Carbondale's community connector

True Nature toasts to evolution

Locations: News Published

In March 2020, True Nature Healing Arts’ Peace Garden gained new appeal. Already, the meticulously-kept gardens were a sanctuary for connection and stillness within the bustle of downtown Carbondale. In the context of a pandemic, as so many beloved aspects of life turned on a dime, the garden remained a reliable haven — open during daylight hours, all days of the week and at no cost.
On Wednesday, Sept. 22, the public has an opportunity to celebrate this community asset and the beginning of True Nature’s next chapter. From 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., folks are welcome to “taste, sip and experience the magic of the Peace Garden and celebrate the first day of fall while honoring the True Nature Foundation.”
The event posting on True Nature’s website elaborates that, for $75, guests will be treated to locally-sourced “small bites” and cocktails alongside the bohemian melodies of world-folk duo Roma Ransom. Community partners include Jack Rabbit Hill Farm, Seed Peace, Green Boat Gardens, Western Culture Creamery & Farmstead and Lost Range CBD.
For years, True Nature has marked the solstices and equinoxes with seasonal gatherings and special offerings. This year, the occasion accompanies an official announcement: that of True Nature’s transition to a nonprofit foundation.
True Nature Healing Arts has its humble origins on Main Street in Carbondale. Beginning in 2007, it was a nonprofit yoga studio situated next to the now-defunct food co-op in a building that also no longer exists. Later, the organization renovated a room at the Third Street Center before finding its current home. At this time, True Nature became a for-profit enterprise to accommodate the land purchase and construction of special garden features, like a reflexology path, and carefully-designed buildings.
The property is now blooming with life and changes with each season.
By early next year, founders Eaden and Deva Shantay will have donated their assets, namely the buildings and downtown property, to the True Nature Foundation.
“True Nature was always meant to be a gift from us,” Eaden told The Sopris Sun. “It was very connected to our desire to heal ourselves and to alleviate our own personal suffering and extend that toward a space that could support others’ healing and alleviate others’ suffering.”
Eaden shared with The Sopris Sun that he grew up witnessing mental illness affect his own family. His father, grandfather and great grandfather were all subjected to electric shock therapies, and “two died in mental institutions.”
From that sad root, Eaden was inspired to transform his life’s story by learning about holistic healing traditions from around the world. “True Nature is really this deep desire from me to find freedom and connect with community and find healing for myself and for others,” he said. “That’s really why this is here.”
Eaden described the 14-year-old organization as having reached “early teenagehood” and praised the board of trustees that will guide the foundation as “beautiful human beings with deep experience in nonprofits, service, finance and business understanding.”
Beneath the foundation’s umbrella will exist three for-profit enterprises — the spa, boutique and café — plus two nonprofit initiatives — the Peace Garden and educational programming. All proceeds from the for-profit aspects will be donated back to the foundation to help sustain the other services.
Eaden continued, “We feel like we are at 5% of what our potential is as an organization. We feel that we’re at the beginning.”
As it matures, the True Nature Foundation will gradually gain independence from Eaden and Deva “as the sole parents” with hopes of reaching an ever-wider circle of people within the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond. Additionally, the foundation seeks to sustain staff with living wages relative to the Valley’s climbing expenses, “to take care of the people that are the heart and soul of this place.”
“Having a foundation will allow this gift to be shared for many generations beyond our life expectancies,” said Eaden. “We’d like to create an endowment, we’d create more scholarships, we’d like to create a capital campaign to purchase land next to True Nature for retreat housing and larger food service.”
The vision of True Nature expanding into an educational “campus of consciousness” is well underway. Eventually, Eaden would like to see the center hosting teachers, teachings and students from around the world and representing all traditions in resonance with their core values: inspiration, connection, self-discovery and service.
Supporters of the mission can toast to its evolution at the Garden Soirée on Sept. 22. Members of the foundation’s board of trustees will be present, enjoying the magic of the Peace Garden as it reaches an autumn crescendo.
“Our deepest desire is to create a space where people can come to understand their purpose in this life and step into that,” concluded Eaden. “Share that with the world.”

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Tags: #Deva Shantay #Eaden Shantay #Peace Garden #True Nature Foundation #True Nature Healing Arts
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