Stuart Alve Olson is the lead teacher at the Sanctuary of Tao. Born in the year of the White Tiger (1950) in Minnesota, he is the author of numerous books on Taijiquan, Qigong, and Taoist internal practices. Since his early 20s, he has studied and practiced Taoism and Chinese Buddhism and has been translating various Taoist texts, conducting lectures, leading retreats, and teaching.
Many of Stuart’s works appear in foreign-language editions, such as The Jade Emperor’s Mind Seal Classic (Inner Traditions, 2003), Tao of No Stress (Healing Arts Press, 2002), and Qigong Teachings of a Taoist Immortal (Healing Arts Press, 2002). Since 2010, Stuart has been publishing his works through Valley Spirit Arts (valleyspiritarts.com), which he cofounded with Patrick Gross.
Stuart’s interest in Chinese philosophy began early in his life, around the age of 16, but he did not formally begin learning until age 29 when he resided at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in 1979 and 1980. He took refuge as a disciple of Chan Master Hsuan Hua and received the disciple name of Kuo Ao (果 奧). Stuart focused on the Guan Yin Pure Land practices and The Profound Perfection of Wisdom Diamond and Heart Scriptures. While living at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Stuart was also introduced to Taoist studies by Professor Chen and Professor Wu-Yi.
In 1982, he met Master T.T. Liang and began learning Taiji from him. In the spring of 1982, he undertook a Buddhist bowing pilgrimage, “Nine Steps One Bow,” from the Minnesota Zen Center to the border of Nebraska, ending the practice after two and a half years. He resided with Master Liang in his home for the next six years.
In 1992, Stuart furthered his studies of Praying Mantis Kung Fu with Master Kong Wei (恭 衛 功 夫 師) in Indonesia, learning the Plum Blossom Praying Mantis style from him.
Presently, Stuart lives and teaches in Phoenix, Arizona, and is helping with the running of Sanctuary of Tao. He continues to write and translate Taoist works and texts into English.