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I Believe...
A Ride Upon The Vehicle
In The End...

"Night shows us what we are a part of and day what we have to work with."~Michael Stenson~

Michael, Sage, Boomer and Sara

Sara & Michael Stenson's study of Yang style T'ai Chi Form, Animal Forms, Eight Ways, Sword, Push Hands and Ta Lu began over forty two years ago. They have studied with Grand Master Cheng Man-ch'ing's senior students and have taught T'ai Chi at Rocky Mountain T'ai Chi Ch'uan at Fort Collins, Boulder & Golden Colorado, Naropa Institute, Puget Sound T'ai Chi Ch'uan in Seattle and at the 1997 Dalai Lama's Conference on Education. They have also taught the Eight Ways Fall Prevention program to seniors in the Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions.

Michael's abiding interests in horses and eastern philosophy have led him to characterize himself as a Taoboy. He loves to ride his appaloosa, Sage and attends horsemanship clinics whenever possible. Michael has taught interpersonal communication, organization development and other adult education classes since the late 60s and is working on a book currently titled Chi Gung - Eight Ways To Graceful Aging and Ox Herding In America

Sara grew up riding fence and herding cattle on a ranch in eastern Wyoming. She studies horsemanship and dressage on her mustang, Eliseo. With over thirty years of experience as a Shiatsu massage therapist for riders and horses, Sara brings to this work an understanding of anatomy, body mechanics, physiology and principles of movement that enable her to put the body/mind connection into concrete and practical terms.

The approach...

I-Ching Hegagram 31: A humble, receptive attitude.

Affinity - An axiom of nature is that all success depends upon the effect of mutual attraction. Sun and earth attract each other and all creatures come into being. Through attraction we influence not mere behavior, but the nature of all things. Making it easy for horses and students to do the right thing by showing them where and how to relax is the cornerstone for all of the work. When working a horse, you must first rid yourself of preconceptions and expectations, timelines and goals, and let the character of the horse reveal itself. Then you will establish contact, understand and be granted influence. The same accepting patience is needed in working with one's self.

I-Ching Hexagram number 32: The inner law of being.

Discipline - A bell struck with a pebble makes a small sound, but struck with a mallet a big sound. The discipline of daily practice is what makes the difference between lasting effects and mere dabbling. Just as horses require a consistent, organized, firmly integrated approach, so too the wild horses of the mind can be tamed only by regular practice. The daily practice is both a teaching and calibrating tool - it cultivates the qualities and principles of the work and keeps us grounded with the feedback that can come only from experience. A gentle, unwavering endeavor to attain the goal is the key.

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