling, provocative and generous telling of her journey. I found myself turning pages as if reading a mystery novel, all the while experiencing a deep healing."--Patricia H. Brandes, Former Executive Director, Barr Foundation; Former Chief Operating Officer, United Way of Massachusetts Bay

"When Spirit Calls offers clear guideposts for learning to navigate chaotic times. Diver's writing is a powerful invitation to look deeply into your own soul and find the mirror of divine love. This book will bring you to courage and challenge you to find healing in your own way. You will never be the same again!"--The Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, Rector, Trinity Wall Street Episcopal Church, New York

"Joan Diver's contributions to the welfare of individuals and the communities that sustain us are legion. Examples abound as depicted in the epic book about Boston, Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families. Her spiritual journey that underlies her ongoing dedication to the commonwealth is extraordinary. When Spirit Calls is a revealing, riveting, inspiring story of challenges engaged, avenues of enlightenment pursued, transcendent realities embraced."--Linda Healey, Former Vice President and Senior Editor of Pantheon Books; President of Onstage Enterprises; Founding Committee Member, Lukas Prize Project

"Drawing from the concreteness of a life lived deeply in the world--a world of work and family, love and heartache--Joan Diver has found a way to build a bridge that unites her own reflections and the cares and concerns that human beings hold in common."--Cullen Murphy, Editor-at-Large, The Atlantic; Former Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair; author of The World According to Eve: Women and the Bible in Ancient Times and Our Own

"When Spirit Calls is a riveting story, holding attention from the very start. It communicates tremendous depth, reflects impressive courage and causes me to ponder my own reticence to pursue the spiritual life with equal boldness. It is a work I would like to see as part of my personal library. Having known Joan for years, I can testify that she integrates a fearless spiritual life with a down-to-earth approach to living effectively in a complicated world."--Suzanne Farnham, co-author of Listening Hearts: Discerning Call in Community and Grounded in God: Listening Hearts Discernment for Group Deliberations; Founder, Listening Hearts Ministries

"When Spirit Calls is a riveting, fast-paced, beautifully written, can't put it down book. Joan Diver tells the stories of her healing journey, her spiritual journey, and her political journey all woven into a single whole interlaced with stories of the transforming power of love...an adventure at the deepest level of the human experience...one person's spiritual awakening requiring healthy doses of determination, grit, vulnerability and surrender. Joan is remarkably transparent about her life and her journey and both will be an inspiration to those who read the book."--Arthur M. Larrabee, Former General Secretary, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends

"Joan Diver left an eighteen-year career as a charitable foundation administrator to follow her inner promptings. This is her vivid chronicle of the decade-long odyssey she took through the world of alternative therapies--chakra cleansings, past-life vision healings, as well as journeys to Egyptian holy sites and an Indian guru--in search of healing for her body and soul. In the process, she discovers the limits of a 'policy' approach to social change, and commits to a life as a spiritual healer."--Kathleen Hirsch, author of A Sabbath Life: One Woman's Search for Wholeness and Songs from the Alley: A Home in the Heart of the City

"This remarkable book carries the reader through a series of vividly written vignettes that describe the author's journey to self-discovery. Deeply committed and courageous, Joan explores the farther reaches of consciousness in her search for healing and spiritual realization. With its variety of thought-provoking experiences, sometimes in exotic places around our planet, the book will open the reader's mind to the mystery in which we live. Joan's story also illumines the tension between her compelling inner life and her role as wife and successful professional. When Spirit Calls will intrigue anyone interested in spiritual unfolding, deep healing, and new frontiers in consciousness."--Olivia Hoblitzelle, author of Aging with Wisdom: Reflections, Stories and Teachings and Ten Thousand Joys and Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple's Journey through Alzheimer's

"When Spirit Calls is a spectacular page-turner. The story pulled me in the way a novel does, and knowing it's all true made it that much more powerful. Even when the author entered otherworldly states, she was down-to-earth and truthful. This is an important book--a unique survival story with the ability to bring together all religions and races. Howard Thurman and J. Anthony Lukas would be so proud."--E.B. Moore, author of An Unseemly Wife and Stones in the Road

"When Spirit Calls is an extraordinary journey of heart and spirit. Page by page one is drawn into the author's quest to listen, believe in, and commit to the call of Spirit. Joan Diver vividly and exquisitely renders challenges in acknowledging Spirit's call to extraordinary places, both inner and outer. She engages us in the heart of each moment, and we breathlessly await her next turn, as if her discoveries and revelations are our own. Each episode is a meditation in itself, providing us with insights, experiences and revelations to ponder in our own spiritual walks. When Spirit Calls is more than a memoir.... It nurtures, companions, and inspires all who seek to know their purposes and callings on the planet, and who aspire to elevate their courage in fulfilling them."--Arleigh Prelow, producer-director of the Emmy Award-winning film Sweet Auburn and the upcoming documentary, The Psalm of Howard Thurman

"When Spirit Calls is a timeless journey of healing and awakening that touches the very heart of what it means to be human. Joan's courage to transform her life in the face of one initiation after another teaches us about trust and faith in a force greater than our self, a love story of the Soul."--Peter Faust, M.Ac., former teacher, Barbara Brennan School of Healing; co-author of The Constellation Approach: Finding Peace Through Your Family Lineage

"The tension of this professional woman's physical challenges and her natural will to succeed lead her on a journey into realms she had no time to imagine in her drive to have a hand in changing the world. Illness first forced, then taught her to slow down, to go inside--beyond the wracking, incapacitating pain. We experience right along with her what it is to be stripped of an active life, autonomy, and oftentimes dignity as a result of physical breakdown. The honest vulnerability of her journey leads us through the minefields that a high-profile lifestyle and a spiritual quest can present to a marriage. We triumph as the marriage survives, assured that love can heal the most challenging of circumstances. Thanks to When Spirit Calls we get to experience divine love in action."--Deb Mangelus, internationally-acclaimed psychic spiritual counselor

"Beautiful, raw, heart-wrenching, compelling, surprising, daring, illuminating. In When Spirit Calls, Joan Diver shares the incredible story of her journey to wholeness and her remarkable path to freedom and joy."--Alan Seale, author of Transformational Presence: How to Make a Difference in a Rapidly Changing World; director of the Center for Transformational Presence

"As a high-powered executive, Joan Diver was not expecting to leave a fulfilling career for the dubious status of 'spiritual healer.' But walking through the corridors of Time and Timelessness, she finds herself ever more fascinated by the cosmos as an alive, interconnected whole. New levels of perception and healing abilities emerge, both frightening and life-changing. Joan travels to many exotic locations and draws the reader into her thoughts within thoughts, her inner journeys within outward journeys. A love story and a passion for social justice permeate this beautifully told and impactful tale. You will not soon forget it."--Edith Hathaway, astrologer and author, In Search of Destiny: Biography, History & Culture As Told Through Vedic Astrology, 2012

"When Joan Diver missed attending a church service with a sermon entitled 'Dare You Be Transformed?' she didn't miss much. She was already well on her way to doing exactly that. She dared. Diver's beautifully written and very personal book about her transformation and all that it affected is a spiritual autobiography that inspires and challenges. The core of her journey revolves around how she negotiates the gaps between traditional/non-traditional religion and between conventional/unconventional paths, reshapes her married life and commits to a world of spirituality. Whether being awakened by a hair dryer at an ashram or climbing into a coffin at the Great Pyramid of Giza, Diver leads the reader along in an honest, unpredictable and moving narrative. Stay with her: you'll laugh and cry and most importantly, question."--Bettina Hoerlin, author of Steps of Courage: My Parents' Journey from Nazi Germany to America and co-author (with Gino Segre) of The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age

"There is nothing in this world more powerful than the ability to find one's own answers. When Spirit Calls is a beautiful memoir revealing one such journey, which will whisper into the spiritual ears of all those willing to listen with their souls."--Jeff Olsen, author of Knowing, I Knew Their Hearts and Beyond Mile Marker 80

"Sometimes a person experiences an unexpected spiritual calling. Joan Diver doesn't hesitate to follow as she engages with physical pain, spiritual teachers from East and West, disquieting experiences, uplifting visions and dreams. She wears her heart on her sleeve, and so we follow her--both in the spirit of keeping her company and in the hope that we will learn along with her. Her husband Colin, self-described 'stowaway, ' figures importantly in her telling, demonstrating the bravery and generosity attendant to this tale of transformation."--Ann Jauregui, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of Epiphanies: Where Science and Miracles Meet

"When Spirit Calls is a profoundly honest, candid and courageous chronicle of one woman's search for meaning and purpose in the face of painful physical and emotional challenges. Her openness is deeply, viscerally touching as she offers her warm, guiding hand through explorations of spirit, magic, discovery, truths and inevitably, vulnerability in her healing quest. This search and this book are acts of pure love."--Gary Hirshberg, chairman and co-founder, Stonyfield Farm; author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World

"A wonderful expression of a powerful and healing spiritual journey and important story for anyone trying to find their own spiritual path."--Andrew Newberg, M.D., author of How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain

"This compelling memoir chronicles how the life of Joan Diver (married to former Reed president Colin Diver) was turned inside out by devastating spinal pain--and brings us along on her extraordinary journey from Boston foundation executive to spiritual healer. With vivid writing and heartfelt honesty, Joan shows how her misfortune led not just to recovery, but also to awakening."--Reed Magazine