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Teachers, Staff & Volunteers

StuartTeacherStuart Alve Olson is the founder, director, and head teacher of the Sanctuary of Tao. He is a translator and author of numerous books on Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong, and Taoist internal practices. For the last three decades, he has studied and practiced Taoism and Chinese Buddhism and has been translating Taoist texts, conducting lectures, leading retreats, and teaching. More …

PatrickPatrick Gross, main instructor and co-founder of the Sanctuary of Tao, started learning Tai Chi Chuan from Stuart in 1992, becoming his primary student (Da Shi Xiong) in 2000. Patrick has been working with Stuart for over twenty years to preserve and present the teachings Stuart learned from Master Liang and other notable teachers. One of those efforts has been co-authoring the recently-released Tai Chi Changes book on the Yi Tai Chi After Heaven 64-Posture Form. He is also working to create online courses on Eight Brocades, the 64-posture Tai Chi form, and the I Ching.

Lily Romaine Shank read one of Stuart’s books in 2007 and moved to Phoenix from Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2008 to study with him. She helped Stuart, Patrick, and Denis found the Sanctuary of Tao in 2010. She serves as the coordinator of programs and outreach for the organization. She also helps teach male and female restoration and dual-cultivation practices. In addition to those practices, she’s currently exploring mindfulness and self-compassion, as well as the feminine side of Taoism. She presently lives in Minneapolis and offers massage and shiatsu therapy and wellness coaching through her business, Yang Spirit Shiatsu and Wellness.

Denis Gendron has been a student of Stuart’s since 1985 and helped found the Sanctuary of Tao. With a strong interest in the application of breathing techniques in Tai Chi, Qigong, Dao Yin, and meditation, he’s particularly interested in how these breathing techniques can be incorporated into our day-to-day lives. Besides his years of training with Stuart, he is also an accomplished musician, having been a professional drummer and flute-player (he has also written and performed pieces for Sanctuary of Tao). On this website, he is featured demonstrating the Four Seasons Qigong exercises. Denis offers group and private lessons in Winnipeg, Canada.

Suzanne Nosko, Spanish translator and artist for the Sanctuary of Tao, recently completed with Stuart the Scripture on Tao and Virtue (Tao De Jing): Escritura sobre Tao y Virtud (Valley Spirit Arts, 2019), including creating the cover art. Suzanne, originally from Miami, now lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is a part-time resident of Lima, Peru. As a registered nurse, she finds the Taoist views on health and wellness quite extraordinary and effective and brings a unique medical understanding to the health and longevity aspects of Taoism. She has long had an interest in Eastern spiritual perspectives, giving her a fuller picture of nourishing body, mind, and spirit.

Bruce Goff has been a student of Stuart’s since 1995, studying the Tai Chi Chuan system along with other Taoist longevity exercises. He has focused on incorporating these various exercises within a very busy family and professional life. Over the years, Bruce has become skilled in many of these practices, and is now available to instruct students in the Yang Style Tai Chi Qigong form, the Yang Style Tai Chi 16-Posture form, Eight Brocades Seated Qigong, and more.

Marguerite MullinsMarguerite Mullins serves as the chant leader for the Sanctuary of Tao and she also assists with outreach. She has been learning health and longevity practices, qigong, meditation, and chanting with Stuart since 2008. Taoism was what first inspired her to study anti-aging, which influenced her decision to pursue a career in Aesthetics. She also first learned Taoist massage through Sanctuary of Tao, and has since gone on to become a licensed Massage Therapist and Aesthetician. She now works as an instructor for SWIHA (the Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics) and offers skincare treatment and massage through her business, Scottsdale Skin Rejuvenation.

Dan Tilghman started learning from Stuart in 2010 and now helps coordinate Sanctuary of Tao’s in-person seminars in Phoenix, Arizona, and he also assists with outreach. Being a health care professional, Dan has focused on Taoist Tranquil Sitting and its effects on trauma and stress, Eight Brocades Seated Qigong and its effect on mental health, and the 16-Posture Tai Chi form and its effect on physical health and wellness. His other main interest has been studying Taoist texts and applying them to creating personal change in his life, and chanting to help him heal, improve his mental health, and cultivate compassion. So much of what he has learned through the Sanctuary of Tao he uses every day in his work with people in behavioral health.


Sanctuary of Tao Supporters

Adam Sanders
Vernon Petersen
Prof. Dave Capco
Javier Grande Osorio
John Orlando
Robert Joyce
Sherri Chastain
Mei Lan Shepherd

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