An Introduction to What is Feng Shui?
What is Feng Shui? Well the term Feng Shui literally means wind and water. It is rapidly becoming a standard practice for creating the ideal environment in which to live and work.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese study of the natural and “built” environment and has been practiced for thousands of years. This environment can be at the office, in your home, in a building, or on real property. A Feng Shui analysis examines the surrounding environment, the building, how the people interact with the building and looks at time-related factors. Based upon these considerations, recommendations can be made on how to improve your relationship with the environment around you. Results include prosperity, health benefits, and well being. Properly applied, Feng Shui recommendations can result in improvements in the life of the individuals who occupy the property.
In answering what is Feng Shui, how did Feng Shui originate?
Feng Shui can be stated as a form of “Geo-mancy” or “Earth Wisdom.” Many cultures in the world have a form of Geomancy in their history. The Chinese form of Geomancy, or Feng Shui, has evolved to be both an Science and an Art. The science comes from the calculations and methodology used in analyzing a property. The Art of Feng Shui is the wisdom acquired from performing a multitude of analysis and knowing the exact degree to which the remedies (which are the results of the scientific analysis) are prescribed.
Throughout ancient China, classical Feng Shui was a closely guarded discipline used as a tool to ensure the good health, wealth, and power of the Imperial Dynasties. The keepers of this secret body of knowledge – Feng Shui Masters*, were highly respected meteorologists, astronomers, and other scientists and who were charged with sustaining the good fortune and prosperity of the royal court. It has been guardedly passed down the generations through very specific lineages.
*These masters were very selective of their protégées. Extreme care was exercised in the selection of candidates who would become their successors.
What is Feng Shui’s basic principles?
Note: These principles are shown as an introduction only. The depth of these concepts go far beyond what a web site can explain. For more information, please consider purchasing The Principles of Feng Shui by Master Larry Sang. You can purchase this book here on-line.
The balance of Yin and Yang
When trying to understand the question, what is Feng Shui, it is important to know that Feng Shui is based on the principle of Yin and Yang. Balance, harmony, consistent change, and the interdependency of all things are but a few of the deep meanings within this simple representation. Yang representing heat and light is rising and Yin representing cold and darkness descends. These are just two of the many examples of logic and insight to be discovered within this image.
Shown above, the image represents the true orientation of the Yang and Yin. Yang, representing heat rises on the left (or East) and reaches its peak at the top (South). Yin representing coolness descends on the right (West) and reaches its maximum at the bottom (North).
Another analogy is that the sun rises in the East, reaches its hottest at noon and sets in the west, soon reaching its darkest. Yet within Yin there is a seed of Yang waiting to arise and within Yang there is Yin waiting to descend. This analogy can be applied to time, seasons, directions, and many other cycles of change. Yin and Yang are key to understanding what is Feng Shui.
What is Feng Shui and the Five Elements
In learning about what is Feng Shui, Another simple, yet powerful representation based upon the Tai Chi (Yin and Yang representation shown above) is the 5 elements diagram. It is a view of how the elemental energies interact. Shown above in its balanced state, it is in harmony. Yet each element can strengthen or weaken other elements in a variety of beneficial and detrimental ways. When calculating the energy “blueprint” of a property these interactions provide the key to correcting issues within a property.
The Eight Trigrams
The Eight Trigrams are the basis for Feng Shui analysis and calculations. A Trigram is a representation of one of the eight directions. In the “Ba Gua” diagram below there is also a center which has no directional association, but is associated with earth. Based also on Yin and Yang concepts, the I-Ching, the Five Elements, and the Lo-shu map, it conveys a map for all other calculations used to determine the energy blueprint within a property.
Element: Soft Wood
Element: Hard Wood
Element: Soft Metal
Element: Hard Metal
The East/West Theory
(8 House Theory)
Both people and houses belong to one of the above Trigrams. Each of the Trigrams fall into two distinct categories as either east group or west group. Matching a West group house type to a West group person is ideal, as is matching an East group house to an East group person.
|East Group||West Group|
Effects of the Solar System (Xuan Kong)
This advanced technique uses the Eight Trigrams shown above with particular calculations to derive the specific nature of the building and create its energy blueprint. (It is too extensive to explain in a summary page.) If you are interested in this concept in depth, we suggest you examine The Principles of Feng Shui, by Master Larry Sang.
The environmental aspects are what most people immediately think of when they consider Feng Shui. Things such as not having sharp corners pointed at them and not living under high tension power lines are a couple of common examples that everyone either knows or can understand. Other environmental aspects such as living next to a freeway or a construction site are considered unfavorable. The elimination of “Sha” or evil influences and strengthening those environmental aspects that are good is what an environmental analysis recommends. These are but a few examples of what needs to be examined during an analysis.
How are these principles applied?
Feng Shui is based upon a set of theories and complex calculations derived from the Yi Jing. This includes an in-depth understanding and application of the basic principles. Using these principles and taking into account the physical relationship between the natural environment and the magnetic fields of the Earth provides a “blueprint” of the influences around us. Using this blueprint we can see clearly the energies or “Chi” that effect us in our properties.
How is a Feng Shui analysis done?
The Feng Shui practitioner first observes the environment, using a Lo Pan (compass) to determine the orientation of the property. Calculations are then completed according to the basic principles. Then a determination of the energy characteristics within the property and its resulting effects on the occupants is made based on the results of these calculations. Remedies are then prescribed where necessary in order to balance the energy to produce a positive effect!
Misunderstandings of Chinese Geomancy
Feng Shui is becoming more prevalent in the West. People want to know what is feng shui? This can be attributed to more and more people becoming aware of how their environment affects them. The health effects of high-tension power lines is but one example of how people are becoming cognizant of their environment and its relationship to their health and prosperity. Unfortunately, a lot of hearsay and misunderstanding as to what Feng Shui truly is has also become commonplace.
Some people have confused Feng Shui with religion and burning charms. Others think that seeking advice from Feng Shui practitioners contradicts the doctrines of their own religion. This is a mistaken concept.
Chinese geomancy (or Feng Shui) is not the product of any religious belief system. Rather, it is based on a set of calculations. The qualified practitioner examines the four aspects of Building, Environment, Time, and most importantly, People. Most books and information widely available only look at the first two aspects: Building and Environment. This is only a partial examination.
Time and People are two very important components that should not be omitted. A particular building may have a good environment and other positive attributes, but for a specific individual, it might require further examination and corrections to meet their individual goals for that time in their life and the life of the building.
How does one find a qualified practioner?
The classical Feng Shui consultation involves no guesswork. Every building has unique energy characteristics that need to be individually addressed.We say that True Feng Shui recommendations utilize only the five elements and not such things as mirrors, flutes, incense, or prayers.
Just as a qualified physician will not make a prescription without first meeting the patient, a proper Feng Shui analysis requires a visit to the property. Feng Shui looks at not only the environment, but also the orientation of the property within that environment.
Feng Shui is not related to any religion or belief system. A qualified practitioner is one who has studied with a Master for many years and has acquired a scientific discipline, thus enabling them to apply complex calculations and an in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles of Feng Shui. Only then are they able to make very specific recommendations that can effect positive changes in one’s lifestyle, relationships and financial returns.
Properly performed, Feng Shui can bring balance, harmony and prosperity to one’s life. We hope this has answered “What is Feng Shui?”
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