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Feng Shui

I have been a student of Feng Shui for almost 30 years. Feng shui literally means wind and water in Chinese. It is the art and science of how our environment and surroundings affect us and our destiny. A feng shui master is like an acupuncturist for houses. Energy flows into and around our homes and offices, just like in the human body. The placement of furniture, doors and objects affect the flow of the qi or life force energy in the space. Instead of using acupuncture needles to correct a qi flow imbalance, there is a system of cures. Either furniture is moved around or objects are placed in specific places to alter the type and flow of the energy. These objects and their colors are associated with the 5 elements. You can read more about these 5 transformations of energy in my book “Love Your Organs, Love Yourself”

Some more advanced schools have a system that is based on the directions and uses compass readings. And they often have very specific requirements for where the front door should be placed. The simplified method that is often practiced in the West and that you can learn from books is using a diagram called the Bagua that divides a home into 9 areas with a 3 by 3 square. The entire house can be plotted on the bagua, but so can an individual room, even your work desk can be divided into these area to allow for better flow. I wonder if it can be done with a computer desktop?

So visualize a 3 by 3 square, like a tic tac toe board. There are 3 squares on the bottom. Align the front door of your house to this row (or your room) and see which of the 3 it opens up into. That has to do with the energy you are welcoming into your house.

The lower left square is the knowledge corner and has to do with self cultivation as it has to do with earth energy. It has to do with the cultivation of knowledge, skill building and contemplation or meditation. To enhance this energy use darker colors like grees and blues. Have art that connotes stillness and contemplation. It is a good place to have books, or as a personal retreat. Maybe your computer can be placed here.

The square on the bottom middle has to do with the water element and relates to your career and life journey. The water element symbolizes cash flow, thus the presence of aquariums in many Chinese restaurants. You might want a vessel of water or a fountain here or artwork depicting water. Mirrors can bring in the water energy. There is even a trick with mirrors that if some bad energy or sha is directed at a room, like a sharp corner from someones house or a cell phone tower, you can face a mirror towards the wall to defect it. The color here is black or very dark blue.

The bottom right square has to do with travel and helpful friends.So it represents getting out into the world, making things happen, your ability to give and receive help and to create synchronicities. It is the metal element and is helped by grays and pastel hues. To enhance this energy have globes, maps or travel souvenirs. Have photos or artwork of people you have made a difference in your life or you in theirs. Or even photos of symbols of people you would like to attract. Crystals and metal objects can help bring the metal energy here.

The square in the middle of the left side is of the wood element and has to do with new beginnings and family. So work on this area if you are beginning new projects or trying to strengthen family ties. It has to do with growth, strength, flexibility and vitality as well as your ancestors. Good colors here are greens and blues. For enhancing this area you can have plants, botanical art, green items, or things made of wood. It is a good place for family photos. And vertical items like floor lamps and columns help wood, you know like a tree. A common feng shui cure it to hang a wooden flute above a door.

The square in the very middle of the Bagua that doesn’t touch the outer walls is the earth element and the health section, both physical and emotional. It has to do with unity, connectedness, balance and stability. The colors are yellows and earth tones, and since earth rules stomach it is a good place for food or having earthenware or ceramics. Things of a square shape are helpful here. This is a good area to keep open for qi flow and balance in the whole house.

The middle of the right side is also metal and has to do with children, joy and the future. So for instance if the parents bedroom were here and the child’s bedroom was in the marriage corner, then the children could rule the home. If you couldn’t swap bedrooms, then you use the cures to alter the energy in these rooms. Even if you don’t have physical children, it has to do with your legacy. Whites and light pastels are the colors here. Have things that symbolize a completed project like a vision board. To enhance the energy have rounded things like ovals or circular shapes or archways.

The rear left corner is a popular one, it is the wealth and prosperity corner. So it has to do with finances, abundance and gratitude. Purples and golds are good colors here. Because it is a growth energy it is ruled by wood. Have things here that represent what you are grateful for or that symbolize prosperity. I had a deck on this area of my house, so I put a wind chime there to stimulate energy.

The far middle square has to do with fame and reputation. How others see you as well as your own self confidence, which of course are linked. This section is ruled by the fire element, so corresponds to the color red. Triangle shapes have to do with fire, like a flame. So you can use lighting or candles to generate more fire here. Animals have to do with fire, so you can have art or photos of animals or have something leather in this section of your building.

The far right corner is another favorite to make corrections in as it has to do with relationships and marriage. It is used to enhance or attract relationships and build self esteem, as what we feel about ourself is reflected in the relationships we attract. It is the earth element and not only has to do with your most important romantic relationship but with mother earth and whatever you are devoted to. A rosy pink is a good color here. So use images that reflect intimate relationships or have things in pair. I found that my marriage would improve after we would clear clutter from this corner and maybe put flowers here. Clutter is a sign the area of the house or room is stagnated, so regularly clear it out.

As I said, wind chimes are a way to stimulate energy in an area that gets stuck. Having a fish bowl or tank can generate life in a stagnant area just make sure the water is kept clear.

The subconscious mind is taken into account in feng shui. If you are lying in bed, you want a view of the door so you know if someone is coming in.But if it is impossible to move the bed, use a mirror. If you have a work desk, you don’t want a window right behind you, so that you won’t be seen well, as that weakens you.

If there is a corner or section of your house that is missing or has the corner of another house facing towards it, that is when you use cures like wind chimes or hanging crystals.

Hanging a faceted glass crystal is a great way to help balance energy in a room. There is a ritual that you measure the string in 9’s like 9 inches or 9 centimeters and say the mantra Om mani padme hum 9x while visualizing what you wants this rooms energy to be.

Living at the end of a cul de sac is considered a difficult energy and you may want to put something like a bush or tree in front of the front door so the neighbors energy doesn’t overwhelm you. If you have a bedroom above a garage there is a feeling of being unsupported and you may come and go a lot. A split level house has a split energy and you may be confused if you should have the main energy going up or down, so you may want an object like a fan or statue in front the down level to encourage people to enter the main living space.

I was in a cycle of not being busy at work and I had a professional feng shui practitioner make corrections to my office. Besides the crystal on the fishing line and a wooden flute over a door that didn’t go anywhere, she had me turn the supplements on the shelfs to face the office staff away from the patients and then had me take bird seed from my front desk and scatter it all the way to the road at the entrance to my driveway. I must admit, very soon thereafter I was as busy as I wanted to be.

People are often skeptical how changing things in your outer surrounding can change things in other areas of your life. But when you see how the macrocosm is reflected in the microcosm it makes perfect sense. Once you make a change in your environment and see how that area is effected in your life, it makes sense to take these things into account. After all it has worked for the Chinese for thousands of years.

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