FENG SHUI: "THE ACUPUNCTURE OF A BUILDING"
By Lydia Pawelak
published in "L'ÉMERAUDE - Le Journal Santé"
Feng Shui (pronounced "Fong Shway") means "wind" and "water." It is the ancient Chinese art of arranging our environment so we can live in harmony with our surroundings. An age-old and well-developed system dating back at least 3,000 years, Feng Shui has only been known in the Western world for the past hundred years. Demonstrating great respect for ancestors, Feng Shui was originally designed to find the best location to bury deceased family members in order to attract honor, health, long life, prosperity, and luck.
To take advantage of this ancient wisdom, present-day Feng Shui has been adapted to the Western world, and is often referred to as the "acupuncture" of a building. Just as an acupuncturist adjusts the body's energy flow with needles, the Feng Shui practitioner uses objects to either enhance or diminish the flow of energy to create a healthy and balanced environment.
At the centre of this practice is harmonizing the "chi" or the flow of energy, and balancing the forces of Yin and Yang. This will lead to recognizing the four seasons, their five elements (water, wood, fire, earth and metal) and their eight trigrams in the I Ching, the Book of Changes. These eight directions also represent the eight aspirations in life: career, education, family, health, prosperity, marriage, children, and mentors.
A Feng Shui practitioner works with these principles to diagnose a space or building. If "chi" flows well and accumulates, we have good Feng Shui; if it flows too quickly, or stagnates, we have poor Feng Shui. The key purpose of Feng Shui is to stimulate the flow of positive "chi." Other than moving furniture or objects, Feng Shui cures include the addition of mirrors, crystals, lights, wind chimes, sound, plants, water, animals, and artwork.
In case you are afraid your home will end up looking like a Chinese restaurant, modern Feng Shui includes cures which will not disrupt the creative style and design elements you want to maintain in your place. Subtle changes -- like changing the position of your desk, your bed, or the dining room table -- can have dramatic results.
Enhancing good Feng Shui helps increase the chances of:
- Greater profits for your business
- Finding the job you are looking for
- Attracting business opportunities
- Relieving daily stress
- Increasing the health of you and your family
- Finding a loving, faithful partner
- Attracting wealth and prosperity Feng Shui affects every aspect of our life, and the way it is applied can be both beneficial or detrimental.
It is not a religion or a belief system; asking someone if they believe in Feng Shui is like asking them if they believe in the weather. Feng Shui is not a question of faith, but a fact of life.
There are four different schools of Feng Shui, and although the basic principles remain the same, the approach differs. They are:
1. The Form School. Each of the four directions of the compass are symbolized by four animals
2. The Traditional Chinese Compass School. This school uses the compass, the Eight Trigrams of the I Ching, the eight-sided Ba Gua symbol, and the lo shu magic square which divides the space in question into nine sectors
3. The Black Hat Sect Feng Shui . It is widely practiced in North America. In this school, each house or room is judged from the position of its front door; it also refers to the Eight Trigrams of the I Ching and the Ba Gua
4. Intuitive Feng Shui . The practitioners focus on instinct, feeling and intuition.
Some Feng Shui Tips
- Keep the front entrance clear and visible. Trim any plants that are blocking your view, and the path of "chi."
- Don't keep dried flowers in your home, since they represent dead energy.
- Put your desk in a position so that you can see the door while seated at your desk; never have your back towards the door.
- Don't keep mirrors in your bedroom. If you must, try to place them so your reflection is not seen from your bed, or cover the mirror with a cloth at night.
- Don't sleep, work or relax under a beam.
- In Feng Shui, flushing the toilet is seen symbolically as flushing away wealth. Keep the toilet lid down when you don't use it, and the bathroom door closed.
- Minimize your clutter! Sell or give away things you don't use regularly, like books, CD's, magazines, and clothes. There is no need to be surrounded by stagnant Chi.