A Swan’s Dive
Ancient texts written in Sanskrit describe the nature of a swan. She possesses an extraordinary skill: she can extract nectar from a mixture of nectar and water, leaving the water behind. The floating swan inserts her beak into the liquid. Grace and her own fluidity enables her to find and drink the elixir of love, happiness, and immortality leaving aside suffering and ignorance.
The divine swan remains dry, unaffected by the waves, though drifting on water, which beads up like diamonds, cooling her pure white, elegant body. Like a lotus flower she is of the water and not of it at the same time.
In the East’s wisdom tradition, the swan’s dive is a metaphor for a Way of Being in the world. Water is the mundane world and the nectar is spirit. The swan is actively engaged with, yet aloof from, the water. And she has the expertise to extract the delicate substance that is her only sustenance. We are called to live fully while we extract spirit from matter.
Just as electricity can be harnessed to create cold or heat with very different consequences, we can choose to use our energy for material or spiritual purposes.
Every soul is destined to become a like the divine swan and make her swan’s dive.
A Swan’s Dive: A 50-Year Odyssey From Feat to Love
chronicles my dramatic rite-of-passage from a 1970s counterculture teenager into the Hare Krishna Movement as I forge through a quagmire of tradition, misogyny, and self-discovery across three continents, two marriages, physical and psychological collapse, and a crisis of faith, which leads me, at long last, home.
Joy J. Golliver wrote, “The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.”
I found my gift, my true self, at the end of the memoir in my 51st year. I wrestled down my relationship with my Self and God, my unworthiness and doubt, clarified my boundaries and integrity, and forgave myself and others. For several harrowing years, a crisis of faith led me into inner landscape where I began to understand a myriad of life lessons about choice, fear, power, and love.
With piercing insight and graced with precious wisdom, I finally understood the essence of Bhakti, the Way of the Feminine Divine. As I did its meaning for others became clear like perfect crystal.
As Sherry Anderson and Patricia Hopkins state in The Feminine Face of God, ” We cannot learn how women develop spiritually from men.” I take the wisdom of living the tradition for more than 30 years and translate it from a woman’s perspective.
For the first time, the Way of the Feminine Divine will be explained from a woman’s perspective, not a man’s.
Perhaps more than any other philosophical, metaphysical, or self-realization system, Bhakti has a compelling message that empowers women.
There is a vacuum of information about the Way of the Feminine Divine. Though the tradition is thousands of years old, Bhakti only came to Western shores in 1965. There are few Westerners who have thoroughly imbibed the process and, taking the essence, are able to translate the Way for our modern lives. Bhakti, or the Way of the Feminine Divine has been held largely within a patriarchal system, speaking to men.
Bhakti has something important to offer the world and the spiritual marketplace, and I am passionate about offering service to women. Therefore, besides living the Bhakti Way in daily Little Ways of Being, I’m committed to teaching the message of Bhakti, or heartfulness.
I just completed my memoir. I don’t know when or if the memoir will be published. Often why one author gets published and another not is a mystery. But some things are clear. Here’s two of them: I must love unconditionally and write.
To the joy of selflessly giving our gifts in charity,