The Sanctuary of Tao is an online community and center for Taoist resources, perspectives, and practices. Much of what we offer here is from the work of author, translator, and Tai Chi master Stuart Alve Olson and what he learned from his teacher Master T.T. Liang and other teachers.
Whether you are interested in Taoist philosophy, meditation, Qigong, Tai Chi, or Internal Alchemy, we are here to help you develop a practice that you can do at home in your own time, supporting you to discover your Way.
A Personal Path
Taoism emphasizes self-cultivation with an individualized approach to spirituality since people have their own distinctive natures and endowments. We advocate that you experiment and discover what beliefs and practices work for you.
We value pluralism and egalitarianism, and do not seek to put Taoism above any other philosophy or belief. You may choose to integrate these teachings into your life alongside your other beliefs and activities. Or you may decide to focus more exclusively on Taoism as your path. Or you may do a combination of the two.
Accessible and Comprehensive
Because we are an online organization, we bring Taoist teachings to you in the comfort of your own home. You don’t need to live near or travel to a Taoist center to access Taoism. While we highly recommend in-person experiences in addition to your at-home practice, this website can support you in your Taoist education and cultivation, whether or not you have access to a physical Taoist Center.
Our goal is to make Taoism accessible, so we do our best to provide macrocosm, big-picture, conceptual understandings as well as microcosm, detailed, “how-to” explanations of each aspect of Taoism we present. We strive to make both macro and micro levels as clear as possible, including how the pieces relate to the whole and to each other.
Our main focus is to make it easy for you apply what you learn here to your personal path of cultivation in a practical way. So we present the resources we believe will most support your practice, and we organize them based on how you can apply them in your life.
Informal, Flexible Learning
Sanctuary of Tao follows the old and original Taoist tradition of a “Teacher-Student” model, which was the method of one-on-one transmission of teachings from a teacher to a student, with teachings passed down from generation-to-generation. This form of cultivation is a much more individual path than the paths of monks, nuns, and priests who learn and practice as a group within a monastery or within the clergy. These more defined, formal, and systematic traditions began around the time of Confucianism.
Before that time Taoism was not yet an organized religion, and this Teacher-Student model of learning was the norm. Students generally studied intensely with one teacher for many years, then they would depart to practice on their own, and come back to the teacher regularly for guidance and supervision. This Teacher-Student tradition has continued alongside the clerical and monastic traditions and exists as an important pathway within Taoism to this day.
Through our website, free resources, Celestial Immortal Membership, and courses, you can learn in a way inspired by this Teacher-Student Model—personal, less formal, and flexible—from Stuart Alve Olson and the other instructors of the Sanctuary of Tao, all of whom have been studying, practicing, and teaching with Stuart for many years.