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Plan Your Destiny with Dato Joey Yap

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Business Mirror (Philippines)
By: Francis L. Bonnevie


The Lunar New Year is upon us! For a lot of people around the world, the old year is cast away, consigned to learning and memory, and the new year heralds new opportunities in business, life and yes, even love. Some of those seeking an inside track on what to do with their future in 2015 turn to the ancient Chinese esoteric arts of feng shui and BaZi for guidance with the ultimate goal: success and happiness.

Far from being just a series of movies in the Metro Manila Film Fest, feng shui which translates to wind-water in English, when applied, is the practice of harmonizing architecture with the "invisible energy" that binds the universe, earth, and humanity together known as qi. BaZi, or the Four Pillars of Destiny, on the other hand, is one of the foremost forms of Chinese astrology that uses a person's moment of birth - year, month, day and hour - to understand one's destiny.

Asia's leading Chinese astrology consultant, Dato Joey Yap flew in from Malaysia to the Philippines on January 29 as part of his annual Feng Shui & Astrology World Tour. With speaking engagements booked this year from Frankfurt, San Francisco, New York, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila and beyond, Joey, a he is fondly called, is a veritable rock star in the astrology world.

Joey started learning Chinese Metaphysics at the age of 15 and became a self-made millionaire by the age of 26. This best-selling author of no less than 120 books on feng shui, Chinese astrology (BaZi), face reading, and more has sold over 3 million books worldwide and is featured regularly on Bloomberg as a regular guest on the subject of annual feng shui forecasts.

Founder of the Feng Shui Mastery Academy in Malaysia and chief consultant of the Joey Yap Consulting Group (an international consulting firm that specializes in feng shui and Chinese astrology services), Joey received the Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang (DIMP) award in 2013 in Malaysia for his contribution to the industry, society and country, an award which carries the official title of Dato. In 2014 he was also named one of Malaysia's Top 100 Young Influential Millionaires. If there ever was a "real deal" in the world of feng shui and astrology, Joey, is it.

Despite his tightly packed schedule I had the chance, or shall I say destiny, to be around and speak to Joey during his stay at the Marriott Hotel Manila, Resorts World Manila, site of his sold-out speaking engagement on January 29. Here are excerpts from the interview:

FLB: Welcome and thank you for coming back to Manila, I understand that it is your third time here. As a regular visitor to the Philippines, how do you find it so far and do you have any insights for the country in the Year of the Goat?

DJY: The people are incredibly warm and friendly. The development of the country also seems very active and the local businesses are flourishing.

In 2015 there are several industries which will benefit from the positive qi of the Wood Goat Year. To start with, the retail and service industry are said to enjoy growth this year alongside the fast-moving consumer goods sector. Additionally, those who are in the financial advisory field will also see increase in both growth and profits this year.

Also growing this year are the mining or quarry businesses.

Oil and petroleum industries will also be prosperous in 2015. The same goes for construction, healthcare and e-commerce sectors. There are some natural calamities to watch out for.

FLB: Feng Shui and BaZi originated from China, isn't it only for the Chinese?

DJY: No it's definitely not. Truth is, feng shui and BaZi have nothing to do with neither religion nor race. Therefore, it doesn't matter what religion you believe in, if you're serious practitioner of BaZi or feng shui, you will be able to derive positive results from your practice.

FLB: What is unique in the way you teach feng shui?

DJY: I prefer to approach the subject of feng shui in its true essence based on the classical texts, which have not been changed for the last century. I believe this is the way of preserving the originality of the art, as this was the method developed and practiced throughout the centuries in China.

In today's world, the feng shui techniques practiced by us are adapted to suit the current demands and pace of today's business and investment world. It's really not a hard subject to learn especially with the modern methods and teaching facilities we have embraced.

FLB: A lot of people in the Philippines are familiar with feng shui, but BaZi is relatively new to us. What is the most basic explanation you can give on both practices and how can it improve people's lives?

DJY: Feng shui and BaZi are two different branches under the study of Chinese Metaphysics. Feng shui is about harnessing and tapping into the natural energies (qi) from the environment - Earth Luck and achieving a harmonious living or working environment. BaZi, on the other hand, is the study of the self, based on one's birth information. This is what you are born with and do not get to choose.

For example, you cannot choose who your parents would be. We call this the Heaven Luck. BaZi is not a form of feng shui, but the principles they share are vastly similar.

Together with the self- the choices you make and your free will or Man Luck, we have the cosmic trinity. Each governs 1/3 of a person's luck, destiny and general outlook in my understanding, BaZi can help any individual transform lives by being able to spot talents, opportunities and basically the path of least resistance. It's like having a blueprint of your personal success.

BaZi means eight characters. These characters are translated from our birth information - year, month, day and hour - into four pairs of distinct Chinese characters. Four pairs make eight characters (or BaZi), and each pair is known as a pillar, hence the name "Four Pillars of Destiny", as it is sometimes known. Through these eight characters, the potential of the mysteries, the ups and downs of life, are revealed to us just like a person's DNA.

FLB: What should come first then, feng shui or BaZi?

DJY: Based on an ancient saying, it is often mentioned that destiny comes first, then luck, then only feng shui. Not knowing your capabilities or potentials makes it harder to know what lies ahead of you. BaZi is like diagnostic method designed to understand the condition of the patient or a person, while feng shui is like a prescription used to treat the problem.

In other words, BaZi will show you the steps and measure what you need to take to get closer to your destiny. In this sense, BaZi is a key milestone in uncovering who you really are and what you're capable and meant to do. It brings awareness to your true nature, talents, strengths and weaknesses to maximize your potential for success and live the life you deserve.

FLB: Is feng shui/ BaZi 100-percent effective or what percentage of improvement in one's life does expect when adhering to this system?

DJY: I don't believe in quantifying the results of a feng shui application as it is more important to assess the application method itself - although many people would often focus on the result alone and neglect the whole application process.

For the common folk, most people think feng shui is a magic pill and a quick fix in life. Truth is, there is no shortcut. To enjoy good feng shui, it's not at all about buying an item, using colors or having a lot of water everywhere in your environment.

Focusing on the result alone, many people expect the effects of feng shui to happen immediately. For instance, after studying feng shui, some enthusiasts would proceed to do all that it takes to enhance the wealth stars of their home, hoping to increase their wealth and expect a windfall the next day!

A person may be able to activate the wealth stars of their home, but still be obstructed by other issues in life. Therefore, I have seen many cases wherein attempting to bolster a person's financial luck, his destiny or BaZi is sometimes overlooked.

As I have pointed out earlier, BaZi influences 33 percent of a person's life, while feng shui makes up the other 33 percent. These two components go hand-in-hand in positively influencing a person's destiny.

FLB: So feng shui/ BaZi is not about buying items to get luck? How about the Maneki-Neko Cat, the Golden Frog with the Coin in the Mouth, the arowana fish, the mirror that you put on top of the doors like the Bagua, should we buy crystals or statues to get luck?

DJY: Master practitioners and consultants refer to the above as new-age feng shui. Classical feng shui is all about direction, location and time-based activities. It's not about buying items. The lucky Maneki-Neko Cat isn't even Chinese, it's Japanese. The Bagua, is supposed to repel zombies, which do not exist.

The fish isn't lucky, using feng shui you sometimes put running water in strategic places, the fish, were put there to control mosquitos, which is beneficial, but the fish itself isn't necessarily lucky. What generates the positive energy is not the item but the activity that you do in that particular area, not the item. Even drilling a hole to hang a picture at a certain year, date, time, will create this energy.

FLB: How can you prove that this qi - this invisible energy exists?

DJY: Qi or energy is out here in the universe. You can fit the entirety of the universe in your mind, yet no scientific measuring device can measure it. The best way to answer it is with another question: How do you prove the existence of the mind? And has anyone seen the mind? You can see your brain, but the mind it exists but you cannot see it.

FLB: Most people look at the current year, for example the Year of the Goat, and take a look at the year that they were born for their Chinese zodiac sign to see their fortune for the year. In BaZi part of the Four Pillars are your birth data (year, month, day and time of birth), why is this important?

DJY: There are only two important and significant dates in every person's life. The day they were born, and the day they found out why. Your date of birth is, and will always be, the most significant day of your life. It would be, very illogical to categorize the entire world population into just 12 animal sign groups and say one particular group is "unlucky" or vice versa based just on their year of birth.

Technically speaking (based on the eight characters found in your BaZi), your year of birth represents only the 1/4 of your destiny as the Year Pillar consists if two out of the eight characters. The remaining pillars have a profound effect on the rest of your personal chart. We have to look at the bigger picture.

FLB: We can see that you are passionate about teaching people BaZi, can you tell us why?

DJY: BaZi has helped me tremendously in my life - both professionally and personally. Basically, BaZi smoothened out my path allowed me to work with the right people, making it easier for me to achieve the desired level of success.

I decided to take this knowledge and help others to realize their goals and callings in life, as well.

It is a very fulfilling journey so far - to say the least - and I look forward to helping many others in the future.

At the end of the day, what matters to me most is the lives that I have transformed and seeing the results of these live being transformed. Getting feedback from people whose lives have been improved for the better is extremely rewarding and enriching for me.

FLB: Would you say that BaZi helped you become a US-dollar millionaire at the age of 26?

DJY: It is safe to say that to grow rich is to take risk. In fact, wealth and fortune always find company in the bold and adventurous. Take a look at the elites in today's Forbes' Wealthiest People list. The decision they made, the risk they took, the time they sacrificed, and the war they waged - these are what set them apart from the majority of the population.

Awareness is your first step to change - a better understanding of your weakness and strength is the initial step toward making a change in living the better life.

This is where BaZi comes in. To answer your question, yes BaZi did help me in my journey to become who I am today. With BaZi, you are going to discover your strengths and steps to take if you wish to elevate your potential to the next level. Along the way, you will also face your weaknesses, rectify it and make the difficult, but necessary changes in your life.

FLB: When did you start the Mastery Academy of Chinese Metaphysics and what is its goal?

DJY: I started doing consultations for others and applying feng shui professionally at around 19. Starting only with a handful of clients, I was lucky enough to meet a lot of people who engaged my services and before I knew it, my client base expanded and that's when I decided to make what I was doing my professional calling. And Mastery Academy was born a few years after that.

When I first started the academy, it was my mission is to disseminate to the world classical knowledge in the field of Chinese Metaphysics and arts and this hasn't changed even until today.

We believe that the knowledge of Chinese Metaphysics is powerful, constructive, and essential, and as such, much too valuable to be left to the annals of history. These teachings previously shrouded in secrecy and available to only the elite few, are now structured and presented through classes that resemble modern-day university courses.

FLB: As an executive that heads the Mastery Academy of Chinese Metaphysics, how has the art of BaZi helped you manage your staff?

DJY: Basically what I will do before I hire someone - or decide to work with a person on a partnership or project - is look at their chart and understand their capacity. They may not be compatible - I may not even like them, but if they can do the job, that's what matters most.

You see, most people look for a compatibility factor in their partner in business or in someone they incline to work with. I don't look at compatibility, I focus on competency. There's a big difference there. You can be compatible with someone, but that person could be incompetent. At the end of the day, what is the point of partnering with someone who is incompetent - just because he or she is compatible with your personality or way of working? For me, and I believe I'm speaking for most people in the business world, we look for people who are competent and have the aptitude and character to do the job.

Other factors are in play too, such as the task of the job, or the nature, the corporate culture, and the people inside the organization - which all have varying degree of influence over the capacity and the skill of a person.

FLB: How do you see your destiny in the near future?

DJY: To spread classical knowledge of Chinese Metaphysics to the world, especially to the Philippines.

FLB: Thank you very much for your words of wisdom and for coming back to the Philippines. Last question, if there is one message you want to say about people and their destiny what would it be?

DJY: I have received a lot of important advice from many great teachers. I think the one that I can remember now is a piece of guidance I received from someone I know.

It says that there two most important things in your life: the day you were born - which correlates with the BaZi study of uncovering your potential and talent through your date of birth - and why you were born - your purpose in life and the importance of creating this purpose, instead of finding it.

Destiny can be changed. It is not fate. It is what you make of it, and you should always strive to be the better version of yourself!

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