Feng Shui — Ancient Secrets from the Orient
Metaphysical Mind #38
I am sure you have heard of feng shui, but do you understand exactly what it is and what it means for your life? Feng Shui is the Chinese philosophy that governs spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to patterns of yin and yang and the flow of energy to yield favorable effects. I have dedicated this issue of Metaphysical Mind to the topic of Feng Shui.
According to Wikipedia:
Feng shui is a discipline with guidelines that are compatible with many techniques of architectural planning. Space, weather, astronomy, and geomagnetism are basic components of feng shui. However, many believe there are unexplainable scientific factors involved and so consider it a metaphysical art. Proponents claim that feng shui has an effect on health, wealth, and personal relationships.
This issue will be organized as follows:
1. The Real Feng Shui by Lalia Robinson Wilson
2. Environmental Feng Shui
3. Discover the 26 Secrets of Feng Shui
1. The Real Feng Shui by Lalia Robinson Wilson
What is real Feng Shui? How is it difficult from what you may have seen in books and magazines? Real Feng Shui is a system of choosing and organizing living space to maximize health, abundance and family happiness. I speak of living space here, but knowledgeable readers will know that originally much of Feng Shui was involved with siting graves. Feng Shui originates in China, a country that was steeped in respect for ancestors. It was believed that the grave of a forebear would influence all descendants for 7 generations. Thus a person’s luck might be favorably or unfavorable influenced by the grave of his forebears! This area of Feng Shui, called yin Feng Shui, is not an area of my study, and not much used in the West. I wonder, but do not know, what effect occurs if an ancestor’s remains are lost, or cremated, or scattered. But let’s look at the Feng Shui of the living, yang Feng Shui!
Yang Feng Shui, hereafter just called Feng Shui, has many threads. It began in China and uses many methodologies. It classifies places and directions as yin or yang, and also according to the five-element theory—the five Chinese elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Feng Shui is very interested in siting of a building, the slope of the surrounding land, and the nearby buildings and topography. All of these are contained in the most popular school of Feng Shui found in the US, the Black Hat Sect. Most books and magazine articles, even most practitioners, are using Black Hat techniques. Having been there and done that, I can authoritatively say that Black Hat is only part of the true Feng Shui, and most of the time its incompleteness will mean that it is ineffective. Sorry.
So what is the real Feng Shui? It uses the knowledge of forms and yin-yang and the five elements and incorporates the time cycles of a building and its compass direction. It turns out that there are major changes every 20 years, and minor yearly changes, that have strong compelling effects on a building and its occupants. Equally important is the compass heading of the building. There are 24 compass headings in the Chinese system and these lead to separate effects on the building and its occupants. Thus all 24 compass headings change every 20-year cycle and each has minor one-year effects lasting from one Chinese New Year to the next. Our current cycle began with the Chinese New Year in early 1984. The next cycle will begin early in 2004.
A classically trained Feng Shui practitioner will want to actually visit your home or business. S/He will want the floor plan, perhaps the site plan, the date of construction and occupancy, and the birth dates and genders of all the occupants. The practitioner’s job is to maximize the harmony of the building (according to your stipulations) and to match each person to a harmonious room. Some buildings have pretty bad Feng Shui and are very expensive to remedy. Others are so blessed that it is almost impossible to do anything wrong! If you’ve lived or worked in a building for more than a month, you will know which kind of building you have—good, bad or indifferent. The Feng Shui practitioner can advise you as to what can be remedied, but you have to make the decision about whether to go to the expense of making necessary changes, or to just look for a “better” place.
Although many of the first people to hang out a Feng Shui shingle were decorators, Feng Shui is not interior decorating! A home may be very tastefully decorated and also very bad Feng Shui. Conversely, its taste may be dreadful, but the Feng Shui excellent! In classical Feng Shui, suggestions may be made about adding metal or water (or fire, or earth, or wood) to a given room, and that may include changing colors, but this is not decorating. See your Feng Shui practitioner first, and then tell your decorator which colors to use.
Why is Feng Shui, as portrayed in the popular press, so confusing? Feng Shui derives from a long history in which it was taught in very small groups, usually just to a couple of chosen apprentices, often male relatives. Several students who studied with the same teacher may have been imparted different knowledge, equally valid, but incomplete unless combined with what the others had learned. This was a technique to maintain the secret nature of the teachings and often resulted in knowledge being fragmented. Today, we are piecing together this knowledge, but with additional handicaps, at least for Westerners, of working outside the culture and outside the language of the originators of Feng Shui. As a westerner, it requires study and discernment to find the real Feng Shui.
Copyright 2000, all rights reserved, Lalia Robinson Wilson
Lalia is a long time student and practitioner of Feng Shui. She is available for consultations in East Tennessee and urges you to contact a local practitioner of Classical Feng Shui in your area. To find out more about Lalia and her work, visit www.joy-and-harmony.bigstep.com.
2. Environmental Feng Shui
There are a multitude of environmental factors in our immediate surroundings that contribute to poor health or lack of vitality. Not to mention an endless list of chemicals, pollutants and additives. Even so, the human body is continuously evolving and adapting and mankind has survived the most destructive influences and will continue to do so. Before shedding light on several of the most influential environmental forces and their practical solutions, let us first look at the bigger picture.
Imagine yourself in the cockpit of an airplane with a see-through floor. Now look down on the Earth. There are areas of deep forests, broad deserts, oceans and lakes. Using intuition and logic, which areas appear to be best able to support life? Which would you consider a healthy place to live? Take a good look at the city of Los Angeles and if you were to rate it on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the most supportive, which number would you choose?
Major influences always supersede minor ones. Here is another example: let’s say you are a fish living in an aquarium and the water happens to be dirty and disease-laden with bacteria. Even though you get adequate exercise by swimming, eat the healthiest fish food, meditate and pray every morning, chances are your energy, vitality and the quality of your life are less than perfect. The chances of getting sick are increased tremendously to the point that it is inevitable, because the environmental field or aquarium water is simply not supportive to life. Now, if you, as that same fish don’t exercise, meditate or pray and eat fish junk food, but live in the waters of the Amazons, it is much less likely that ill health will manifest, due to the extremely life-supportive Amazonian field. Healthy environmental fields can override bad personal habits, to a certain extent.
Given the above scenario, the first question to ask is “Is my environment life-supportive?” If the answer is yes, then it’s time to pay attention to the more minor details. If not, moving to a healthier environment is not such a bad idea. Following this advice does not necessarily mean moving out of town, unless of course, this choice appeals to you and is feasible. It may simply mean moving to a more environmentally supportive area of the city, maybe from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica, or from a house beside the freeway, to one close to a park or ocean.
All living creatures, including humans, have an energy field, a bubble of life-force surrounding and permeating their bodies, called the aura. When we live in close proximity to each other, these fields mingle. If you could see these energy fields from a plane, you would see a huge mass of mingled fields in the big cities, creating a collective field. This collective field affects individual energy fields positively or negatively and influences the condition of one’s health. The degree of influence depends on several factors. The following experiment further demonstrates this. When a calm, emotionally balanced person enters a room filled with ten anxious, upset or stressed out people, he or she will have a tendency to become stressed out as well, due to the group influence of the bio-energetic or radiatory field (auras) of the others. If you have never been exposed to or noticed your reaction to this common occurrence, try observing the shift in your thoughts, emotions and energy level while being stuck in rush hour traffic.
This influential ability of the collective energetic field affects but is not limited to health, relationships and finances. Observe the predominant characteristics of the field you live in or are surrounded by daily. If the environment is unhealthy or unsupportive, implement changes wherever and whenever possible. Even though it may seem like too big of a step to make the payoff is an improved quality of life on many levels. If the fish in the above example decided to move from its polluted environment, it may not be easy to change aquariums – maybe the fish is accustomed to the tank and likes its water castle and plastic diver with bubbles. Over time, it became used to the diseased conditions to such an extent, that it seems impossible to change the habit of being in such an environment. What if the fish knew that by moving into cleaner water, not only would health problems diminish, but the change would open up new life and career opportunities? The fish would see the value of enduring a small amount of initial discomfort for the satisfying result of having a newer, even bigger, water castle, this time with a treasure chest. Isn’t that a smart idea?
After taking care of the major influences it is time to start correcting the secondary influences (the minor ones). The sum of many negative minor influences may be as detrimental to one’s health as living in a garbage dump. Many of these corrections are easy to do on your own. If your are unable to investigate whether your home or office environment is unsupportive or harmful, work with a Feng Shui practitioner. Feng Shui is the healing modality that investigates and corrects unsupportive environmental influences. Professional Feng Shui practitioners apply and utilize the laws of nature to balance the environment of a home or office, helping create balance and harmony by promoting the flow of positive energy and neutralizing, or minimizing, negative or destructive energy. Feng Shui is rapidly becoming a standard practice for creating an ideal and balanced environment in which to live and work. (excerpt from Los Angeles Healer’s Guide 2007)