The meaning of Oranda

The first time I’ve heard the term “Oranda” was in an interview on the Dutch radio,
in 2011, with a traveler who has visited N. American tribes, recording songs and
storytelling. This person explained the term oranda and I’ve chosen that name for
my business, in 2013. I can’t offer the link to the radio interview, unfortunately.
I’m aware of the fact that there’s a term Orenda, used by one of these N. American tribes. It’s possible, that the person in the radio interview pronounced the word wrong and that she meant Orenda.
In the link above it’s explained that the term Orenda stems from the tribe Iroquois. Algonquian tribes know a term called Manitou, similar in meaning to the term Orenda.
For the Dakotas, it’s expressed as Wakan.
132384-004-56AA2D90                                                   Expression of gratitude to nature


To me, as I’ve come to grasp the meaning of this term, Oranda is about honoring the memory of our ancestor’s history, their heritage present in rock and soil, residing in our DNA too, as genetic memories. It means the heritage of our ancestors and the name was used by the North American Indians. It’s about honoring the values and moral courage with respect to the origin of life, nature´s wisdom, and the authenticity of each fellow human being, the cohesion of a community, tribe or clan.

Oranda is a word and a verb both, therefore it’s also the way this was expressed through  practical work, together on the land, at home and in craft- and tool-making, love- and hay-making, in joy for life that was expressed in a variety of relationships, through gatherings and ceremonies, in the sharing of sorrow and joy of daily life with its opportunities and challenges.

The nature of the N. American indian-warrior required knowledge of the prevailing rules in diplomacy, of their own tribe and tribes they visited, the art of moving and juggling between arguments of parties and to be in the know of secrets and history, that proved to be useful in creating relationships of all kinds. Creating friendship as well as animosity.

Doesn’t this sound like a set of skills, that is required in diplomats of the modern Western world? To me, it’s the abillity to use our head and heart, with wisdom and a good sense of humor. The totempole in the picture above, shows the important events in the life of the resident and his ancestors, by the use of symbols as codes that are understood by the members of the tribe. And those of others, so that most visitors could “read” by observing the pole, about the resident and his background, in that place.

In the same way, our values and principles, our way of life in a connection with the origin of our life, which I call spirituality, could become more immersed in our daily life, our practical work and our attitude, towards ourselves and others, maintaining our wellness in that way. The Sumerian name for king and shepherd is the same, that’s meaningful to me. In ancient times, kings were capable of being a shield, metaphorically speaking, holding the foundation of their realm, maintaining safety for their people.

In down-to-earth terms, a shepherd holds his herd of sheep within boundaries, with his staff and the assistance of his dog. The latter is a piece of cake, compared to present global and human affairs, anno 2016.

When true safety for body and soul is ensured, the expression of spirituality in ceremonies should be arranged in such a way, that they’re free and open to all. Also discussed and pondered by all, with an open mind and heart. When hierarchy and dogma determine such practice, soon power may reign over human hearts and mindcontrol will be part of it.

Where I stand for, in my life and work is the application of this quality of life, in the circumstances and with the potential in these bewildering and beautiful times, anno 2016. This is a dream I bring into manifestation. At the root of every problem lies the answer to it. It all depends on our ability to find that answer, there’s no recepee for that in our exploration of it. The readiness for it, in you and me, is the key, I think. And the readiness to move, the ability to change, to adapt, be agile in spirit and body.

It’s a well-known reaction of instinct in many people who don’t think for themselves, that information confronting their frame of mind, rocking their comfort chair, is denied and dismissed as nonsense.

This truth about what’s secretly done to humanity and planet Earth, is like a sword cutting through people’s crap and comfort zones. It hurts too much and fear of change is sitting next to it.

That truth is accepted only when one’s conscience wakes up from within, nudged by some form of shock, realization. It is stirred, which includes painful feelings like sorrow and shame.T

There’s no other way, than to admit, in tears and smiles, one’s responsibility for letting this happen in our world and to open oneself to this truth, for we’ve lived for a very long time with a veil over our eyes and our freedom of expression is bound by invisible shackles.

No one can liberate another person, unless that person sees, hears and acts on behalf of its own open eyes, ears and heart. Those of us who’ve been in that prison, at least I’ve been ignorant and dismissed what was confrontational to my internal and external world, can turn into instruments of compassion without condoning the evil agendas being played out.

In other words, we may come to understand why many are asleep and we may come to understand what humility is, found within ourselves. The fire of passion for justice burns as fierce as ever, within the boundaries of humility as a tool of wisdom, in order to know the right time and action for an outcome that is intended.

Patience is needed to be witness and activist both, I am a rebel for a good cause since a very young age. Some get it and others don’t.

An inconvenient truth is what hits us all, when we begin to wake up to who we truly are. For it’s a law of nature, of life, that we need to be where we are, before we leave a world of illusion, feeling a fool. That’s when forgiveness steps in toward oneself.

During and after waking up, the naked truth becomes a sword, brandished in the fire of fury about the injustice in our world, in the name of justice, peace and love. Plus the pain inflicted upon ourselves.

That stance in life, walking our talk and talking our walk, is a shining example for others who feel ready to wake up to their conscience and true nature. To some it works like a red flag on an enraged bull in the arena. Hence the need to practice discernment, plucking up courage and to learn to contain oneself, by taking nothing as personal anymore.

That’s a learning curve accompanied by the affinity for oneself in one’s heart, no demand, placed on us in harsh tones, by others. New age is full of nonsensical affirmations that keep us asleep, don’t let those rosy hues of heavenly promises, uttered by false gurus and teachers fool you. Be a light unto yourself, is what Krishnamurti advised. He understood the nature of thinking well, as I perceive it.

To be sovereign and autonomous in balance with one’s understanding and compassionate self-reflection, one’s openness to co-operate with others too, will be the qualities that bring change for the better. Now and in the near future.

Those who honour life will find that they will receive honour from life. The same goes for truth. By a respected teacher, who once explained to the class how the solid form of planet Earth was formed in a most clear and beautiful way, our group received the following text when we joined together for the last time at the end of our training.

He calls it “A modern quote to keep up your sparkle and courage”

“Search for the reality of a practical life. But search for it in such a way, that it doesn’t obscure the Spirit that works in and through it. Search for the Spirit, but don’t search for it in sensual lusting, in sensual egocentricity. But search for it, because you long to apply it to practical life, in the material organisation of life.

Use the old adage:
The world of Spirit is never without the world of form, of matter.
Matter is never without the presence of Spirit, in such a way, that you say

“We want to do all the material work in the light of the Spirit
And we want to search for the light of the Spirit in such a way
that warmth is generated in our heart and soul, for our practical work”

Michiel Rietveld, founder of Academy Kraaybeekerhof Driebergen in Holland

Our willingness and ability to try as best as we can, determines our succes without failure being a part of it. Isn’t that fun? No need for judgment. And that’s a relative new “higher” form of freedom in expression and autonomy, welcoming us, although “stumble and fall” may also be part of it. We’re human beings and we can only try to be the best version of ourselves. By going that path we gain wisdom, more or less with bruises on our soul.

Below is a video with the title “Learning from history” offering food for thought about the Druids

Merlin initiation

One of my favourite subjects:                                                                                             “Community – How to live together? How to communicate effectively?

Who knows how we’ve experienced a sense of community in other worlds, other dimensions, once upon a time? We may all live with a cellular/DNA – memory of an existence before the start of planet Earth’s veiling process. A memory of Awakening and being whole.

It seems that now, after living with a “horizontal plane” consciousness-expansion, limited by the concept of material profit on a planet seemingly existing as a self-contained life form, first as a flat Earth, than as a globe and centre of “the Universe” in the time of Galilei’s exclamation “And yet she’s round!”, we’re beginning to catch a glimpse of the world of spirit, participating in our human pandemonium on Earth.

As a celestial body circling around the Sun, with other space-bodies forming the Solar System, yet another part of an entire Galaxy spiralling in an infinite Universe, in our technologically more advanced time, observed through the eyes of cameras, we’re all touched and affected by a silent revolution that is in progress: a rather 360 degrees circular expansion of our consciousness, a result of our planet entering a new phase.

The desire that one’s presence matters in a community leads to different forms of expression, depending on the use of force, making a point for the sake of feeling victorious, a need for attention or competition by challenging an authority, or a warm-hearted service as a means to fulfill one’s desire to belong and make a difference, while serving a good quality of life in all living beings.

Issues that are rising between 2 people, showing up in their one-on-one communication online, or in the practice of working together in the physical world, should best be kept in that close encounter of a duet. It takes two to tango and not one or more than 2, for isn’t stepping on each other’s toes, with issues rising to the surface, sufficient to pay attention to?

To me, it’s an interesting subject to discuss the creation of a community and without expecting you or others here to address all of them, here are a couple of questions:

– How does it look like, your favoured community? How would you describe that life?

– What makes or breaks a community?

– What’s the difference between a virtual and physical community? If there’s one at all.

– What’s causing members of a community to feel inspired and at ease?

– What’s required to maintain a community in liveliness, sparkly vibes and change?

– Should there be an intention and foundation on which a community is built?

– Should a community-to-be start with a gathering of people at random, creating a community as a work in progress, with a common interest showing up in due time, which may become the core of an intentional community?

– Should a community grow organically, by a coming and going of members without a fixed plan for an “end-product” or “end-result?”

– Are members of an existing community open to leaving and trying out different forms of community living?

– Should a community be a living organism that is in motion and change always?

Moving around freely, meanwhile exploring different forms of community, is a great learning curve in my experience of volunteering, in 5 communities in the UK. When a genuine attempt is made to study, learn and attune, combined with the work of one’s hands and those of others around. The use of discernment can be trained in a variety of experiences and encounters with people of all walks in life. Naturally, this requires courage and a will to engage and a genuine interest in people in general. It’s my favourite question in this lifetime “How to live together?”

To me, the subject of a chosen service and its form, are two very different things.

– Is transparency of decision making and reports of financial ins and outs, to all members of a community, where each member contributes financially, a beneficial condition?

There are questions about community living that countless human generations have pondered and discussed, forgotten, buried and dug up, dusted off and, at times, placed on an altar. The following statement I hold close to my heart:

“Once upon a time in the civilized world the monarch and the public servants who honoured their oath of allegiance, delivered to the people freedom, justice, leisure and instruction by facilitating instruction and apprenticeship. The city-state encouraged each individual to develop special skills appropriate to the ascribed natural or genetic abilities of that individual, to meet the many needs of the wider community, the pursuit of excellence in each department was a matter of honour where self-interest led to a duty of care towards fellow citizens and the overall success of that community”

Edmund Marriage 2004

During my study of the Sumerian culture, I found that the Sumerian name for “king” is similar to the word “shepherd”and that’s a clear pointer at the role of a king, serving the well-being of the population under his reign. Royalty, in the old days, was a way of living, presenting honour and respect towards guests arriving in the courtroom. Be it deceptive or sincere companionship. Chivalry in the truest sense. This was a realistic and artistic approach, in negotiations and arrangements of all sorts, an art-form in the pull-and-push of power-playgrounds. When played well, it served all purposes, was enjoyed by all parties involved and this attitude also secured safety for all, which involved trust (to a certain extent of course). Jesters are valuable assets in a royal court or parliament.

Leonard Cohen quote

In our weakest spot we can find our greatest strength, by acknowledging the pain and our abandonment of a part in us that is pure and sincere but terribly wounded. By understanding what caused it, we may find forgiveness towards ourselves, which is naturally followed by the forgiveness of others who played their part in it. 

You may be surprised to find what’s hiding beneath your pain. Not that it should be a purposeful driven motive to be in pain, as if it’s desirable. No need for martyrdom. It’s usually  around the age of 3 that we begin to realise what life means to us and how it shows up in our realising that we’re an individual person, alone in our world, although the conclusion is reached mainly on an unconscious level where our soul is witness without words, but our feelings are wide awake in that process of realisation.


There’s as much personal story in this as there’s a collective story, as I perceive it. We tend to continue the programs of our parents and ancestors and the imprints of teachers, peers and superiors, present in our present day society, in church and at work.

Speaking from experience, I’ve observed how heartaches are a portal to a greater love and compassion, when I’m ready to surrender to myself and to accept my true nature plus the freedom of expression in it. I’ve come to a place where I perceive a flowering of consciousness in our world, at this time, in this body, in many of us present on this earth. 

Rumi quote


Co-operative farming is equal to creating or sustaining a community:

This subject is related to community living, while more organic farmers begin to create co-operations with villagers in order to sustain the community. Growing crops, nurturing the soil and the plants, the joined efforts in harvesting and later distribution, are great building-blocks or a cohesion factor and offers community- members a chance to learn to know each other, in practical work on the land, in the potting shed, at the kitchen table, the shop or market-stall.

The video below is published on March 20th of 2015 with the title “Why is organic food so expensive?”

Ali Partovi has been described by the San Jose Mercury News as one of “Silicon Valley’s top angel investors,” having been on the ground floor of both Facebook and Dropbox. Shortly after graduating from Harvard, he co-founded LinkExchange (acquired by Microsoft for $265mm). Partovi later co-founded iLike (acquired by MySpace). Partovi’s investments have also included: Zappos, OPOWER, Thumbtack, and Airbnb. Ali co-founded non-profit, which promotes Computer Science education and hosts the worldwide “Hour of Code.”


And last but not least, here’s The Cosmic Giggle a to me highly valuable documentary with views of visionary men and women, who tend to go deeper in their search for truth:

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