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Demystifying Feng Shui

May 04, 2006

By Marites Allen

Many thanks to those who took time in sending e-mails to me regarding our previous article on Feng shui must not? Or must have?. I treasure all your positive comments and inquiries for feng shui consultations. My team at the World of Feng Shui and myself, will endeavor to respond to your inquiries soonest. At this point however, I am very inspired with the e-mail of Brother Munding and wish to share with you the content as follows:

—— Original Message —— From: Edmundo P. Cabujat To: philippines@worldoffengshui.com
Sent: Monday, April 03, 2006 4:17 PM
Subject: Congratulations.

Dear Marites Allen,

Greetings to you!
Congratulations to the maiden issue of your column "Getting Lucky" published by Standard Today dated March 30, 2006. I like the topic you chose regarding "Feng shui consultation"—must not or must have.
Thank you for the tips you wrote in your article, for me it was a great guidance in feng shui selections and quality. Please continue writing more about this subject for the benefits of the feng shui users.
More power to you.

Sincerely

Bro Munding

Thank you very much again Brother Munding, I am looking forward to meeting you one day. In the meantime, let me share to you and to the rest of the readers the topic I choose for this week— Demystifying feng shui.

(Part 1 of two parts)

Despite its long history, the term feng shui still raises a myriad of questions from a lot of people, whether believers or nonbelievers. Here's an attempt to take the mystery out of feng shui—by sharing what it really is, what it isn't, and how its proper application can help us achieve greater success and happiness in this beautiful, albeit imperfect world.

Feng shui is an ancient science that has its roots in the Chinese philosophy that all things on Earth are categorized into five basic elements—wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Among these elements, there exists a productive or destructive cycle, such as when water produces wood, which produces fire, and so on. On the other hand, fire destroys metal, which in turn destroys wood, etc. Another aspect of the philosophy is that all matter in the universe can have either Yin or Yang attributes. Yang attributes include man, light, warm, active, etc. Yin things include, woman, dark, cold, passive, etc. They are complementary, rather than conflicting attributes. In simpler and more practical terms, feng shui helps us situate our homes particularly our doors through which the chi enters, and arrange our furniture or our luck symbols to enhance our living spaces and attract good fortune. Although feng shui promises much in terms of bringing material and physical well-being to those who arrange their living and work environment according to its principles, it should not be mistaken for a form of magic. It is neither a spiritual practice that creates miracle nor overnight success, thus, contrary to some claims, it does not violate any religious belief.

A better understanding of feng shui logically starts with knowing how its concept and practice evolved through the years.

Feng shui and its different schools—how did they originate?

According to the extensive research of my mentor, world-renowned writer and master on feng shui, Ms. Lilian Too, there are many different schools of feng shui that have been successfully preserved and which have made it through the present time. Ms. Too shares that there are many lineage holders in the long history of feng shui, but the legendary emperors and ancient masters Fu Hsi and Huang Ti (also known as the Yellow Emperor), were the names strongly associated with it. Legend has it that the Yellow Emperor had lost his way while pursuing a bandit chief who managed to hide under a thick fog. The Lady of the Nine Heavens or the Goddess of feng shui came to the rescue of the Yellow Emperor and revealed to him the secrets and techniques of the compass or Luo Pan. The compass was a tremendous help to the Yellow Emperor in finding and defeating his enemies. Since then, the compass device has progressively improved and it became a most invaluable tool during the Chou dynasty. The succeeding rule of King Wen and his grandson combined the knowledge of the compass with that of the I Ching ( Book of Changes), which contains the basis of changes in our universe and its different energies. This helped establish the concepts of the wordly and divine clairvoyance and eventually formulated the different fundamentals of feng shui. The compass is the most important tool in practicing feng shui and it has been used quite extensively in conjunction with the powerful oracle—the Book of Changes, which in turn, is incorporated in to the Pa Kua—an eight-sided symbol that contains the early and later heaven arrangement of the I Ching's eight root trigrams. Thus, the Luo Pan could identify places that have auspicious and inauspicious chi. It has become an invaluable tool in determining remedies for inauspicious chi and harnessing continuous good fortune. This became the science and practice of feng shui and the Luo Pan became an invaluable compass.

Feng shui and the Chinese dynasties

Further research by Ms. Too has indicated that after the Yellow Emperor's term and all through the different imperial dynasties, the practice of feng shui continued to evolve into a much more developed level. Ancient masters introduced different formulas during the time of the Sung dynasty. In those times, the recognized experts were highly regarded by the emperor's court and under imperial patronage, the practice of feng shui has been a much sought-after skill. During the rule of the Mongols after the fall of Sung dynasty, the practice of feng shui was ignored, but then the Chinese citizens continued its practice.

The Ming Dynasty

A hundred years later, a Chinese peasant named Chu Yuan Chuan, founded the Ming dynasty. Different tales came about during Chu's role in the rise and fall of feng shui. It was also during this time that Emperor Chu persecuted the Taoist practitioners of feng shui and as a result, this school of feng shui disappeared. Many fake feng shui texts were said to have been written and the Ming dynasty has developed new styles and orientations. During this period, feng shui was "invented" with the introduction of the Sarn Yuan (three-cycle system). Each cycle is made up of a 20-year period, thus, the complete cycle will last for 60 years. This has become the basis of the flying star or Zuan Kong system of feng shui, which is widely used today by masters in Hong Kong and Taiwan. However, during the later part of the Ming period, feng shui took on a bad name as "fake" masters and books were said to have circulated.

The Ching period

The Ming period feng shui was criticized highly by the Ching dynasty experts. This has resulted in a strong movement to move back to the more theoretical approach used by the Sung practitioners. (Continued next week)

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