Feng shui is one of those terms everyone is familiar with, but one no one can quite define. This is hardly a surprise as feng shui is incredibly complex and mysterious in nature and intention. Over time it has developed and progressed into different schools and areas of application. However, if you are able to immerse yourself in the art and embrace its ideology, it can not only improve your home, but alter your life for the better.
The term feng shui literally means “wind” and “water,” and is all about balancing one’s environment in order to bring good karma to your life (or company if it practiced in an office). The fundamentals of feng shui revolve around the relationship between five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. All of these elements affect different areas of one’s life. Feng shui has developed as a lifestyle that brings harmony to one’s life and home.
The History of Feng Shui
Feng shui is an ancient discipline that began in China thousands of years ago. It was originally used to identify safe dwellings that would allow farmers’ crops to flourish and also to determine appropriate burial sites for deceased relatives. As the years went by, it developed into a way to identify suitable locations for palaces, monuments and even entire cities, so that they could thrive and prosper. Although its popularity has waxed and waned over the years, feng shui has always been an integral part of Chinese culture. Today, it is used across the globe for interiors, predictions, and even bettering one’s business or karma, but it will always treasure its Chinese roots.
Shanghai offers a plain example of feng shui. One of the most well-known stories about feng shui’s influence in Shanghai is the dragon pillar at the crossroads of Yan'an Zhong Lu and Chengdu Lu, which serves as the central connection point of the city’s main south-north and east-west highways. Builders and engineers worked on the construction of the highway in the early 1990s, when they ran into a problem connecting the two highways at the center point – they were unable to properly dig a foundation for the largest pillar. Technical engineers and experts from all over the world tried everything they could think of to get the pillar far enough into the ground, but still nothing worked. They finally decided to seek advice from a monk at Longhua Temple who was well versed in feng shui. He identified the “dragon vein” at the center as the problem and explained that nine dragons must be placed on the pillar in order to counteract the dragon that existed underneath. At first no one believed him because the explanation was so unscientific; however, they were able to dig the foundation after heeding his advice and today we can still see the golden dragon pillar under the Yan'an Lu highway.
For a better understanding of feng shui, Mr. Yuan Feng is your man. A feng shui consultant at Shanghai Pathways, Yuan has been consulting across China for over a decade. Although he mainly offers his expertise for private homes, both local and international companies have turned to him for consultations so as to improve their karma, wealth or knowledge in an industry.
When appraising someone’s home, a consultant or master will use antique tools to assist them in directional methods, since the north, south, east and west are key to the fundamentals of feng shui. Yuan is only able to reveal the basics of his trade as the rest are kept secret and never revealed. It is very important for clients to believe in feng shui, or else they will not be able to participate in the consultation. For example, Yuan explains, “In the traditional way, if the client is a couple and the wife does not believe in feng shui, and they are both present for the consultation, the wife has to drink a cup of wine and hold it for the entire process, so that she is unable to say anything that is not good luck.” It is essential to always bring luck and good karma upon the home and to exhibit decorum.
Yuan believes that families in particular can benefit from the art of feng shui in their homes. It can help the essence of a home; however, it cannot solve all the complex problems of a family. “We believe that feng shui is part of the solution, but still you need to work together as a family in order to have good outcomes,” he explains. By altering the positioning of their room and bed in the home, feng shui can also help couples improve fertility if they are trying to start a family.
In recent years feng shui has grown increasingly popular in China and consultants are widely available. However, Yuan cautions that one must be careful when hiring a feng shui consultant or master. “There are few people who really can access the true information and techniques, so there are frauds in the field. In the past development of the feng shui technique, there have been gaps and breaks, so you don’t get the right information if you don’t follow a true teacher.”
What You Can Do in Your Home
- When buying a new home, a road should never lead directly to your front door as this brings bad luck. The road in front of your home should also not curve in a semi-circle away from your front door.
- Your apartment should not neighbor a building that is made completely of glass. The glass from the next-door building will reflect into your home and this also brings bad luck.
- A mirror in the bedroom should never face directly towards the bed, nor should one face directly towards a door in the bathroom.
- The front door should also never be placed directly in front of the end of a stairwell.
- Do not have fake flowers in your home; everything should bring real life into your home.
- Every home has a different directional system that is associated with a meaning, such as wealth, love or wisdom. It is important for different family members to be placed in rooms that correlate to the element they most want to achieve. (This is different for every home and a feng shui master will need to be consulted.)
> Shanghai Pathways (www.shanghaipathways.com) represents a group of feng shui consultants who have had extensive training and expertise in feng shui, geomancy, space clearing and building analysis. With years of customer service experience, they provide their clients with a superior feng shui service. (189 1793 9860)