When it comes to feng shui, most people have a basic notion of what it is. Or so they say. Because when I ask people to describe feng shui, they start to falter. “Well, it’s uh…, well, you know…” When we speak of feng shui, we are referring to an ancient art and science dating back over 5,000 years. It literally means “wind and water.” Interestingly, feng shui used to be referred to as Kan Yu – as above, so below, meaning that as things occur in the cosmos, so too do they occur in our lives.
Feng shui is used to balance and harmonize one’s environment in order to enhance good health, wealth, one’s reputation and career. It is also useful to reinforce positive relationships with your spouse/partner and family. It is used to dispel bad luck and attract good luck and to bring harmonious energy to one’s surroundings, which enables positive Qi (pronounced “chee”) flow. When your surroundings are balanced, it brings about feelings of well-being and peace, allowing you to pursue your life desires whether it’s your career, your health or your relationships.
When I tell people that I am a Certified Feng Shui Practitioner, one of the first questions I usually hear is “do I have to paint my door red?” That is a common perception regarding feng shui, as well as some others, such as concern over house numbers or where to put their bed. All of these things have a place in feng shui, as do so many others, and that is why consulting with a professional is so helpful.
I think the main reason people shy away from feng shui is due to their belief that it is complicated. People think that cures to environmental or personal problems are costly or next to impossible. For instance, one might ask: “What can I do if my house is facing the “wrong” direction? I can’t just up and move.” That question arose due to one’s understanding of the ancient origins of feng shui, but their lack of understanding as to how feng shui has evolved and how it has been simplified over time prevented them from pursuing feng shui any further. To get a better understanding of where we are with modern feng shui, it is important to understand the origins of this practice, as there are now many different schools of feng shui.
The original school is called Form School Feng Shui. Form School was used thousands of years ago to design Chinese palaces and temples, in addition to other building structures and gardens throughout Chinese history. The ancient practitioners knew that Qi was everywhere and that the shapes of buildings, yards and lots or rooms can define the energy of that space. In early Form School, the shape of the land held significance. Since Form School was before the advent of the compass, direction was described by the use of the Four Emblems: the Red Phoenix referred to the front, the Black Tortoise referred to the back, the Azure Dragon was to the left and the White Tiger was to the right. These emblems are also referred to as the Celestial Animals and each represents its own energy. When you have knowledge of the relationship between form and energy, one can arrange a harmonious living environment in that space, although one does not have to practice from the Form School tradition to achieve this goal.
As time went by, Compass School of feng shui evolved into being. There are different subsets of feng shui that fall under the Compass School feng shui heading. These include Flying Star, Eight Mansions (East/West) and Four Pillars (Ba Zhi) feng shui. Within these schools, complicated, intricate formulas are used. For instance, in Flying Stars, number combinations are used to determine the balance of Qi in a space. In addition, the five elements are used to balance energy by reducing negative and activating and attracting positive energy. In East/West, there is a faith based component as well. Also, the bagua is used, which is an energy map of the space being analyzed, whether it’s an entire house, business or just one room.
I think all of the above information can be quite intimidating, especially if one is just looking for a quick answer/cure to a difficult or stubborn issue. One can be overwhelmed at the thought of having to hire someone to configure compass locations, birth dates, house numbers, and door locations. It may be scary to think that one’s house is “facing the wrong direction” because if so, then what? Although these methods of feng shui can bring about the cures you are looking for, the art of feng shui has changed over time and has become much less complicated.
The type of feng shui I practice is called BTB Feng Shui. It is based on Black Sect Tantric Buddhism which originated from the indigenous Bon religion of Tibet, prior to the introduction of Buddhism in the 7th Century AD. Over time, Tantric Buddhist influence from India, Chinese philosophy, Esoteric Buddhism, Taoism and Yin-Yang philosophy, along with further influences from holistic healing, Confucianism, and feng shui all contributed to what BTB feng shui is today. When BTB was introduced to the West by Grand Master Lin Yun, modern knowledge was incorporated with ancient philosophies bringing about a different interpretation of religion. Medicine, psychology, social sciences, and architecture, to name a few, all come into play. It was Master Lin Yun’s belief and teaching that BTB feng shui is the most “useful, up-to-date, and compatible with modern science and design.” It allows for the use and incorporation of new customs and inventions, with a respect shown for one’s own personal belief system. At the same time, there is ancient influence from Taoist culture and thought which brings in the yin-yang, Qi and traditional feng shui principals, such as use of the I-Ching. Because of the incorporation and use of one’s intention within this practice, we find BTB feng shui cures to be powerful and versatile.
Feng shui is all about the adjusting of energy flow to bring about harmonious living and working spaces. In my experience, I have seen this adjustment of energy bring about positive results for those who implement them. With the adjustment of a desk and the clearing of unneeded books and files, a client is calmer, happier and more productive in the work place. Another client had me help rearrange and stage the bedroom which resulted in clearing space in the marriage corner. Although not looking for a relationship, the simple act of clearing clutter from that space allowed for a certain interesting person to enter that client’s life.
Feng shui works to balance our lives. It does not have to be complicated or mysterious. In these modern times, loaded with contentious issues, work place frustrations and relationship challenges, it can be an effective tool to bring about positive change in one’s life. And BTB feng shui takes your belief system and the place you live and work right now and if something is not working, it can be cured. There is no need to move, or fear your address or paint your door red – unless you want to. Give me a call to discuss your situation and let feng shui bring you peace, balance and abundance. I look forward to hearing from you!