Feng Shui

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The Origin

Feng Shui (pronounced as “fung schway”) literally translated means “wind and water.” It is an ancient Chinese art and science of placement and arranging objects and space within the environment so as to achieve harmony and balance. The object is promote and nurture the flow of good Chi (pronounced “chee”,) which is a Chinese word similar to “energy” in English.

A modern day belief is that all Feung Shui books had been burned in the Qin dynasty (221 BC – 206 BC.) One of the most impressive subjects on this matter was written by Huang Shi Gong and was given to Zhang Liang during the late Qin dynasty. Later, in the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907,) several books were written on this subject by Yang Yun Song . All Feng Shui schools used these particular authoritative works. Unfortunately, these cryptic books used knowledge largely passed down through the oral tradition.

Feng Shui is not simply a decorating style. In fact, it is a discipline with rules and guidelines that can be adapted to fit with many different decorating styles. Truly it is a belief system which combines many different religious, geographical, astrological, mathematical, and philosophical ideas, as well as aesthetic values.

Feng Shui is also believed to be intuitive and derivable from our own common sense and our sense of what is natural in our environment. Eitel, a German Missionary in China in the latter half of the 19th century, wrote in his work, Feng-Shui, Or, The Rudiments Of Natural Science In China(1873), that the origin of Feng Shui is a belief system that is unique to the writings of Chu His and other writers from the Song dynasty (1126-1278.) Chu His is more well known for influencing Confucianism, and while his writings and commentaries may have become the foundation for Feng Shui, Feng Shui’s roots truly go back as far as original Chinese Philosophy.

By the mid 19th century, Feng Shui had become such a part of life that the Chinese government published all the materials necessary for use in the practice of Feng Shui. In fact, as English speaking settlers came to China in the mid 19th century, they had a difficult time adapting to the way of Feng Shui. Much like modern day contractors have to conform to building codes and other community rules and regulations, the English settlers had difficulties in construction and renovation because their design ideas did not conform to the Feng Shui principles, and were therefore rejected.

Further early introduction of Feng Shui to westerners did not go well either. When foreigners wanted to purchase land, and those foreigners were not welcome, they would be directed to land that did not lend itself to good Feng Shui. Early western writings on the subject of Feng Shui were equally as unkind. In 1885, one author wrote that “if any one wishes to see what a howling wilderness of erratic dogmatism the human mind can arrive, when speculation usurps the place of science, and theories are reverenced equally with facts, let him endeavour to
fathom even the elementary principles of that abyss of insane vagaries, the science of Feng-Shui.”

Over the last few decades, many English books have been published on the topic of Feng Shui. They usually focus on interior design, decorating, architecture, or landscape design. Reception from English audiences has often been skeptical, particularly towards the use of crystals, wind chimes, fountains, and mirrored balls. Claims that Feng Shui can improve one’s life, finances, and relationships are dismissed by some as mythology and new age mysticism. Still, others in the west have adapted Feng Shui to their own lives and report overwhelming positive benefits.

Today’s world demands balance and a sense of alignment with personal space both at home and at work. Stress, imbalance, and a feeling of disarray not only impede optimal performance in your everyday tasks, but can also have a detrimental impact on your physical, mental, and spiritual health. This, in turn, limits your ability to succeed and create happiness in your life.

Modern-day Use

Adorning your home using feng shui basics creates a beautiful and balanced environment that achieves health, happiness, wealth, love, warmth, peace of mind and success. When rejuvenating a room, item placement is important, as are wall color, the shape of items, and the accessories placed around your home.

An archaic Chinese system defines feng shui as wind and water, a combination of the laws of heaven and earth. when you surround yourself with positive energy. This translates into the world of interior decorating. Place materials and objects to create a harmonious flow of life energy. The design of the room should be based around the people would use the space the most.

The compass and the Ba-Gua are two tools given to us by the Feng shui doctrine. The latter is an octagonal grid which identifies five major elements. Use an energy map to define the different areas of your home. This will enable you to connect to your well-being.

Feng shui basics are identified by five elements. They are water, wood, fire, earth and metal. These five elements are used to balance energy in your home. The benefits of feng shui turn a house into a home. It is believed that the ancient art creates a positive mood that creates harmony and balance.

Feng shui basics are completely based on your homes Ba-Gua or energy map. It might edict that you need to improve certain elements in your home by providing water fountains, clocks, crystals, mirrors, or a new color scheme. The direction in which the rooms in your house face is a key factor in determining which of the five elements is needed in a particular room to achieve balance.

Energy isn’t the most important of all feng shui basics. There are two types — Sheng Chui, or positive energy and Sha chi, or negative energy. You can attract positive energy if you create a bright, organized and airy environment. Bring in fresh flowers and plants, add appropriate accent lighting, use purifiers or open up windows.

Clutter is one of the enemies of positive energy and must be addressed if you want to cover yourfeng shui basics. The positive energy needs to flow through a house to create a healthy environment and un organized or messy areas attract negative energy. This can lead to feelings of depression and confusion.

Your homes bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen are major areas to incorporate feng shui basics. The arrangement of beds and other furniture in a bedroom, keeping toilet seats down and doors closed in bathrooms, and having a bright and open design in a kitchen are important feng shui practices in creating a harmonious home.

In the Home or office

Chi needs to flow naturally through your home or office, so nay cluttered spaces usually won’t allow a natural flow of Chi. This is not to say you should clear out everything and create large empty spaces, that would cause Chi to flow too fast through these spaces.  You must understand the principle of Chi if you want Feng Shui in your home. Feng Shui means `wind and water’ and Chi is the energy that flows through all things in nature. People in the western world unwittingly block good chi by the way they design  homes and gardens. Feng Shui can help us unblock those areas.

Keep your home and/or office neat and clean, remove any unused items and anything that is cluttering up your living or working space such as stacks of newspapers, magazines, folders and paperwork.  Suburban living often does not encourage good chi. Houses built at the end of cul-de-sacs or junctions, facing the oncoming road, straight paths leading to the front door, lavatories inside the house, and built-ins in areas that should be kept open and uncluttered, work against us when we try to create harmony in our homes.

Feng Shui is about balance so use your better judgment to make your space more functional and pleasant. If you do this you will feel much better, work better, live better and be well on your way to a more happier and successful life.  The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in your home and the Master Bedroom is considered the most important room.

A bedrooms energy should be more Yin than Yang as Yang energy in the bedroom will keep you awake and/or cause restlessness. For general tips read below and for detailed tips please visit the Feng Shui Bedroom Tips page.  The living room is another very important room, and there are several reasons for this. One reason is the fact that it is generally the room that contains the front door to your home, thus Chi enters your home through this door.

How the Chi is directed and focused here can play a huge role in determining the Feng Shui balance in your home. Therefore the living room should be fairly open and not cluttered, kept clean at all times and be a warm and inviting place, which allow positive energy to flow through to the rest of your home.



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