Matter, spirit, “Christ,” and women

Originally posted on Kathryn R. Harvaton:

Richard Rohr, OFM had a great line today in his daily meditation. (They are awesome – you can check them out here!)

“The Christ never died—or can die—because he is the eternal mystery of matter and Spirit as one.”

I’ll forgive him the “he” because this idea is so thrilling. “The eternal mystery of matter and Spirit as one!”

I’ve been wanting a good definition of the word “Christ” for a while now. Literally, the Latin christus means the “anointed” or chosen one of God. But theologically, the “Christ” is understood to be something larger than Jesus, something which he embodied. Feminist theology speaks of Christ-Sophia as the Wisdom of God, the creative agency of God that formed the world and remains in and with creation, and that became human in the man Jesus of Nazareth. Christ is present in the “body of Christ,” the Church, and the “body…

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A redwood tree shades the slender daughter shooting up from her side: an apt metaphor, I think, or at least one that calms my heart. In a few weeks, my youngest child will leave home for college. I both hate and welcome this change. Every few days, a sudden nostalgia pulls at me when I am least prepared. The faint tunes of a familiar merry-go-round make my eyes tear up. My throat tightens when I pass the pumpkin patch lot, now empty. The playground nearby is newly remodeled, but I still hear the thrill in my young one’s voice calling out, “Look at me, mom! I’m flying!”

Leaning against the redwood’s scruffy bark, I blink away tears. The tall, quiet tree and the younger redwood growing from her side enlighten me. I cannot cling to the past, to the small warm fingers that reached for mine or the upturned face that beheld me as all-capable. The redwood trees, mother and daughter, anchor me for my task at hand: to applaud the young woman who I have nurtured from her tiniest beginning within me. I weep and I praise her both, for now I know. Entwined at the roots, we each reach for sky and light. We become, each in keeping with her dream. But the rootedness remains. For that I can be glad.

Lana Dalberg 6/24/2014.


This summer, give the gift of Spirit-connected musings! Click to order Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine


Celebrating the Divine in the Midst of Dancing

Indian madonna and child, Annabel Landaverde

Indian madonna and child, Annabel Landaverde

In this month’s issue of Spirituality and Health Magazine, Rabbi Rami Shapiro interviews me on the Divine Feminine, excerpted here:

Rabbi Rami: In your new book, Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine, you say humanity desperately needs to hear women’s spiritual experiences. How does the spiritual experience of women differ from that of men?

Lana Dalberg: The experience of Spirit in a body that gestates and nurtures life, or has the capacity to do so, merits exploration. Women, in addition to birthing, seek to meet their infants’ needs long before they can verbalize them. Women have honed this ability and are adept at connection. Their perspective is helpful in understanding the Divine Spirit who births and sustains all of life.

RR: Give us some idea of how women experience the Divine in ways men don’t or maybe can’t?

LD: The women in Birthing God relate a palpable sense of the Divine. They celebrate the Divine in the midst of dancing, singing, walking, wailing, menstruating, or meditating. They see the Divine in the birthing of children and in the dying of their loved ones. Theirs is an embodied experience of Spirit.

RR: How might our relationships and our world change if the Divine was more broadly seen and experienced as mother, midwife and sister?

LD: It would lead to greater compassion and assiduous efforts at making room for others’ experiences and viewpoints, and perhaps even the ability to trust in the surprises that can emerge from the darkness of the womb.

Read the full interview in Spirituality and Health Magazine May/June 2014 issue. Order a copy at

The wellspring of creativity


Wise words from my friend Sarah Stockton.

Originally posted on Sarah Stockton:

I wonder if we’re afraid that if we stop frenetic striving, all positive generative energy will stop as well.

That we have to “make ourselves” real, make ourselves connect, and if we stop striving then we will disappear, and our desire to create will disappear as well. And for creatives, this is a kind of death. The trust needed is that as we let go of outside-imposed striving, that which comes from the “shoulds” and grasping toward acceptance from the outside world, we can reach a place of stillness. And then (and this is the trust and hope part) from that place of stillness, an authentic, generative, sustaining, renewing, creative force will arise.

So for today, try lessening your grip, slowing your frantic pace. There is no void we must outrun, no abyss we must continually leap. There is only the flow of life, which we are  already immersed in…

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