The Author
"Common ground" has been a constant theme of my life. It has flowed from my childhood years when I heard Howard Thurman preach that "we all belong to each other" to my years living in an inner-city neighborhood; from being a subject of J. Anthony Lukas' Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Common Ground, to my time in an Indian ashram learning to "see God in each other;" from my work as a leader in philanthropy encouraging funding for social justice, to my experiences of oneness during healing sessions; from my teaching contemplative practices in an Episcopal church, to advising a college Interfaith Council; from being present with the homeless on the streets of Boston to my current exploration of the non-duality teachings of Rupert Spira as well as those in The Course of Love, "received" by Mari Perron. To all these experiences, I have followed an inner call.    
 In 2015, I joined a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On a sunny morning, we walked down the Mount of Olives and looked out to the Old City of Jerusalem, which is captured in the photo above. In the foreground, one can see a barbed wire fence in the form of hearts—a poignant lens through which to view a city torn by strife, and a stunning metaphor for the heart trying to break through the pain of division, not just in Jerusalem, but all over the world. How can peace come to this divided world? When will we listen to the cry of the heart? 
—Joan Diver    
"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 reading pages of ​When Spirit Calls as if reading a mystery novel, all the while experiencing a deep healing."
—Patricia H. Brandes
Former Executive Director, The Barr Foundation
Former Chief Operating Officer, United Way of Massachusetts Bay

A Rich and Varied Life

Author, When Spirit Calls: A Healing Odyssey, Monkfish Book Publishing, Release date— September 4. 2018
Facilitator, Healing Presence—Advisor for the upcoming documentary, The Psalm of Howard Thurman—Sacred Silence team, Lay Eucharistic Ministry, Sunday Night Living Bread team, Healing Prayer ministry at Trinity Church Boston—"First Lady," Reed College—Advisor, Reed College Interfaith Council—Caritas Healing Ministry, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland, Oregon—Trainee and retreat leader, "God's Healing Gift"—Director of Contemplative and Healing Ministries, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Philadelphia—Trustee and trained leader, Listening Hearts Ministries, Baltimore—Facilitator, Soul Matrix Clearing—Co-host, Independence Hall visit by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama
Executive Director, the Hyams Foundation, Boston—Chair, Associated Grantmakers of Massachusetts—Chair and co-founder, Neighborhood Development Support Collaborative—Vice-Chair, United Way of Massachusetts Bay—Board Member, Council on Foundations, Washington D.C.—Chairperson, Mutual Bank Foundation— Member, Housing Advisory Committee, United Way of America—Member, Governor's Select Committee on Judicial Needs, Massachusetts
China "2000" Project, People's Republic of China, 1984—Soviet Union with Russian language teacher, 1987—Women's Journey to Israel at invitation of Jewish Community Relations Council of Boston, 1988—Pilgrimage to Mount Sinai and the Temples of Egypt, 1989—Ashram in India, 1990 and 1991—Salzburg Seminar on Human Rights, Austria, 1998—Pilgrimage to Iona, Scotland and Sacred Sites of Ireland, 2004—Holy Land Pilgrimage, 2015
Married to life partner Colin Diver—Mother of two grown sons and four beautiful grandchildren
Subject of J. Anthony Lukas' Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families, Alfred A. Knopf, 1985


BA in government from Wheaton College, Norton, MA—Courses in Holistic Spirituality Program, Chestnut Hill College, PA  including Christian theology, Zen Buddhism, and the Gospels of Mark, John and Mary Magdalene—More than 20 weekend intensives and other courses at an ashram based in the non-duality, scriptural traditions of Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism.  
"No matter the circumstance, we must learn to love, to transcend the walls that divide and discover our connection with every other being and with God."

When Spirit Calls, Chapter 2