1. What is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is the practice of planning and design using the forces of Energy (also called Qi) that surround us in the environment.
In nature, Energy is directed, collected, contained and dissipated by forms such as mountains, valleys, and bodies of water.
In a city, buildings, roads, landscaping and other man-made constructions influence the flow of Energy.
Within a building Feng Shui is represented by interior forms such as corridors, rooms and furnishings. (Quote from alliancefengshui.com)
Commentary: This knowledge has been accumulated by the Chinese over centuries since the start of their civilisation some 4,000 years ago. This has evolved over the ages and kept pace with modern times.
The central tenet of Feng Shui is the flow of Energy in the Environment. The key to successful Feng Shui is for the city or property to accumulate this Energy with the minimum of loss.
Feng Shui can be a very effective tool for helping people to create harmonious working and living environments, which can also bring about other changes for the better as a consequence. But it helps develop wealth, health or happiness. Feng Shui is not magic, neither spiritual nor religious. It is the understanding of the movement of Energy on the surface of the Earth.
2. A Short Description Of Feng Shui
Definition or Short Form: Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese science of land management using the Energy of forces of nature to enhance buildings and wellbeing of people.
3. What Is The Modern Day Purpose Of Feng Shui?
It is easier to refer to the business sector as the results are out in the public domain.
a. Minimise risk as the business wants certainty.
For example: you want the results but minimise risk.
Gaming or gambling companies do not want to lose money. Or they cannot afford to lose. They mitigate their risk by having Feng Shui done on their offices and their sites. Most of the hotels in Las Vegas have had Feng Shui work done.
b. To maximise returns or gain a competitive advantage.
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) then based in Hong Kong, was just another regional bank in the Far East. In 1980s, it had global ambitions. It built a Head Office in Hong Kong to succeed. It is now, one of the major banks in the world with the head offices in Canary Wharf, London.
In the 1990s, Tesco had an aggressive strategy to become the leading supermarket in the UK. They had their new offices and superstores designed with Feng Shui. Their market share increased from 15 to 31% of the UK market.
In the 1970s, Walmart was a regional supermarket in the South of the USA. In the 1980s, they had ambitions to be the leader in the Grocery sector. Their HQ and various stores were designed with Feng Shui. Walmart is now a behemoth in US Grocery Retailing with the headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, USA.
4. What Was The Original Purpose Of Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is the accumulated knowledge of the Chinese Civilisation which started some 4,000 years ago. They started to live in dwellings on the land and their main concern was survival. The main considerations was security (from predators and other tribes), safety from the nature, how to grow the crops, sources of water and methods to get rid of waste. The Chinese documented their observations so that they would not repeat any mistakes and also, find ways to improve the environment for the better well-being of the people.
This wealth of knowledge developed over the centuries. The Chinese Emperors used it to help them rule over the centuries. Feng Shui was used in the design of the infrastructure which was important for the prosperity of the people. A version of Feng Shui (QiMen DunJia) helped them gain victories in battles.
5. Why Is There No Equivalent Of Feng Shui In The West?
I had a number of conversations with farmers in the UK. They believe there is a history of land management that goes back centuries. This system is very much like the Chinese – where to have safe dwelling, where the best arable farm land is, where to get water and place the waste. This was not documented as not many people could read or write then. One farmer speculated that this was because of the influence of the Church. Those who could read and write were from the Church and were more concerned with spiritual matters.
The nearest Western equivalent to Feng Shui is Terroir. This is the set of Environmental factors that affect the growth of the vine and the taste of the grapes for the wine.
Commentary: Based on logic, when man settled to become farmers, they must have developed a set of rules to have safe communities. This knowledge must have been handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. The knowledge would have been lost as it is not written. Chinese civilization was more advanced to the West until the 19th Century. Documentation was common and after it was used by the Emperor to enhance his powers. Feng Shui was then developed to become a sophisticated subject.
6. What is Traditional Feng Shui?
Traditional Feng Shui is the original knowledge passed down from master to disciple with strong roots dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Ancient methods have been adapted, tested and proven for effective use in the 21st century.
With Traditional Feng Shui, it is the tradition for the Master to pass down the knowledge to the disciple. The handing down of the Master’s practice skills is on a one-to-one basis; from one generation to the next. The Master has been using the practice skills that have been proven and established not only from his time but also from his lineage Masters.
The Master then mentors his disciples through an apprenticeship to a full trained consultant. This process can take hundreds of hours of the Master’s time lasting 10 years or more. The Master only allows the disciple to practise using the Master’s name after he is confident of doing the job well.
This is very different to the present day Feng Shui teaching which is classroom based. I was a Forensic Scientist at the Metropolitan Police (New Scotland Yard). I was trained as a Court going forensic scientist by trainers who had decades of experience. They taught you proven and reliable methods that had been developed from the Laboratory’s history.
There are University degree courses in Forensic Science. The syllabus is taught by the teachers who have based their knowledge from books or worked previously in Forensic Science Laboratories. These graduates do not practise Forensic Science when they complete the course.
Being taught and being trained are 2 very different things.
7. What Do The Words Feng Shui Mean?
The meaning of the 2 words Feng and Shui. Feng means wind. Shui means water. But together, they mean a Chinese system of Land management. The Chinese use a lot of nick names.
The previous name for Feng Shui was Kan Yu which means management of the land.
8. How Is Feng Shui Justifiable?
Feng Shui is justifiable for the results that can be achieved.
a. Singapore, soon after independence in 1965, a Buddhist Monk – Venerable Hong Choon, worked on the Feng Shui of the city. Singapore is now one of the most prosperous countries per capita in the world.
He also designed the route of the Mass Rapid Transport (underground) system in the 1980s. He is particularly noted for reviving the fortunes of a Hyatt Hotel in Singapore.
In London, Canary Wharf is the 2nd Financial Centre of London. More than 100,000 people work in this prosperous centre. It was designed with Feng Shui from planning stages. Link to Canary Wharf
b. Costco, the American Wholesaler has its stores designed with Feng Shui.
c. Starbucks have located their coffee shops primarily at street corners. In some US cities, there 2 or more in a single street junction or intersection. Similarly, coffee shops in Malaysia and Singapore are also situated there. The Feng Shui Energy is ideal for coffee shops.
9. What Are The Basics Of Feng Shui?
There are three necessary elements – People, Buildings and Energy in the Environment.
Then there are 2 more concepts on top of this Energy.
a. Ying and Yang. This is the concept of duality. The world is not of extremes. It is a balance of Ying and Yang.
b. The Five Elements. The 5 elements being water, wood, fire, earth, metal. The elements are inter-related by their productive, reductive and destructive cycles.
The aim in Feng Shui is to identify the Energy flow in the Environment and the distribution within the property. The more Energy there is, the better the outcomes for the people in the property.
The Energy has certain properties – quality of the Energy changes with time and compass direction. Its flow is determined by the landscape surrounding the property. Likewise, the better the quality of the Energy, the better the outcome for the people.
10. Is There Any Scientific Basis To Feng Shui?
When you state “Scientific Basis”, I assume western science. Feng Shui is not science based as in the tenets of western science.
Chinese Metaphysics like TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), Chinese acupuncture and acupressure are accepted in Western society today. They are reproducible which give the stated and beneficial result but, it is not based on Western science. In other words, it works. If it did not, people will not be going back again. It would be left in the way side. This is an example of evidence based results.
This is the same with Feng Shui. There is no basis in Western Science but it is used by many Corporates, small businesses and households in the West.
11. What Is A Feng Shui Compass?
A Feng Shui compass is known as the Luo Pan. It comprises of 2 parts:
• The compass in the centre of a rotatable plate.
• A plate has a “cheat sheet” or formulae laid out in a circular format around the compass.
It certainly looks impressive but it can be heavy to carry over a long period of time. To use it properly, you to be shown by a teacher to hold it, align it with the object you are measuring against. After the measurement, you are looking at the formulae in the circles for the analysis.
I prefer to use a proper western compass with a print overlay of the main 8 directions and the 24 mountains.
The diameter of the compass component of the Luo Pan is 3.0 cm. The western compass is larger at 3.5cm. The main difference is the western compass needle movement is dampened so the needle movement is more stable and easier to read. It is also small, convenient and unobtrusive.
12. Is Feng Shui Religious, Spiritual, Form Of Superstition, Magic Or A Form Of Ritual?
Feng Shui is about the flow of Energy in the Environment and people within the building. It is the understanding of nature.
It is a logical process.
It is not a religion as you do not need to have faith to believe in Feng Shui.
It is not spirituality as there is no connection with something that is bigger than us.
It is not a form of superstition as there is no relation to the supernatural.
It is not magic where mysterious tricks are carried out.
It does not involve ritual where you have to perform a serious of actions for a solemn ceremony.
13. Why Use A Professional Feng Shui Consultant?
Sub Question: How Do You Feng Shui Your Home?
A. To Feng Shui your home yourself:
There is a lot of information on Feng Shui and I will just raise 4 points.
a. In this modern age with information in books and on the internet, is to find out what information is relevant. How are you going to sift this information?
b. Books and Tips on the internet are generalised information. What you need is personalised or relevant information for your situation.
c. There is a lot of contradictory information. Which side do you take?
d. Once you have solved the above points, how are you going to sort out the priority of this information?
B. Professional Feng Shui consultant:
The consultant would have gone through a period of training and have understood the fundamentals of Feng Shui. The training of the consultants is varied, some with a short training period and some as long as 10 years. Not only that, the approach to the subject is different but there is a line of commonality.
a. The main aim of the consultant is to analyse the 3 main elements – the person(s), property and the Energy. Every person is different. Every property is different even though they might be adjacent with the same architectural design. This affects the flow and type of Energy.
b. To identify the flow of Energy to the property and the distribution within the property.
c. Sort out the priorities from the analysis and make relevant recommendations.
d. Feng Shui is holistic or deals with the big picture. The consultant has to consider both the external and the internal aspects of the property. It is not possible to just do the Feng Shui of a room and get satisfactory and long term results.
14. What Is Contemporary Feng Shui?
Feng Shui has a long history. It goes back about 4,000 years. So, how do you define contemporary? I will take the 20th Century as contemporary.
There is one formula Feng Shui formula that is based on the work of a Black Hat Sect Buddhist Monk called Lin Yun. It is known as the Triple Gate formula. It is derived from the Bagua but without the compass directions.
There have been quite a few changes in the modern day world. For example electricity, roads, high rise buildings etc. Feng Shui easily takes into account of these changes when the interpretation is based on the flow of Energy.
There are a host of new topics which include de-cluttering, cleansing the space, minimising electromagnetic forces, Dowsing to identify geopathic stress. These topics are not part of Traditional Feng Shui.
15. Who Is The Best Feng Shui Consultant?
This is a very difficult question to answer. There are many elite Feng Shui consultants who work around the world and have very low profiles. I have heard of teams originally based in Taiwan but now in the US and Europe. There must be teams of consultants in the Far East including mainland China and Taiwan. There are Feng Shui consultants based in Las Vegas. Therefore, it is impossible for me to give a valid opinion.
One Feng Shui consultant who did the Feng Shui of the Singapore which is now an extremely prosperous country is Venerable Hong Choon. After independence, he helped design the layout of the City and also, the mass transit system. Sadly, he passed away in 1990.
16. The Single Most Effective Tip For Feng Shui That You Would Recommend.
Feng Shui is about the flow of Energy. Within the property, any building – office, shops and homes the Energy has to flow easily. The Energy should not be hindered or obstructed for this flow. Therefore, the tip is to clear and tidy the place. Yes, the modern term for this is called De-Cluttering.
17. Is There An Alternative To Feng Shui?
Vastu Shastra is a traditional Hindu system of architecture. This translates to “science of architecture”.
I am sure there are other architectural or land management systems but they have not been documented and publicised.
The nearest land management system I could find in the West is called Terroir . This is the set of all the environmental factors that affect the crop. This is the basis of the French wine Appellation D’Origine Contrôlée system, which is a model for wine appellation and regulation in France and around the world.
18. I Find Studying Feng Shui Very Difficult As I Want To Know Whether I Have Interpreted It Correctly?
Feng Shui is intangible. Therefore, getting direct “feedback” is very difficult.
In my early days, I read many books and worked to understand the formulae. I tried to apply them in shops or cafés. I could not. So, I got teachers to help me attempt to work out the Feng Shui of restaurants where I knew the owner. The owner also helped us with business information of the other restaurants of the street.
To me, as a forensic scientist, I need feedback to know whether I am on the right track or not. I cannot allow myself to make a mistake in the analysis and interpretation. So I continued my search for tangibility.
I then recalled the manner how the Chinese passed the Feng Shui knowledge from one generation to the next. They were in lineage societies. I managed to get invited to join a society and to embark on a training programme. I was constantly reminded that the main driving force in Feng Shui is Energy. Once you can visualise the flow of Energy or understand the characteristics of the flow, Feng Shui becomes tangible. You start to understand whether a building is getting or leaking Energy immediately. The remedies can be suggested straight away and solves the problem effectively. It works and there are no dramas.
Formulae are methods that represent the Energy flows in the property. It is an indirect method and is not tangible.
Knowing how the Energy flows, Feng Shui becomes a dynamic subject – smooth flow to turbulent, reflected and bouncing etc. It is not a subject where you recite the formula as if you were in school.
19. Is It Possible That I Buy The Any Commercial Property, For Example, Convert Any Shop To A Prosperous Shop Using The Services Of A Feng Shui Consultant?
It has be achieved. It depends on many variables.
1. The main criteria, is there any Energy coming to the property.
2. Is the land form suitable to hold or retain the Energy?
3. Do you have the budget to make the necessary changes?
4. Feng Shui helps creating the prosperity. You need the right product together with the right marketing mix and hard work.
Feng Shui is not a Silver Bullet that solves all problems. It is one of the tools to get success.
20. Are Feng Shui Consultations Expensive? The Local Tradesman (like a Builder Or Plumber) Charge Between £100 To 200 A Day.
The amount charged is generally a reflection on the responsibility taken. Feng Shui is about the whole property and aim is to improve the three facets of Feng Shui – prosperity, health and relationships. In London and the South East of the UK, the average property price is more than £500,000. It is a lot of money.
The aim of Feng Shui is to use the Environment to help improve the well being of the people in the property. By this logic, if something can improve the well being, it is also capable of deteriorating the well being of the people. The responsibility is obvious.
Additional Costs: I do not make hidden or additional costs except for the Space Clearing Service which is optional. I work with Energy – working out the distribution and flows of Energy. It is known for consultants to recommend renovations, sometimes extensive, to the property. Others include re-designing the garden to incorporate conifer trees. I do not use Chinese Symbols for placement.
Training: I have had more than 10 years of extensive training including apprenticeship before I have been allowed to practise using my Masters Name. My practise is regulated by my Master Shyan Tseng and also by the Feng Shui Society.
Implementation: Feng Shui is an intangible subject and knowing whether you are doing it right is difficult. In my training, I spent hundreds of hours with my Master being trained to identify the flow of Energy and the distribution of this Energy at many building sites and properties in many parts of the world. More importantly, I learnt how to get this Energy to benefit the people in the property. This is very different from being taught in the classroom with the aid of a PowerPoint projection.
Benefits: The reason to implement Feng Shui is to get the benefits from changes made in the Environment. From my experience in the thousands of consultations that I have carried out, the benefits of prosperity, health and relationships come gradually. More importantly, they have noticed that there is a decrease in the number of mishaps or unexpected problems. There have been reports of windfalls and dramatic of romances. They are more the exception than the rule.
Credits: The images used in this post were from https://stocksnap.io/. Their generosity is greatly appreciated.