is a simple and profound technique employed by
the early Chinese to tap into the powerful energies of the surroundings
so as to attain harmony with the heavens , the environment and man himself.
The word Feng Shui , literally means ‘wind’ and ‘water’. Being the basic
components for atmosphere, the combination of these two factors forms the
atmospheric influences affecting man and which is so crucial to lifeforms
as none of the principal requirements of life can be produced or sustained
without favorable clime.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art and science first developed some 4500
years ago. It is a complex system based on the philosophies of change
derived from the I Ching or book of Wisdom. This system also encompasses
keen observation and experimentation combining elements of astronomy,
astrology, physics, geology, mathematics, philosophy, common sense and intuition.
Feng shui is sometimes referred to as the study of the environment in relation
to the buildings, people , time and how the cosmic breath or Qi of each
interact and react.
It can be defined as a quasi science supposedly to teach man to live exclusively
and under the auspicious and favorable influences of nature. Hence it is about
harnessing the potent energy and intangible forces of nature to enhance the luck
of one’s property.
Feng Shui can also be describe as a form of ‘earth wisdom'. Used to be an
exclusivity for the few and rich , it is rapidly becoming a standard practice
for the common people to adopt and create an ideal and beneficial environment
in which to live and work.
The philosophy of Feng Shui is used by many cultures via different approaches.
Various art forms stem from its roots and numerous rituals were performed
in man’s belief in the power of the universe and harnessing its forces for his
own use. This belief can also be found in the practices employed by the early
Malays and Indians as in Tiang Sri by the former and Vastu Shastra by the
latter in their construction and building techniques.
The forces often referred to as the cosmic breath or Qi is regularly sought
before a dwelling is constructed or renovated. There is however two different
kinds of Qi - one being the favorable and auspicious ‘Sheng Qi ‘ and the other
the inauspicious Qi or 'Sha Qi ‘. Tapping into 'sheng Qi ‘ will bring about
wealth, happiness, well being and success whereas coming into 'sha Qi ‘ will
bring forth misfortunes, bad luck and even grave danger, illness and death .
Your own Qi is marked at the time of your birth where the cosmic energy
surrounding the environment are reacting and interacting at a certain confluence.
Thus the year of your birth is a vital source of information. The energy you
were born into determines to what degree your life force is compatible to
that of other people and more importantly to your home and property ‘s Qi.
A master practitioner’s goal is to adjust your environmental Qi to best suit
you. This is the reason why reputable Feng Shui masters will always tell you
that Feng Shui can be tailored towards your needs.
Known also as ‘Bio energy’ in the West , the promotion of this energy as a
form of healing process is similar to what modern physics now embraces, a
unifying force of all things. Pythegoras, Hipocrates and Isaac Newton all
believe in Qi and its unique power. Dr Harold Saxton Burr, a professor of
anatomy and neuro anatomy who taught at Yale University school of Medicine from
1914 to 1964 is one of the first credible western advocate on the recognition of
Qi and its immense power. A distinguished researcher in the fields of neurology
and bio - electricity, Dr Burr concluded that there existed ‘L fields'
(life force fields) that act as blueprints for developing organisms and
that these fields connect the organisms to the universe.
Qi is various. It has been described as the air we breathe. It is the earth’s
magnetic field, the sun’s light, our spirit and quite simply , the underlying
essence of all things , tangible or intangible. It is an all encompassing, all
permeating unifying force . Both physical and metaphysical, and together with
the principal of numbers , Qi is the vital driving force at the heart of the
universe . Each trigram or hexagram or star number denotes a state of being - a
microcosm. A simple change in the energy forces in the masses of land forms on
earth can bring about a change to the successes or failures of man, especially
so when some of the rules of Feng Shui are believed to be specific to individuals
. From these fundamentals , a somewhat complex system of harnessing the energies
Feng Shui in its current mode has evolved to be both an science and art.
The science comes from the various calculations and methodologies used in
analyzing a property. The art of Feng Shui is the wisdom acquired from
performing a multitude of analysis and knowing the exact remedies , enhancements
, strengthening and activation to apply .
The I Ching or book of wisdom , was first written by Fu Hsi in China over
5000 years ago. Providing the foundation and philosophical basis for Feng Shui,
the I Ching is the first known attempt by the early Chinese to study lifeforms
and formulate a system of knowledge around the interplay of opposites i.e. the
Ying and Yang . It is a complex system of understanding the patterns of change
in our universe which affects the health, relationships and livelihood of man
in continuous cycles of change. These patterns of energies and their
transformation were symbolically recorded in the form of solid (yang) lines
and broken (yin) lines called trigrams and hexagrams. Thus the eight
fundamental trigrams of the Pa Kua were formed.
Feng Shui - being based on the principle of Yin and Yang , denotes balance,
harmony, consistent change, and the interdependency of all things and which
are among the few of the deep meanings within this simple representation.
The yang represents heat and light and is rising while the Yin represents cold
and darkness and is descending. And where the Yang is represented by the solid
line or a higher number of solid lines whereas the Yin is represented by a
broken line or lines .
In the study of energy, color is the reflection of light and energy, and where
there is no light (represented by white) , there is no visible color. And
without light, everything will be dark, which is represented by black.
Black is therefore another basic component for mixing, blending and toning
all other colors. As such these two colors are the origin of all colors where
white is considered Yang and black Yin. This attribute is exhibited in the Pa
kua Tai Chi where the center houses the Tai Chi circle and where the white
encompasses the black dot and vice versa, thus showing the interrelation between
the Yin and Yang.
The Pa Kua Tai Chi
Shown above, the image represents the true orientation of the Yin and Yang
where Yang representing heat rises on the left (or East) and reaches its peak
at the top (South) . Yin on the other hand represents coolness and therefore
descends on the right (West) and reaches its maximum at the bottom (North).
A common 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 the Yin there is a
seed of Yang waiting to arise and within Yang there is a Yin waiting to descend.
This analogy can be applied to time, seasons, directions, and all other cycles of
So, why is yin and yang so important in feng shui? It is. If yin and yang
are not balanced in your environment, this imbalance can produce unwanted
emotional and physical effects caused by the Qi that moves through the cyclic
changes of the yin and yang. This movement of the Qi is the result of the
interaction of the five phases or elements.
What are these five elements? There are metal, wood , water, fire and earth.
The operative word here is phases. The movement, transformation and the
interaction of each phase are what that is studied, not the element itself.
A rock, a tree, a human being ,a microcosm are actually bundles of intertwining
energy, phase interacting (Einstein proved this !)
Each of these phases has its own Qi characteristics and thus interacts with
other phases in different ways. Just as fire Qi rises, water Qi falls, earth
Qi revolves, metal Qi contracts, and wood Qi expands. To what degree and how
the five phases interact with one another determines the balance of Qi in our
surroundings and in our beings.
There are various schools of thought of feng shui with the two common and widely
accepted ones being the ‘ form ‘ school and the ‘compass’ school. Both of
these schools share a lot of similarities and are nor separate approaches to
the subject. Detailed knowledge of both schools of thought needs to be
integrated for the results of a consultation to prove successful.
Basically the form school techniques deals with an understanding of the
interrelated energy created by the different shapes and thus elements of
the landscapes and buildings in the vicinity of a particular property ,
as well as the comprehension of the flow of energy both toward and into a
building. The compass school of thought deals with a similar understanding
of the energies and focuses on the energies created within buildings
through actions such as arrangements and placements of things inside and around
The environmental aspects are what most people can immediately think of when
they consider feng shui. Things such as not having sharp corners pointed at
them and not living near or under high tension power lines, t junctions etc,
are but a few of common examples that everyone either knows or can understand.
Other environmental aspects such as living next to or below an elevated
highway or close to a construction site are also considered unfavorable.
All and more of these are what needs to be examined during a consultation and
How are the principles of feng shui applied? With an indepth understanding
and application of a set of theories and complex calculations and taking into
account the physical relationship between the environment and the magnetic
fields of the earth , a blueprint is established and acted upon.
Going through a whole process of identification , matching , application and
the subsequent phenomenon (IMAP) , the feng shui master first observes the
environment and using a LO pan (Chinese compass) he proceeds to determine
the orientation of the property . Once the orientation is ‘identified’ ,
calculations and analysis is then completed according to the various principles
based on a determination of the energy characteristics within the property and
its resulting effects and energies being ‘matched ‘ with that of the occupants
for suitability and adaptation. Cures and antidotes, enhancements and
activation are then recommended to suppress any bad manifestations and to
expand the auspicious energies so necessary for better health, wealth and harmony.
Normally a phenomenon of sorts will take place upon full and proper implementation
of the recommendations .
Today , feng shui is becoming more prevalent not only in the East and orient,
but also the West. This can be attributed to the fact that more and more
people are becoming aware of how their environment can and affects them.
The health effects of the high tension power lines is but one example of
how people are cognizant of their environment and its relationship to their
health and well being. Unfortunately, a lot of hearsay and misunderstandings
as to what Feng Shui truly is has also become commonplace.
While some 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 is not a
product of any superstitious or religious belief system but rather a way of
creating harmony in the real world of nature’s auspicious and inauspicious
influences that constantly affect everyone. It is an understanding and a
knowledge used for the harnessing of positive energies.
When properly applied feng shui can bring about improvements in various aspects
of our lives such as better wealth, health and harmony.