In the modern world, Feng Shui can be divided into two streams: authentic Chinese Feng Shui represented by the Chinese masters and their disciples and New Age Feng Shui represented by many students of not very well known teachers.
Understanding traditional Chinese Feng Shui requires many years of study with a master who usually teaches how to use a luo pan (compass) and how to put in practice sometimes very complicated ancient techniques. Meanwhile, the Feng Shui of a New Age has solutions for immediate use without the need of learning the essence of this science. Original Feng Shui was founded around five thousand years ago, whilst the New Age Feng Shui about twenty years ago. Choose the one you think is more credible, but don’t take everything as ancient truth.
Let’s start with easy or ‘New Age Feng Shui’. Please note that all recommendations are derived from books written by students of the late Master Lin Yun, who had his school in the United States.
How to create Chi in your home to maintain health, wealth and harmony:
How to strengthen your business:
How to take care of your personal development:
How to improve your relationship with your partner:
How to improve your health via transcendental methods:
Similar methods (called transcendental) are designed to solve many other problems, including legal issues. The degree of complexity depends on the purpose sought to be achieved. The way they work is unknown to me, so I refer you to many popular books of the American BHS (Black Hat Sect) School.
The founder of this school (the late Master Lin Yun), also developed a method to prevent Chi from escaping via the bathroom and other rooms. These are very nice methods but the question remains; should we name them Feng Shui? Perhaps significant results in what I call ‘easy Feng Shui’ can be achieved by using the magic of tantric (Master represented Tantric Buddhism). Another question is whether we are able to take advantage of this entire system, or just its simplified form. I think that this question can be asked representatives of each of the esoteric science.
Named by me ‘difficult Feng Shui’, this is primarily so because it requires constant work on our self and also ongoing study of old formulas developed by generations of Chinese people. Who knows if this was not the main reason for seeking shortcuts and simple solutions by Western practitioners?
Let us consider then whether we can learn these extremely effective techniques (developed by the ancient Chinese) in one or two seminars or after reading one or more books on the subject? How long do we need to study and practice in order to become a good practitioner? How much do we need to carry out experiments and case studies so that we support our innate abilities and natural talent with extensive work? Do we really need to study the paranormal (which today includes Feng Shui) as something light, easy and fun? Is the use of Feng Shui something that has been given to us by Nature and without much effort from our side?
Upon reflection I think we can say for sure that Feng Shui should be studied, just like any other science. However this can still present challenges because Feng Shui is not necessarily about patterns, but about CHANGES – li chi and the flow of time. In Feng Shui it is not so much about hypothesis or creation, but rather about reading what you find in the environment and then skillfully utilizing this information to improve our well-being.
Difficult Feng Shui is present on the plates of the two scientific tools which are the San He (Three Harmonies) compass and San Yuan (Three Periods) compass. Techniques and methods which are not present on these compasses are difficult to find in the ancient texts, so they cannot be classified as authentic Feng Shui.
Feng Shui masters believe that these other techniques are ‘inventions’ of the New Age and as we know, New Age is very roomy. So let us focus now on some of the difficult techniques of authentic Chinese Feng Shui and try to answer the question, “Which Feng Shui is more reliable, difficult or easy?”
In true Chinese Feng Shui there is not any activity taken or even advice given without first using the luo pan or Chinese compass. Mastering the ability to use this tool is considered most important and I assure you it is not easy.
Taking accurate measurements is at least half of the battle in improving our environment. Wrong data readings or co-ordinates of a tested house can be compared to a bad diagnosis or misdiagnosis of a disease and can lead to the wrong usage of a cure or remedy. Therefore difficult Feng Shui requires constant work with the luo pan, on which are marked not only geographical directions but also 24 mountains, 120 bags of gold, 60 Dragons, 72 Dragons on the Heaven, Earth and Man ring, to mention only some values. Always however, the most important are the 24 mountains, as they allow the identification of dormant forces in the environment.
Measuring the environment with the luo pan is not the only pre-action step that the student of Feng Shui should master. The next step is then to apply the values obtained in order to create good Feng Shui and not for the sake of a study, but for a concrete person.
Therefore you should also consider the place of this person in the Bagua theory and in the system of the earlier or later Heaven. You need to know their Chinese zodiac sign, what are their hidden attributes and do they belong to the East or West Life Group? Even more so, what are their favorable elements and what is their position within the family or company hierarchy?
It should be stressed once again that in the beginning there is no creation of any kind of Feng Shui. Rather there is only the will to assist a person, or a particular group of people. Of course the difficulty increases with the amount of people who occupy the home or office, so should we avoid anyone in the process of taking Feng Shui actions? With precise details of the site and knowing who is going to use the place, we must use the luo pan to find the formula that can best take advantage of the values of the environment and for all the people who live or work there.
Fortunately we have a choice of many techniques; from quite complex to very subtle. These techniques can utilize the facing or sitting of the house and can concentrate on surrounding mountains (in cities this may be buildings) or on rivers and water flows (in the cities this may be roads). There are also techniques that appeal to both the flows of water and the surrounding mountains, so let us review some of them.
Eight Killing Forces
This technique is based on the facing direction of a house and states that if the front of the house faces a certain geographical direction (one of 24 mountains – 15° each) then the presence of a mountain or landform in this sector actually brings a destructive force that cannot be addressed with any remedy.
We cannot use a remedy in this case because man is not strong enough to argue with the negative impact of a nearby mountain, building, river or highway. Contrary to what some say, Feng Shui has no set of universal remedies which solve all problems. Instead you can say that traditional or ‘difficult Feng Shui’ is humble and does not recommend for a house to be built facing a certain direction and within sight of a mountain or tall building. Understanding the environment, this type of Feng Shui then never occurs against energies as overcoming them is more or less just an illusion.
Eight Roads of Destruction
This technique also applies to the facing direction of a house and takes into account any water flow. In ancient texts we find descriptions claiming that if water affects a plot with a specific directional flow in front of a house, then we must not face this house (particularly the main door), toward specific 24 mountains or 15 degrees on the Chinese compass.
If you do not remain faithful to this principle, the water (which is a symbol of prosperity) will contribute to the occupant’s failure, instead of bringing them good fortune. Once again the external effect of such a watercourse on a house cannot be destroyed or even minimized inside a house with even the strongest of remedies. In this case you must demonstrate a sound understanding of the formula before you buy any piece of land on which to build a house which will bring happiness and success.
Earth’s balance of Yin and Yang
This technique also refers to the facing of a house and takes into account both the presence of nearby hills (in the city this may be tall buildings) and the impact of outgoing water flow from the property.
The principle of what appears here is not especially complicated. As we now know the main ring of any compass is divided into 24 mountains, each of them being either Yin or Yang (on the Chinese compass this is shown as black or red/gold). To remain faithful to this principle (which allows us to build a house which will remain in harmony with the surroundings), we must have all the compass data of the house, nearby mountains, buildings and any water flows. When all of these values are the same and the Yin and Yang are in balance, then the external environment will not bring any harm and we can then take care of arranging the house. It should be added that so called ‘difficult Feng Shui’ takes into account the external environment surrounding a house, even when there is no possibility of further development.
Chinese masters warn that even the best internal arrangement of rooms is not able to balance the effects of unfavorable external water flow. Let us remember that when Feng Shui was created it was based on the selection of a favorable piece of land for man to live, rather than the creation of any 21st century values that man may desire.
Peach Blossom Sha Roads
Unlike Chi energy, Sha energy is unfavorable and must be avoided. This technique does not allow us to build a house which faces a certain fifteen degree sector on the luo pan when nearby water flow is going out in another fifteen degree sector. If the house breaches this formula then its occupants are more likely to be exposed to scandals, particularly of a sexual or erotic nature. Thus this technique allows us to ensure the happiness of a family, which in Ancient China has always been an important value.
I would like to emphasize once more that for the Chinese, so called ‘defense Feng Shui’ has always been and continues to be more important than let us say ‘offensive Feng Shui’. In this regard Feng Shui is very similar to everyday life in that first we check to see if something poses a threat to our personal well-being (such as extreme temperature) and then we dress in the proper way and go for a walk.
Three Harmony Doorways
Feng Shui techniques (even the most difficult) not only relate to the risks that lie hidden in our environment, but they also prescribe situations that bring happiness and success for the household.
This technique is also based on the facing of a house (especially on the direction of the main door) and says that if there is a nearby mountain then a smart fengshuisiensheng (Feng Shui consultant) will build the house using all the power that is present in that mountain. Again this refers to the 24 mountains ring, of which each sector is 15 degrees of the compass. For example if the mountain is located in the Rat sector then the house should face the Tiger sector (NE3), the Horse sector (S2) or the Dog sector (NW1). The simple premise of this technique says that if there is an elevation or high mountain in our environment, then we should take advantage of it. In other words, do not waste the gifts of Heaven.
Five Ghosts Carry Treasure
This technique takes into account the facing of the main door, water affecting the property and a mountain or tall building which is located within sight. Once again if water flows towards the site from a specific direction and there is a mountain in a certain sector, then the house can be set up so that the occupants will gain treasure, success, wealth, health, fame and general life satisfaction. In fact it would be a great loss to the home’s occupants if they could not benefit from the opportunity created by Nature. After all we are a part of Nature, so why share in what it offers.
To summarize; the learning of traditional or ‘difficult Feng Shui’ takes many years. Many more years are then necessary in order to ensure that the events which develop can be verified and properly understood by us, as they were by the ancient Masters. One of my teachers used to say, “Sorry for my Feng Shui, but I have only had forty years to study it”. Can we be as humble as he was? I hope so.