Feng Shui : definition , elements and rules

Literally, the word Feng Shui (pronounced Fung Shway) means Wind-Water. It is an ancient Chinese science which creates balance and harmony to living & work spaces, so that your life force energy or Ch’i (pronounced chee) flows, increasing your prosperity, health and happiness. Feng Shui works with:

  • Five elements (wood, earth, fire, metal and water)
  • Yin and Yang
  • The BaGua
  • More harmonious furniture & space arrangements
  • Special “cures” or solutions to fix problems with your living and work space, as well as the exterior surroundings.

Consider the balance of nature, and how nice you feel in the mountains, by a river or in a flower garden. This is the feeling Feng Shui can help you achieve within your own surroundings.

Partly, Feng Shui is using our common sense. Clearing out clutter, getting rid of old and unused items, creating a more peaceful environment. Doesn’t it feel great when we begin getting rid of clutter….it opens up space, makes us feel lighter, and we actually start to think better. But, of course, Feng Shui takes it much further than that. There are visible and invisible energies which have an effect on you. The floorplan of your home, the land and buildings surrounding your home or office, furniture placement, and the alignment of doors are just a few examples of Feng Shui issues. There are also symbolic things which can block our flow. For instance, a toilet seat lid kept open can signify money being flushed away from you. Dead plants can stagnate Ch’i, therefore stagnating your progress. Sometimes a negative energy can come from an invisible source, such as bad vibes from a former tenant, or electrical vibrations from a power company. For each “negative” energy, Feng Shui has a cure, or a solution.
feng shui
Feng Shui actually isn’t that hard to practice. The more you do it, the better you get. You learn to develop a sense of visible and invisible energies which have an effect on you. Try to learn as much as you can, because it will help you apply Feng Shui in the most effective way. (some good book suggestions at the end of this article). In your studies, you’ll find there are two types (or schools) of Feng Shui: Compass and Form. This article is based mainly on Form School, and will touch on some of the basics of floorplans and eliminating negative energies. You don’t have to be a Feng Shui expert to use the techniques, but you should follow some basic guidelines.

Feng Shui uses an eight-sided pattern or mandela called a Ba-Gua (translation: 8 symbols that hang up there). Each section represents a certain area of your life, such as career, benefactors, children, money, marriage, etc. By overlaying the pattern to the floorplan of your home, you can identify the sections affecting the different areas of your life. (When applying the Ba-Gua symbol to the layout of your home, the front door is always considered the main entrance, even if you don’t use it). If the garage is attached to the home, you need to include it in the layout. Some homes have extensions or missing sections when putting the Ba-Gua over the layout. Feng Shui has cures which can re-energize or enhance these sections. Each side of the Ba-Gua also represents a different element (water, earth, etc.), as well as color, and these are things which we can keep in mind when decorating our home.

Bad Feng Shui?

Next, you would go through each area of your home, looking for negative Feng Shui or “Sha.” Here are a few examples:

clutter
dusty, unused or broken items
Bed directly under a window
Broken windows, screens, door
Exposed nails on walls
Water leaks or leaks in the roof
Exposed beams
Door at the end of a long hallway
Aggressive corners
Slanted walls
Front and Back doors aligned
Stove under a window
Staircase which faces the entrance door.

The 9 Minor Additions
Once any Sha has been identified, you can apply solutions which will eliminate negative energy flow. Clean out the clutter, throw out junk, get rid of stuff you’re not using, fix broken windows, etc. For things such as exposed beams, placement of furniture or appliances which can’t be moved, use an appropriate Feng Shui cure to restore and energize Ch’i. These are called the 9 minor additions:

Bright Objects (mirrors, crystals, and lights)
Colors
Sounds (wind chimes, bells, music)
Vital Life Force (plants, fish, pets)
Kinetic Energy (water fountains, fans, windmills, flags, wind)
Heavy Objects (statues, sculptures, rocks)
Electrical Energy (electrical appliance, computers, TVs, stereo systems)
Symbols (bamboo flutes, the Ba-Gua, shapes corresponding to the elements, symbolic shapes such as an angel in the marriage or relationship area).
Other additions (flags, curtains, incense fragrances, pictures, rugs)

For instance, if your bed is under a window and you can’t move it, hang a faceted crystal ball 9 units (inches, cm, etc) from the ceiling in front of the window. What about exposed beams? A Chinese bamboo flute hung on a beam transforms negative energy into positive. You can use the 9 minor additions to fix negative Feng Shui, energize certain sections of your house, and improve the flow of Ch’i.

The Three Secrets
Once you put your cures or solutions into place, they need to be reinforced by the Three Secrets, which is using the body, speech and mind while putting the cure in place. For instance, after hanging a crystal or mirror, you could use your mind by visualizing a clear picture of the improvement you’d like to occur. While doing this, use your body by holding your hands together in a prayer position. And use your speech by chanting a prayer, affirmation or mantra nine times. (the number 9 is important in Feng Shui). The Master Thomas Lin-Yun believes that by placing a Feng Shui cure in an area, you improve the area by 10%. But when it is reinforced with the Three Secrets, it is reinforced 120%.

The Main Entrance & Other Areas

The main entrance is an important area, and should be kept free of clutter and blockages. For instance, if there is a wall which blocks the rest of the house from view as you enter your home, this can block the flow of Ch’i, creating obstacles. Stand at your doorway, facing the interior. How does it feel? Are there obstructions? Is there a stairway or column? Is there anything pointed facing the door (such as a desk or wall on an angle). Move what you can, and soften the unmovable aggressive corners with plants or fabric hangings. Or you can put up a cool folding screen…fold it into a cup shape so that the corners will not create negative energy. The front part of the Ba-Gua (therefore, the front part of your home) is associated with water. Hanging pictures of water, such as the beach, lakes, rivers, helps honor this element. A running fountain or an aquarium in the front section of your home also helps Ch’i flow wonderfully. By hanging a bamboo flute over the front door on the inside, it will bring blessings to you & your guests each time you enter or leave your home.

When discovering which area of the home affects the different types of activities of our lives, we can do things which enhance and honor these areas. Learn each section, along with the color and element associated with it. For instance, for a woman who is having trouble getting pregnant, first she would locate which area of her home represented children. Then she could place white flowers in that room (being careful to remove all dead leaves and blossoms), hang a Feng Shui crystal, bring in metal wind chimes or add more light into that area. Cleaning out clutter, dusty items, and broken things from this room would be a great start in restoring more harmony, making it easier to conceive.
The outside of the home is also very important to consider. Homes which are on a bay are said to drain the energy of the occupants. Homes at the end of a dead-end street or cul-de-sac can affect your abundance, financially, physically and spiritually. Dry plants or dead trees on your property are bad for health. When your home faces a T-intersection or a cemetery, it can block Ch’i. Many times, just the simple placement of an 8-sided mirror on the exterior of your house can bring great improvement.

Feng Shui is a sacred philosophy, and should be practiced in a respectful way. If you are going to use its methods, be serious about it, rather than taking a light-hearted, humorous approach. The intention you put behind your actions is very important, so use a very positive and hopeful energy as you apply Feng Shui cures. Start simple. Tackle the area which represents what is most urgent in your life right now, taking it a step at a time, and as you see results, your energy is elevated. You are inspired to tackle more areas of your home or work space. Even though this article contains some good information about Feng Shui, it is just a beginning. You would do yourself a service by studying Feng Shui and knowing the purpose behind each cure or action. For the best results, information and experience, consult a Feng Shui consultant.