Feng Shui Basics
What is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art which prescribes the way of living in a state of harmony and balance with the physical environment and the intangible, in order to enjoy good fortune. It is neither magic nor a spiritual practice. Feng Shui is best practised as an art that requires judgement and interpretation. It is a technique for arranging your living space and managing your surroundings. Feng Shui prescribes auspicious orientations for harnessing the metaphysical forces that surround us.
There are various definitions of Feng Shui. The ancient Chinese discovered that different kinds of energies exist in our environment. These energies are natural forces or Qi existing in our surroundings and have significant impact our daily life. Some of these forces are good energies and some are bad forces. If we live in good location to receive the good energies, our health and finance will improved. Conversely, if we subject ourselves to the influence of bad energies, it will increase the chances of encountering misfortunes.
Therefore, Feng Shui i an art of living in harmony with the environment. A good practice of Feng Shui in our residence or workplace will help to create a harmonious, healthy and prosperous environment. Application of Feng Shui is subtle, simple and graceful. Its effect can be immediate and powerful.
Feng Shui is an ancient science that can be easily and effectively adapted to the modern living environment. Feng Shui cannot bring you overnight success, but it can enhance your good fortune, just it can it can mitigate your misfortune.
"Feng Shui" literally means wind and water. The combined influence of both wind and water has an impact on the surface landscape. The basis of Feng Shui is viewed as an art of environmental science and not superstition. The environment comprises the physical and intangible environment which can affect the Feng Shui of a house. The physical environment is one that can be seen and touched, whilst the intangible environment is more abstract and directional. The latter consists of Yin and Yang forces at play and the interactions amongst the Five Elements, namely, Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth, which react and affect human lives.
In an urban environment, it is difficult to find a house which has an ideal natural setting, and hence the first thing we need to do when choosing a house or an apartment is to examine the surrounding landscape assess its physical as well as intangible attributes.
Ideally, this would be in comformity with the Four Celestial Animals Formation. The Green Dragon on the left represents the central requirement of good landscape and the White Tiger on the right should merge with the Green Dragon to create auspicious energy. The Black Tortoise at the back provides a solid backing which acts as support and protection. The Red Pheonix in the front should be low-lying and flat, which signifies a life of ease and luxury. In the landform school of Feng Shui, the perfect topographical configuration in which to build a house is in the shape of an armchair.
Today, it is difficult to select a house with such an ideal configuration. Therfore, urban features are sometimes taken into consideration to represent the different landforms. Mountains may be represented by highrise buildings, and water may be represented by roads and open ground.
Energy flowing inside a building is said to be invisible because it can only be revealed and charted using special tools such as Luo Pan. The intangible forces are abstract and directional in characteristics, guided by the principles of Yin and Yang, Luo Shu arrangements and the Five Elements comprising Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. The Compass School system studies the flow of energy within a structure and how it affects the occupants. Together with the time element and landforms the Compass School of Feng Shui takes into consideration the other abstract aspects of the environmental energy to enhance a person's good fortune and health. It is not possible to control the energy of the entire universe at large. However, the art of Feng Shui enables us to design our personal environment according to the same universal principles of energy flow by which the planets and galaxies move.
It gives us a way of improving our circumstances by paying close attention to specific areas controlled by Heaven, Earth and Humans and designing our buildings and environment to provide the best alignment possible. Feng Shui cannot create good fortune on its own and requires certain activation and enhancement of elements. The trinity of luck comes with three Chinese characters representing Heaven, Earth and Human.
Heavenly luck is bestowed by Heaven and is not within anyone's control. To ensure a greater chance of prosperity and good fortune, any plan shoild be carried out during a proper or auspicious time for heavenly luck. Earthly luck is within our control and comes from the environment. It gets strengthened when the Feng Shui of one's surroundings is auspicious. The good fortune of Earthly luck can be harnessed through the powerful and positive positioning of our physical environment on Earth. Human luck is also within our control; our good fortune can be enhanced with hard work, a positive attitude and a determined outlook. To create a better chance of success in our projects, we need to have the right people around us to support us in our efforts and bless us with human luck. Man does not have much control over his luck and destiny, but he can improve his quality of life to some extent through doing some charitable deeds. Despite the limitations Feng Shui's influence over some elements beyond Man's control, the art of Feng Shui is by far one of the most effective tools in promoting greater balance between the environment, people, time and space.
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