Feng Shui (Geomancy) aka Chinese Metaphysics " Wind Water "
Feng Shui is the traditional Chinese art and science of living in harmony with the environment. Deeply rooted in Chinese culture and Taoist philosophy, it is a way of seeing and interacting with the energy or vital force ( called Qi in Chinese term ) of the universe.
The external environment is an important factor in determining the Feng Shui of a building. If the surrounding environment is untenable, we need not go further to examine the floor plan and architectural details. For example, a house situated at the edge of a cliff with waves crashing in from the sea will be buffeted by destructive energy or Qi despite having excellent floor plans and a good geomantic chart.
The characteristics of the environment are strongest determinants of the Feng Shui of a particular place or site, because they carry the energy or Qi of nature. Moreover, they are the most difficult to change. Removing the natural features is not integral to the ethics of Feng Shui. If the natural features carry too much destructive energy, we should respect that and leave it alone rather than try to compete with it. There are broadly three important factors in evaluating the environment : finding protection, avoid destructive energy or Qi, and receiving benevolent energy or Qi.
Once one is satisfied with the Feng Shui of the environment surrounding the house, the next step is to examine the internal environment of the building, that is, the shape of the house, its general appearance, the floor plan, and the interior architectural features.
In assessing the internal environment, we will start with the aspects that are the most difficult to change - the shape and the general appearance of the house. If these features are untenable, there is no point in proceeding further.
Generally, the Chinese geomantic compass or Luo Pan has twenty-four directions and many layers of concentric rings where the different formulae are used to measure or identify different aspects into the mix to establish its auspiciousness. The concentric rings therein vary according to different school of practice. Essentially, there are the San Yuan ( Three Periods ) System, San He ( Three Harmony ) System, Combination System, Yang Gong System and other hybrid variations system adopted by the practitioners drawing upon the foregoing mainstream schools. Given the commonly used 24 directions ( also called mountains ), each of the 24 divisions make up 15 degrees and in turn every three divisions representing the geomantic directions which correspond to one of the eight cardinal or sub-cardinal compass directions. Thus each "major division" which comprises of three "minor divisions" make up one complete cardinal or sub-cardinal compass directions. In this case, a major division covers 45 degrees and a minor division cover a narrower 15 degrees. Furthermore, a micro-division can be 5.625 degree and nano-division can be 0.9375 of a degree. I will leave it as that to avoid technicality and to stay at the simplicity level.
Survey maps can tell us much about the terrain of the land, including information about the elevations and geographic features. Knowing how to read survey maps can help one to narrow down your choices of building plots before visiting them. The final decision on selecting a building site, however, should be made only after you have walked around each potential site.
Survey maps are sometimes called topographic maps or contour maps, because the information about elevation (or altitude ) is depicted by contours. Contours are lines joining parts of the land that have equal elevations. The interval between contours will depend on the range of altitude in the area covered by the map. The contour interval may be small ( ten feet ) in an area with a small range of elevation ( within one hundred feet ) or large ( one hundred feet ) in area with a large range of elevation ( between one thousand and eight thousand feet ). A peak or high point typically is marked by a cross or an ' X ' with its altitude ( in feet or meters ) printed next to it.
We can derive a general idea of the elevation of an area by looking at the proximity of the contour lines. The closer the contour lines are to each other, the steeper the slope. We also can evaluate the steepness of the terrain by taking a cross-sectional profile of the land across the contour lines.
The concept of "Wind and Water" as a compound term to describe the multiple meanings and depth of Feng Shui is extremely abstract yet amazingly insightful. For numerous century ago, Feng Shui Practitioners or scholarly alike have known that strong winds, whether cold or hot, have significant negative effects on our health and behaviour. Mild winds or a light breeze, on the other hand, are energising and refreshing and are good for our healthy well being.
All humans and animals have an aura that is the electromagnetic fields expanded from the body. The aura usually consists of the seven colours of the rainbow. It cannot be seen with our naked eyes and is normally regarded as our spiritual body or sensor which gives us early warning when we are affected by harmful fields of energies which we cannot see, such as radiation or electromagnetic fields. When a strong wind blows towards us, our aura begins to flutter and move violently like the branches of a tree.
Similarly, when we are consistently blown by strong winds, we feel uncomfortable and sometimes become dizzy and begin to lose our balance. Also, when the wind is calm or blowing gently and smoothly, birds fly down from their nests to feed. This is also the time when worms and insects come our of hiding to feed and begin their activities. If suddenly, the wind begins to change and blows fiercely, which can be observed in the violent movements of tree branches, all birds disappear and return to their nests to seek protection from the winds.
Living in a house, we may not be able to feel the strong winds outside because of glass windows and wall shelter us from strong winds. Though we cannot physically experience or feel the strong physical winds, the subtle second level of energy created by the strong winds is able to penetrate the glass or wall and cause subtle disturbance to our aura and render it imbalance.
Running or moving water from a lake, river or stream causes friction, which generates electromagnetic fields that good cosmic Qi and oxygen. It is a good feeling to be near moving water, and we can design the main door of our house to face the water to receive the maximum Qi benefits. Care, however, should be taken not to face the direct strong flow of a fast moving river because the strong water energy propelled by the water currents is overpowering and can be harmful to human health. Moving water attracts cosmic Qi and is an essential element in Feng Shui practice. Chinese liken water to wealth and luck.
Water barriers like rocks and dams are often built to slow down fast moving rivers so that the maximum benefits from the Qi energy can be reaped. Smooth and slow flowing water that is most beneficial to humans should not flow faster than 1m every 8 seconds.
When we are in an open environment, near a waterfall, fountain or running stream, we will feel happy and fully energised. But when we are in an enclosed environment like the inside of a building, not all of us feel comfortable near an indoor waterfall, fountain, or even a fish aquarium.
There is often a saying in the Chinese community that said : "To become a millionaire, hire a Consultant; To become a Billionaire, be very sure to hire a Feng Shui Master". But the catch is : Can one tell a Genuine from fake Feng Shui Master ?
Though Feng Shui in the last ten years has been become more accepted by the western countries and English-educated audiences, suddenly a demand for instant courses like a week-end courses will turn one into a "certified practice" recognition just like a "driver's license" after attending it. This is simply amazing given the fact that such authentic feng shui knowledge and practice was once highly guarded and only confined to the imperial court.
In these modern days of hype-marketing practices, many commercially-minded proponents quickly seize such opportunity to capture the "wants" of such "quick-success oriented hungry customers". On the one hand, credit must be given for their entrepreneurial spirit in this age of capitalistic mindsets. On the other hand, in life, the best lessons learned is to pay for one's mistakes, if they ever learned from it at all.
At the end of the day, the decision still lies with the beholder. My advice would be : Though some form of advertising is important to make yourself heard of your forte, but overly zealous broadcasting is likened to, especially in the field of Chinese Metaphysics, "a good wine need no bush". And let the results speak for itself by your strongest advocates - your past successful clients.
Ancient Feng Shui