Learning About Feng Shui

Soon after we began our house painting that quickly morphed into a full-blown green home renovation, I did some reading both online and offline about Feng Shui. “Feng Shui” means literally “Wind and Water” — that’s what we experienced in June – wild winds and 25% more rain than average for month. I was looking for home decorating tips focused on color and placement but discovered that Feng Shui is so much more than that. 

fengshuiFeng Shui is a complex body of knowledge  developed  3,000 -5,000 or more years ago in China. Feng Shui  is used to balance the energies of a space with the aim of insuring health and good fortune for people inhabiting the space.

Think of how nature interacts … Simplicity, clean lines, fluidity and functionality…

Feng Shui is  focused on the flow of energy currents called Chi flowing through our bodies and our environment.  Hence, practicing Feng Shui is  influencing interacting energies to produce positive effects and specific life improvements.

The Bagua map originating from the I Ching, or “Book of Changes”, which is an ancient divination tool  for guiding people to make important life decisions, is used in Feng Shui to map the energies of  spaces in your home, business or property.

The goal of modern Feng Shui is harmony through arrangement and placement. One need not believe in the existence of Qi in order to benefit from many of its principles such as but not limited to decluttering.

“The things surrounding you in your home serve as subliminal reminders of who you are. They will continue to direct you towards old patterns of behavior. Subconscious beliefs are generally so deep-seated that one is not aware of them.”  ~ Denise Linn, Feng Shui for the Soul

In Feng Shui placing your possessions in the optimum  places is done with the intention that they work for you. That means using Feng Shui means your home is working for you rather than you working for your home. When The Five Elements are balanced in your home you are also balanced.

“Nature nourishes the soul. Our homes will either separate us from nature or connect us to it. ” ~ Denise Linn, Feng Shui for the Soul

Each of The Five Elements is symbolized by one, two or three colors, including various hues and shades.
Wood – Green
Fire – Red
Water – Black or blue
Earth – Brown or Yellow
Metal – White, Gold, or Silver.

To use Feng Shui:

1.  Examine your life and decide specifically how you want to improve what’s not working for you.

2. Adjust your environment to directly affect the life areas you want to improve. Select Feng Shui cures that work for you and your lifestyle and implement them.

See:  Feng Shui COLORS How To: Video and Tips with Rodika Tchi. She  has a treasure chest full of Feng Shui tips for incorporating The Five Elements into your home.

Thanks to Mike Schnippering, founder of Feng Shui at Work who sent me the infographic.  Designed by Feng Shui at Work  Free Ebook: Learn what Feng Shui really is

Re: I Chingreadings. The Vizier writes at Han of Harmony and will help you to make the best choices and show you how to manage any situation well.

Conclusion

The perfect time to explore the space we live in has been during this home renovation. It’s also been the perfect time to declutter, repair, re-finish and/or replace many fixtures and other things. While packing up all our possessions and moving those boxes from room to room,  I have been giving each item  a very close look. I’m looking at them through new eyes — through the  Feng Shui eyes,  and considering how to use them to create harmony and balance when we reassemble our home.

Discussion

Feng Shui a fascinating subject and I’m a lifelong learner focused on keeping my mind lively. I’m going to enroll in a Feng Shui course being offered this fall.

Do you have Feng Shui eyes?  How did you decide where to place your possessions so they work well for you?  Is where they are positioned now creating harmonious balance in your home?

15 thoughts on “Learning About Feng Shui

  1. a friend recommended “one cool site” and I wandered over here, late to a discussion, as usual. Props to Yun Yi for mentioning the Taoism connection– the Yi Ching, traditional Chinese medicine, and feng shui are all based on Taoist principles.

    Anyways, my wife and I did study feng shui a bit– we got pretty deep with mapping out our apartment we were in at the time. We later moved to a house that was already powerfully positioned with a red front door facing south. Although we still have a terrible problem with clutter inside, we considered the house’s natural strength positioned to the elements– namely with some gardening in the front and a solar oven on the front porch.

  2. TT, I don’t have a Feng Shui eye but I have not doubt you are going to be a Feng Shui master!

    I understanding Feng Shui was one of effort ancient Chinese people did to make a harmony between human life and nature. I-Ching might be one of few Chinese culture heritage that still contribute positive influence to modern world. I am a passionate critic on Chinese mainstream culture – Confucianism, but Taoism, originally based on I-Ching, can be revived itself in modern day as a positive life philosophy, especially when it mingled with some western spirits.

    Hope you have fun on your study in Feng Shui.:-)

    1. Hi Yun Yi,
      It’s so good to hear from you and I apologize for not visiting frequently this summer. The renovating we have been doing has brought the subject of space and how we use it in our home to the fore. I’m looking forward to the workshop. Though I probably won’t be applying all the Feng Shui principles to my home, I’ve been surprised to find how many I have unconsciously been practicing. I’m looking forward to the social aspect too as it will be good to be among people I haven’t met before.

  3. I don’t know much about Feng Shui, but I find it fascinating. The quote you used about things directing you towards old patterns of behavior struck a chord, and I will spend some time thinking about what it means/can mean in my life. Thank you!

  4. Admittedly I haven’t paid attention to principles of feng shui. However, for certain I’ve always believed in the location “feel” of a home, a business is important for those who live /spend their daily lives. Many times, I’ve gone to a cafe or store and when hanging around long enough, to comment on the “karma” of the whole place when it feels right.

    1. Hi Jean,
      More and more are working at home now. I like the “feel” of most spaces in my home but I’m considering doing some shifting. I’m fortunate in that this place isn’t really small and as there’s so much glass there’s lots of natural light. What creates the ambiance and how the spaces are used in an open living plan home like mine is the placement of furniture groupings. The space we have been using as a living room needs some changes and the space we use as a den/library ie. home office does too.

      Our business is the ground floor area and our home is above but there is a little business related work that goes on upstairs too. Defining space by separating business and living space within a home is a balancing act. When selecting the space for our home office I didn’t select one that was out of the distraction zone. Too “homey” a feeling in a work zone can mean one gets nothing done. But a really remote a space arrangement will mean lack of business-related interaction between the two of us and an isolated feeling.

  5. I love Feng Shui! A lot of it (I think) is based on a common, yet primal, sense of comfort. No one feels at ease having their back to a door, as someone could creep up on you! I too don’t follow it rigidly, but do almost unconsciously with the ones that make sense to me…Thanks for the informative post!

    1. Hello there,
      I think Feng Shui makes perfect sense when it comes to positioning. People and the major pieces of furniture they use ought to be in what’s called “the command position”. That means having a solid wall behind you for support and being able to see the door, without being directly in line with the door. (Note the slight off-set in postioning).

  6. I always thought I needed to face the door because I’m Italian and am always afraid of a hit. But when I learned more about Feng Shui so many of it’s ideas make perfect sense for giving you piece of mind and a sense of serenity in your home.

    1. Hi Diane,
      I think a preference for sitting facing the door may be a cultural universal. ;)

      Feng Shui says that new opportunity always comes through the front door. As you approach your home look at the entrance to the front door and also the door itself. It should have a feeling of spaciousness so that opportunities don’t get cramped and can flow in.

      I learned another Feng Shui prinicple that validates own experience.

      Avoid having too many extremes: Too much white and brightness in a space creates a sense of overwhelming energy; too much dark color and too little light in a space creates a feeling of drowning in the energy. Aim for color and light balance to create a comfort zone.

      The practical application is that when you view an entrance and door through Feng Shui eyes, if there are bushes and trees darkly overshadowing the entrance and view of the front door, the cure is to prune and clear out the growth so the front door is visible and well lit.

    2. I hadn’t learned that about the water and mountains yet but it makes sense. We are uphill from the creek, stream and the pond on our property. I designed our house and positioned it on our acreage with the light and seasonal changes in mind. When it comes to color I’m an artist (sumei painter), and when it comes to furniture I’m a minimalist. I’m finding that the more I learn the more I have been unconsciously practicing and I’m looking forward to reading your article.

    1. It’s good to hear from you. Based on the little I have learned about it, Feng Shui is just as you have observed “eminently practical”.

      I was interested to find I was already practicing some Feng Shui principles, without knowing I was. Here’s one of them:

      Although cozy spaces are required to maintain a good flow of energy – no cluttering in such spaces is the rule. Use a minimal amount of furniture. Don’t rid the room of open spaces, as breathing room allows positive energy to circulate throughout the room.

      1. Thanks :) couldn’t resist a comment on Feng Shui. A couple of other interesting external practical ones – water must be in front of you (ie a pool, pond whatever), in our case, it’s the sea a few hundred meters away. And the mountains behind you. We did some work on a house, which being up a hill here in Gibraltar, was split level and had a garden at the back on the same level as the bedrooms. And a pool. Surprise surprise, they had a leak – into the house. Can you imagine having all that water sitting on top of you (more or less)?

        Internally, I actually did go with the colour stuff, not intentionally, but when I looked into it I found I had followed the principles anyway. I guess that’s to do with the light changing during the day and the way rooms are positioned normally (cool kitchen, warm sitting room etc).

        If I get round to writing about it on my blog, and comparing my different houses in the past, I’ll do a link back to your post of course.

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