On July 24 at True Nature Healing Arts, the Community Gathering for Balance, Healing and Respect will bring attendees on a journey toward balance and healing through respect for the natural world and council. Pictured are the community gathering hosts (from left to right): Natalie Rae, Will Evans and Pam Rosenthal. Photo courtesy of Andrea M.P. Harris

Breathing in the fresh mountain air, Will Evans of Carbondale sat with reverence by the rushing waters of the Crystal River. In a quiet state, he became entranced by the intensity of the river’s movement as it cascaded down from the mountains to the valley we call home. At that moment, he realized how society could learn from the river’s intentional, cyclical journey.
“I sat by the water every day during the runoff and I felt the power of the water, big water,” Evans said. “We’re mostly water, and the unorganized and confused energy of that living water is within the population right now.”
As an elder, Evans said it is imperative that society slows down to find balance and create a community that flows together toward health and healing. Without this balance, people can be caught between the threshold of potential and waywardness.
“I’m watching a lot of people very confused with confused hearts not knowing what to do, and not doing what they came to do,” he said.
Feeling compelled to take action, Evans reached out to community leader Natalie Rae and musician Pam Rosenthal to host an event called “Community Gathering for Balance, Healing, and Respect”.
Set to take place on Sunday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m., on the eastern end of the True Nature Healing Arts’ Peace Garden, community members will gather in council to practice and reflect upon the art of balance with respect to the natural world and themselves.
The event will open with brief introductions and a conversation surrounding the fundamentals of physical balance and, if time permits, other dimensions of balance. Following the dialogue, attendees will intentionally walk through True Nature’s gardens before gathering in council to process the experience. Rosenthal will gift the community with music throughout the evening.
The walk, playing a significant role in rediscovering one’s balance, is an opportunity for people to slow down and break free from the confines of today’s busy world.
“We’re walking in a way that’s respectful, so that the people and the creatures and the elements we meet on the path we can greet and interact with respectfully,” Evans said. “We’re not focused on how far we go or where we go, but how we go. How we walk.”
According to Evans, who is trained as a physician, walking is one of the first movements humans undergo to acquire balance. We are able to crawl, stand and eventually take our first steps with gentle guidance from our caretakers. The innateness of this foundational movement shows people’s capability to discover unknown balances within themselves and apply the lesson to all facets of life.
“I realized some of the disease that I would seek to treat [as a physician] is the result of our ignorance of how to invoke and maintain a healthy balance,” he said. “So much of our balance depends on how we are able to relate to the water, to the air, to the earth, to the sun in a healthy way for us and our children and for all this life in this watershed.”
Like the river that flows in its cyclical seasonal pattern and the natural cycle of the plants in our ecosystem, Evans said the gathering will bring the idea of the infinite circle to the forefront when the group gathers in small circles.
“The circle is very intentional,” he said. “Nature moves in circles, life itself is a circle. The circle is much more than a shape or symbol, it actually encompasses a deep understanding of the essential nature of the universe. (Provigil) And the circle can help us find our balance.”
To effectively communicate with one another about the experience, Evans suggests that attendees follow the four guidelines of council: speak from the heart, listen from the heart, be brief and be spontaneous.
“If you are safe enough to be spontaneous, you can be totally shocked by what comes out of your mouth,” Evans said. “Our intention is to hold a safe space.”
For the gathering, the hosts kindly ask that community members bring a chair, wear walking shoes and have anything necessary to be comfortable outside. It is also requested that a gift, such as a stone, a feather, or a leaf, be respectfully picked from nature and brought for the altar.
“This is not something that is complicated or esoteric, this is the foundation of how humans have been from the beginning,” Evans concluded. “What we have to do is slow down enough to remember that and wake up to what’s happening in the world and who we are.”