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TUTORIALS

What is Feng Shui?

Tuesday, July 23, 2002
By: Joey Yap

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of harnessing the natural forces of nature to promote prosperity, harmony, vitality and constructive changes in our lives.

Feng Shui is about achieving life-fulfilment by benefiting from the energies of our living environment.

In Oriental countries, Feng Shui practitioners have strived to manipulate the metaphysical forces of nature known as 'Qi' to enhance their career, relationships, health, and business success.

Over the last ten years before the turn of the century, Feng Shui practice has gained increasing recognition in the Western World as the benefits of practising this art have been self-revelatory and unchallenged. With such a booming interest in Feng Shui, undoubtedly many people are easily confused or misled by the intricate principles and numerous schools of Feng Shui practice.

The world today is filled with self-proclaimed Feng Shui practitioners who profess greatness but fail to deliver. Within this environment, finding an authentic Master or teacher who can truly offer the traditional and authentic form of Chinese Feng Shui can prove to be extremely difficult for the average layman.

It has been said that the technology of an advanced culture will be viewed as magic by that of a less technologically advanced civilization.

Feng Shui has unfortunately suffered the same fate; its practices and teachings are muddled in the mires of superstitions and folklores. There is a need to correct this biased view placed upon this practice. Classical FENG SHUI is a form of metaphysical science that can almost be fully explained by logic and by sound principles. The roots of this science can be traced to the Yi Jing (the Book of Changes).

Modern lifestyles have twisted our peaceful existence into one of chaos and extremes. Feng Shui adopts the principles of balance (Yin and Yang) to correct these flaws. Humans have for centuries lived intertwined with the flow of nature; Feng Shui is based on this. Present dwellings, however, have relegated these principles, creating disharmony, with disastrous consequences for the occupants.

Undeniably, certain aspects of our lives seem to be controlled by external forces not fully understandable to the layman. The earth's gravity, electromagnetic fields, directional influence and its surrounding constellations all place some form of emphasis on our actions. FENG SHUI enables us to understand these aspects of our living environment and allows us to tap or tune into our natural beneficial cycle or position, thereby enabling us to be in tune with our environment rather than against it. By doing so, we can perform better, see and seize opportunities as they arise, and function optimally in all aspects of our lives.

Feng Shui, originally known as 'Kan Yu', is about living in harmony with nature. By living in harmony, we are able to harness the beneficial energies (known as Qi) to better our lives.

Traditionally Feng Shui has always been split into two ideologies: San He and San Yuan . These schools originated over 1500 years ago (presumably during the Tang dynasty) and since then, their fundamental theories have remained relatively unchanged.

San He deals with landforms: the appearance of the surrounding environment, physiognomy, characteristics and forms and how they could influence the lives of those living in the vicinity. Simply put, it relates to most forms or environmental features in nature, be it man-made or natural, such as roads (direction, location and design), buildings (distance, direction, shape and design), mountains (incoming or outgoing, shape, distance, size, growth of greenery, element and form), rivers or water flow (direction, distance, shape, types of water flow, inlet/outlet and form) and structures or contours of the land. San He is a system where formulae are mainly based on the environment.

The San Yuan system, on the other hand, focuses more on the aspects of time and how it affects your Feng Shui. The idea being that a property's fortune changes with time. This is a dynamic view of Feng Shui, one where a person's environment runs in 20-year cycles after which their 'luck' expires, unless the energies in their environment are renewed. Most of the formulae in this system focus predominantly on how the quality of Qi in a property changes in cycles. This system is widely used as a system of predictive Feng Shui where Masters can predict events and outcomes of the residents through logically deductible mathematical formulae. (To read more on the systems please refer to our articles on Classical Feng Shui from our Center's website: www.masteryacademy.com and www.masteryjournal.com )

Naturally, for centuries, these two schools have been at odds with each other as to who was better. However, in the last 100 years, San Yuan and San He became recognized as the two main branches of Classical Feng Shui.

Feng Shui is knowledge;
the practice of Feng Shui is a SKILL

In recent years (about 15 years ago actually), a simplified version of Feng Shui took root in the West. This could be a direct result of the lack of classical knowledge and resources available to Feng Shui enthusiasts in the West. Feng Shui has been largely reduced to a fashion or trendy approach that no longer follows the correct principles. Marketers and smart businessmen take the opportunity to commercialize the idea and release book after book, product after product, with the title Feng Shui. Traditional or Classical Feng Shui practitioners refer to this as New Age Feng Shui.

Classical or Authentic Feng Shui, as opposed to New Age Feng Shui, deals with matters of energy in our environment and is personal to each individual. Every formula or application is executed with care and careful calculation. Feng Shui audits are performed by taking into consideration many aspects of the environment and the residents. For instance, from the time the residents move into a property, they start a relationship with that environment and its natural energies. Four aspects need to be considered for a Feng Shui analysis: TIME, ENVIRONMENT, BUILDING and THE RESIDENT.

Many genuine advocates of Feng Shui practise either only 8-Mansions (Ba Zhai) OR the Xuan Kong Flying Stars (San Yuan) school of Feng Shui, in conjunction with inspecting the forms of the site (San He). Some practise all three systems simultaneously! Genuine Feng Shui practitioners should be able to tell events that have occurred in a house just by their Feng Shui analysis of the property. A skillful practitioner should be able to pinpoint certain events that previously occurred and are presently happening, and even future events.

Much like a seer, minus the mystical and psychic abilities, Feng Shui is actually a science and art. Anyone who takes up this study seriously will be able to achieve this. There is no need for any rituals or religious, intuitive or psychic abilities. Feng Shui is knowledge; the practice of Feng Shui is a SKILL. It is a skill that can be learnt by any genuine enthusiast.

In Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia where this art is practised with high standards, Feng Shui Masters are engaged by large corporate bodies as consultants, to help them with building designs, town planning and house designs, to ensure good outcomes and the smooth sailing of their businesses. Good Feng Shui Masters are sought-after for their valuable advice before making major decisions such as signing major contracts, selecting the timing of a product or event launch, moving into new premises and even hiring new staff.

Feng Shui is not just the art of placement. In fact, it is much more than that. By understanding how the Qi in our environment and particular location can work in given periods of time, a Feng Shui practitioner can ascertain certain outcomes of events or predict possible happenings. Feng Shui can also be applied to create positive opportunities in life, improve health and well-being and most of all, improve your quality of life.

Good Feng Shui is dependent on two major factors: a thorough understanding of the classical theories as well as good skills in applying the formulae.

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