There is a great deal of overlap between Qi Men Dun Jia and feng shui, but there are differences between these two fields as well.
I hope you found last week's introduction to Qi Men Dun Jia instructive and insightful. One small note before I jump into this month's article - a small error on the part of my design team resulted in the Chinese character for Dun being misprinted. The correct character is used today.
Now, I will share a little more about how Qi Men Dun Jia is deployed in modern times and how it is used by some of today's feng shui consultants.
Qi Men is essentially a system that breaks down the essence of time. The Qi Men system computes the energy present in the environment during each year, month, day and hour and represents it in the form of a Qi Men chart, which comprises of 10 heavenly stems, nine star doors and right Doors. The goal is just to pinpoint not just the most timely moment in time in which to undertake an action from the correct location and direction to produce a specific outcome. It is this emphasis on location and direction that gives Qi Men its association and connection to feng shui.
Knowing when to do something, and which direction to approach the action and selecting the appropriate action based on outcome, is the epitome of 'doing the right thing at the right time'.
Those of you who have read my book on the art of date selection will appreciate that 'doing the right thing in the right time' are very much the basis of date selection. The Chinese, of course, must always go one step further - with Qi Men that is not just 'do the right thing at the right time' but 'do the right thing at the right time that produces the right outcome'.
That is why one of Qi Men Dung Jia's primary usages in modern feng shui consulting practice is for time selection.
The Golden Moment
What is time selection and how is it different from date selection? Time selection essentially refers to finding the right point in time to undertake an activity or endeavor. Now, conventional date selection methods using the Dong Gong and 12 day Officer systems incorporate time selection as well. But, conventional date selection only involves the hour, once the date is verified as auspicious and favorable for that activity.
Pure time selection which is what Qi Men Dun Jia is utilized for ignores the date. Qi Men's techniques enable us to find a real 'golden moment' - an hour in a day coupled with specific direction, and specific action that can successfully be under taken, irrespective of whether or not it is a good day based on conventional date selection method.
In short, it could be the worst day of the year, but with Qi Men, it's possible to pinpoint one specific hour, and one specific direction that will enable a particular action to succeed.
Time selection in the modern context can be used for many activities. Relationship related activities such as business meeting, negotiations or proposal are within the scope of Qi Men Dun Jia time selection. It is also used for wealth-related activities such as collecting debts or making payments for investment purposes or even something as straightforward as applying a loan.
Qi Men can also be applied to conventional activities like sitting for an exam or submitting a thesis or for career-related activities like applying for a promotion or raise, seeking a job or succeeding in an interview. Given its way strategy origins, it is also very useful for those in the political arena, where timing one's action is essential.
In some of the instances above, the Qi Men Dun Jia practitioner will first plot the Qi Men charts for the relevant hours in the day. So, for example, the person wants to attend a job interview to be held in the afternoon. The Qi Men practitioner will then plot all the Qi Men charts for the afternoon. The person will then be told what time they must depart for the interview and preferably which direction they should approach the building.
Qi Men Dun Jia is generally considered a specialized field in Chinese metaphysics and understandably, not many feng shi practitioners include Qi Men in their repertoire of skills.
Modern day feng shui consultants who are framed in Qi Men usually use it as a supplementary technique to feng shui, for example, in date selection where Qi Men technique can be used to help clients to refine the date selection of a suitable date in which to move into a property or to commence renovations.
Changing the course history?
In Hong Kong and Taiwan, many books on Qi Men Dun Jia are focused on the use of Qi Men for less than kosher activities like committing bank robberies, evading escape or other criminal activities.
People tend to forget that these books are usually written 'after the fact' and, unfortunately, it tends to contribute to the betel that Qi Men is an 'occult' or deviationist technique and school.
Such is the scary reputation of Qi Men that some masters have conveniently used this as a 'justification' for not teaching Qi Men to their students.
The secretive and mysterious nature of Qi Men is more likely due to the effectiveness of Qi Men rather than its ability to be used for less than legitimate activities. Since it was such a handy and useful technique, the ancient imperial families naturally wanted to keep it to themselves.
Outsiders assumed that this was because it was deviationist (rather than just too good a secret to share) and so that's how Qi Men got its deviation tag.
Theoretically, Qi Men can be used to change the course of history. I want to emphasis the word 'theoretically'. Yes, a person pursued by a mob of 10,000 people braying for his blood, could probably try to use the Escape Door (one of eight Mystical Doors) of the hour. But when you're running for your life, who has time to plot a Qi Men chart (and it does take a good 15 minutes!) and then run in the right direction? You're just too busy running!
Just like, theoretically, Qi Men can be used to help you find a parking lot in an over-crowded mall. By the time you've plotted the chart for the hour and figured out where to drive, you probably would have found a parking lot!
So the idea of Qi Men for use in deviationist activities is sound in theory but honestly, not possible to undertake in reality.
Qi Men and Feng Shui: The Difference?
There is a great deal of overlap between Qi Men and feng shui when we look at the purpose of these fields. Both are focused on the use of time and space to help a person achieve their goals. Both Qi Men and feng shui focus on direction and location, and have predictive aspects that enable users to ascertain the outcome of specific actions. The difference is very much in the quality of the outcomes (Qi Men is more specific) and also the time needed to produce outcomes.
One advantage Qi Men has is that it generally produces quicker results - it can be almost immediate at times, depending on the circumstances.
Feng shui usually requires a few weeks or a few months before positive outcomes or desired outcomes can be seen. However, because it was developed for battlefield situations where the facts and circumstances are constantly changing. Qi Men is less suited for achieving stable and continuous results.
Stable and continuous results are what we usually prefer for business owners or homeowners because, typically, they are interested in long-term outcomes. It's also a bit impractical to tell clients to keep changing the door that they use or the time they have to leave their house to go to work every morning.
Qi Men is suited to situations where movement is involved, such as travel or specific personal action. It is not restricted by physical environmental considerations, unlike some feng shui charts; Qi Men is not dependent on external Land Forms. But if the activity or endeavor doesn't really involve that much movement or travel, or is a long-term effort, then probably Qi Men is not the best technique to deploy.
Feng shui requires a tie-in with the residents based on their Gua or their BaZi. In this respect, some set-ups may only favor one or two members of a family or individuals in a company. Qi Men is less dependent on Gua or BaZi and can be used to find a suitable time and direction for every member of the family or every key man in an organization to undertake a specific task.
While it's good to appreciate differences between feng shui and Qi Men, it's important to recognize that these differences don't denote superiority or inferiority. It simply indicates to us that in some specific circumstances. Qi Men is the better method, and in others, classical feng shui techniques may better serve the client's needs.
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