In this edition of Interview with a Master we sit down and chat with professional Feng Shui Researcher and Practitioner, as well as author and founder of the School of Feng Shui & Destiny – Grand Master Raymond Lo
Popularly known as ‘Feng Shui Lo’, Grand Master Raymond Lo travels the globe consulting, lecturing, teaching and sharing his knowledge and great passion for Chinese Metaphysics.. A native of Hong Kong, he has appeared on numerous television shows including the ABC’s Good Morning America, BBC’s Wicker’s World, Australia’s Today Show, Discovery Channel’s Feng Shui Makeover and CNN’s Tech Watch. Grand Master Lo has also written several popular Feng Shui books which are readily available in many languages including English, Chinese, Russian, Greek, Romanian and Hungarian. A lecturer at the School of Professional and Continual Education at the University of Hong Kong, an advisor to the Hong Kong Tourist Board, a consultant for the Peninsula Hotel’s Peninsula Academy and a speaker at the World Economic Forum, he devotes his life to the pursuit of truth and knowledge. If you would like to find out more about his professional Feng Shui training courses then please visit his website at http://www.raymond-lo.com/.
- How did you first become interested in Feng Shui? Please share some of your path of learning with us.
I guess my interest in metaphysical subjects begins with curiosity. Since childhood I was interested in exploring mysteries such as ghost stories, UFO, X file etc. I actually started off studying Western Astrology and looking at my friends Zodiac signs. I found this very interesting and even made horoscope’s for my friends.
However my interest in feng shui only started in the 1980’s during my university years. I remember I moved into a new apartment where there was a tall chimney nearby and I heard a rumour this is not good feng shui. Indeed a lot of troubles happened to me after I moved in. I had a tooth ache and when I went to the dentist to extract the tooth I ended up getting into the emergency ward as the bleeding would not stop.
After that I decided to find out more about feng shui and my interesting journey began. It is the desire to pursue truth and knowledge that drives me deeper and deeper into this subject.
- Many Feng Shui consultants feel that the further they study Feng Shui the more confused they become. Did you experience this during your own journey, and if so how did you overcome it?
I very much agree that everybody will feel confused when they first try to study the subject. At the beginning (like many new students) I just went to any feng shui classes offered by somewhat well known feng shui masters. However famous feng shui masters may not be good teachers as most of the teachings are quite disorganised. We are given different theories and formulae and never taught how to integrate them into a practical system.
Even after 3 or 4 years of learning and attending different classes run by at least 4 masters, I was still sceptical about the subject as I did not see any convincing results. But I think my strength is in patience and being persistent and I seldom give up, so I continued to look for good teachers.
In this respect I consider myself lucky as I eventually encountered a real master who not only convinced me that feng shui really can work, but also showed me the logic behind all these formula and theories. As there is much false information about feng shui, I think the key to study feng shui is being sceptical and not to believe a statement without first carefully analysing it with logic. I think today’s students already have an advantage as there are more better organised feng shui training programmes now available.
- What made you turn Feng Shui into your profession?
When you learn feng shui, the most important process of learning is to practice. When we see positive results we will enjoy the satisfaction of helping people and gain confidence to carry on.
I do not have any feng shui background in my family tree. My father is a movie director and I had a University Degree in Economics and Accounting. After graduation from University I had a successful career working as a shipping manager in a big public utility company. So it is to everybody’s surprise that I made such a big switch to feng shui after enjoying a 10 year stable career with a chartered shipbroker qualification.
However I know my interest is in feng shui and I first chose to practice part time feng shui consultation and writing feng shui articles for a newspaper during my working years in a big company. Eventually my feng shui column in the newspaper Hong Kong Standard won good reputation and I started writing books and conducting classes.
On the 1st July 1997, the same day that Hong Kong returned to China, I also changed my career and became a full time feng shui consultant. I am very happy to make such a switch as a feng shui career has offered me so much freedom, joy and satisfaction.
- Is Feng Shui widely accepted and applied in your country and do you face any difficulties explaining Feng Shui to your clients?
Feng shui has deep rooted tradition among Chinese people. Throughout Chinese history all the kings and dynasties paid high respect to feng shui and applied the skill in all aspects of life. However China went through a difficult time during the late Ching dynasty and in the early 1900’s and the Chinese people turned their attention to western sciences. At such time they temporarily put aside their traditional values and culture.
Today most of Chinese people believe in feng shui but they are still skeptical because they are also aware that there are many wrong feng shui practices and it is hard for the layman to distinguish superstition from real feng shui knowledge. As such I have to explain to our clients the working of feng shui in a logical way with theories and principles.
I found most clients have the misconception that feng shui is just intuitive, but once I show them the logic and the scientific methods they are always fascinated by the knowledge and very much convinced to follow my advice.
- What is the most common reason that people engage you for a consultation?
Today many business people realize the importance of applying feng shui for prosperity. Therefore more people engage feng shui services when they choose their new offices and use feng shui design to allocate different functions in their offices. In addition more big development projects apply feng shui design from the beginning – including site selection, location of buildings, interior design and decorations.
For the individual we also use feng shui, IV Pillars of Destiny and I Ching to help them understand problems they encounter in all aspects of their lives in order to make better choices and decisions.
Being a feng shui consultant we must be all round and equip ourselves with all kinds of knowledge and skills. In addition we must keep ourselves abreast of everything happening in the world as our clients will consult on all kinds of problems including relationship, career, health and even world events.
- Do you practice Yin House Feng Shui and if so do any of your clients engage you to select an auspicious burial site?
In Asian countries there are still many Chinese people who believe in Yin House feng shui practice and wish to find an auspicious site to bury their ancestors. Owing to practical constraints such as government restriction and high property costs it has become rarer for people to build a traditional yin house.
However from time to time there are still clients who request to check their existing ancestor’s grave. Also burial in grave yard is very common today and they still require feng shui service for direction of tomb stone and selection of auspicious dates etc.
- What analysis methods do you use during your consultation process?
In my consultation for ordinary apartments and houses I normally use Flying Star feng shui and IV Pillars of Destiny. Occasionally I also apply I Ching for more specific and detailed answers when the situation arises. For large scale projects that require planning the site, traffic flow and location of building structures, it is necessary to apply classic landscape formula and Water formula.
- From your point of view, do you think the knowledge of destiny analysis is important when it comes to Feng Shui?
I always consider IV Pillars of Destiny analysis to be an essential part of feng shui. The objective of a feng shui consultation is to help the people and not the house. In order to help the people we must understand their luck through IV Pillars of Destiny. By discussing their IV Pillars we will gain much more insight into the problems the family is facing and offer them any possible recommendations.
Different people have different sensitivities towards feng shui influences so it is necessary to know their IV Pillars to access the intensity of feng shui influence. If a person is in bad luck it is even more important to place their room in a better feng shui position. Also we need to apply IV Pillars of Destiny to recommend the favourable colour tone and decorative objects.
- Please share with us a case study you have done which you found to be most interesting.
A recent interesting case was an office in Shanghai which we used as an on site exercise for the advanced class held in April 2011.
The age of this building was complicated as it was originally built in ‘Age of 5’, but in recent years it had been totally renovated and today it looked like a very modern building with glass panels and a colourful outlook. It was completely different from the original building which had been grey and dull like a factory.
The first thing we had to decide was whether we should apply the Age of 5 or Age of 8 Flying Star chart. We drew both charts and found the main difference was in the location of the Boss’ office. If it was still Age of 5 the room was very good with Mountain Star 8 and Water Star 9. However if the building was Age of 8 then this Southeast location would be Mountain Star 2 and Water Star 5.
To resolve this mystery we checked the IV Pillars of almost everybody in the office. We found the boss was in very good luck and the only person in bad luck was the receptionist. This matched very well with the Age of 5 chart, which showed the boss sat in a good feng shui room. The entrance and reception desk on the other hand was in the South with the Water Star 5. Then we further verified this finding when the client told us that there was a back stair case next to the entrance that was rumoured to be haunted, as people had heard a woman crying at night. This also confirmed the entrance area was Water Star 5, in accordance with the Age of 5 chart.
A few days after the exercise I got an email from the client to advise me that the ceiling of the entrance had collapsed. This is in the South so once again confirmed our finding of Water Star 5 in that area on the basis of an Age of 5 chart.
This is just a little example showing how much fun one can derive in truth finding and verifying facts when doing feng shui.
- What are your Top Feng Shui Do and Top Feng Shui Don’t?
Top Feng Shui Do – Be honest and responsible and do your best to make sure every measurement is 100 percent accurate. Do not proceed before you are honestly certain of the measurement, facing direction, age and location of the centre.
Top Feng Shui Don’t – Do not cheat. If something is not certain then do not pretend. Try your best to be sure of your facts.