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The Tao of Less Stress Program

We would like to announce a free (or optional donation-based) five-week program, The Tao of Less Stress.

Stuart has invited a dedicated member and student of Sanctuary of Tao, William McCracken, to offer something we feel everyone can benefit from right now, a program based on Stuart’s book Tao of No Stress, teaching Taoist practices and philosophical approaches to relieve stress and anxiety.

This program will be primarily about how we can use mindfulness—along with other practices like meditation, self-massage, breathing practices, and the six healing sounds—to help us relieve stress by re-centering ourselves in our spirit.

Coming from our connection with spirit can help us discover more peace, wisdom, and spaciousness within ourselves, and bring these qualities to our world during this time of intensity and uncertainty.

Program Content:

Each session will be approximately 90 minutes long and will include a teaching and discussion-based portion, and a short practice portion.

Week 1
  1. The principles of mindfulness
  2. The difference between mindfulness and meditation
  3. Taoist practices- how are they similar and different from other forms of mindfulness?
  4. Fundamentals of stress physiology
  5. How the philosophy and practices of Taoism are backed up by modern research in stress physiology, psychology, and neuroscience
  6. Introduction to the stress reduction methods from the book “the Tao of No Stress” by Stuart Alve Olson
  7. A simple awareness of breath meditation
Week 2
  1. How stress acts within the body and mind
  2. Stress reactivity and stress response
  3. The role of thoughts and emotions in stress management
  4. The Taoist approach to living a life of less stress
    1. Exploring one’s Personal Tao
    2. Identifying the obstacles to one’s Personal Tao
    3. Examining the Three Poisons, Six Sense Desires, Seven Desires, and Seven Emotions
  5. Introduction to the Six Healing Sounds
  6. Practice: Awareness of breath meditation
Week 3
  1. Introduction to and practice of the Six Healing Sounds 
    1. Shoo
    2. Haa
    3. Hoo
    4. Sss
    5. Foo
    6. Shee
  2. Introduction to and practice of proper abdominal breathing
    1. Guided abdominal breathing
    2. Abdominal breathing principles
    3. Silent abdominal breathing practice 
Week 4
  1. Introduction to and practice of self-massage
    1. Massaging the temples
    2. Massaging the cheek
    3. Massaging the mouth
    4. Massaging the nose
    5. Massaging the skin
    6. Massaging the ears
    7. Massaging the neck
    8. Massaging the feet
  2. Introduction to and practice of acupressure
    1. Point for anxiety
    2. Point for headaches
    3. Point for lowering blood pressure
Week 5
  1. Building and maintaining an ongoing Taoist mindfulness practice
    1. Revisiting abdominal breathing
    2. Training the breath
    3. Seated and standing meditation 
    4. Sitting postures
    5. Correct posture
    6. Rejuvenation exercises
  2. Practice of the Shee breath to relieve stress, tension and anxiety

Program Logistics

Program sessions will be held every Monday starting on March 30th at 3:00 pm Arizona Time (PDT) via Zoom.

The program is free or by optional donation of whatever amount works for you.

Register Here for the Live Zoom Classes:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

If you have the ability to make a donation that would be much appreciated to help us run the program. You can go to the donation page of the Sanctuary of Tao website before or after you register to do that.

If you’re not able to make a donation, that is completely good as well. We want this program to be available for everyone who can use the extra support of their spiritual community right now, along with mindfulness and stress-relief tools and guidance.

Program in the Class Portal

All sessions will be recorded and added to a Tao of Less Stress program in our Class Portal area.

We will also have a private Facebook group where you can connect with other members of the program and ask questions between sessions.

To access the class replays in the Class Portal, all you need is a registered user account at the Sanctuary of Tao. If you are logged in to the website, the class files will be readily available. If not, login to your account or create a new one below.

Register for User Account

Mindfulness and Loving-Kindness Practice from the Tao of Less Stress Community Call

Teacher Bio

William McCracken began his study of meditative traditions almost 30 years ago and has a background in Taoist philosophy and practice, and Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean traditions of Zen. Bill is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Head Dharma Teacher and Abbot of the Delaware Valley Zen Center. One of his main areas of focus has been in practicing, teaching, and counseling people in mindfulness, with certifications from the Oasis Institute at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the International Mindfulness Teachers Association, and the Koru Mindfulness Program. Bill has been learning and practicing various forms of Daoist practice such as Yang-style Taiji, Dao Yin, Eight Brocades, and Qigong for almost 20 years and has been a student of Stuart Alve Olson since 2017.

Bill will be assisted in hosting the program sessions by Lily Shank and Patrick Gross.

Sanctuary of Tao

Sanctuary of Tao