In this edition of Interview with a Master we sit down and chat with Dr. Jin Peh; a leading BaZi and Feng Shui author, teacher and consultant.
In 2000, Jin started a two year Feng Shui apprenticeship in Taipei, Taiwan with renowned Feng Shui Master Chen Chien Lee, who specializes in both Yang and Yin House (residence and grave) Feng Shui. In 2005, Jin started a weekly Feng Shui column with the main English newspaper in Hong Kong, South China Morning Post. In 2010, a compilation of his Feng Shui columns was published as Feng Shui: A Hong Kong Perspective. Jin also practices and teaches Chinese Astrology.
He has also studied the Four Pillars of Destiny or Eight Characters of Birth (Ba Zi) with Lily Chung in San Francisco and Emperor Astrology (Zi Wei Dou Shu) with Tony Tan in Singapore. In 2013, he published with his teacher and co-author Lily Chung Four Pillars of Destiny: Discover Your Code To Success. This was followed by Four Pillars of Destiny: Finding Your Life Partner in 2014 and Four Pillars of Destiny: Your Life Numbers and Hexagrams from the I Ching.
Most recently Dr. Jin Peh has written and published a series of Four Pillars books exploring charts according to each of the five elements, as well as his latest publication titled ‘Four Pillars of Destiny – Understanding the 60 Personalities’.
1. How did you first become interested in Feng Shui. Please share some of your path of learning with us.
In September 1997, I was involved in a family argument and my sister said there must be something wrong with the feng shui of our family apartment in Perth. After all, our parents split up after we moved in and we were always having arguments there. In the pre Internet days, I looked up the White Pages and called an Italian lady to come over and do a Feng Shui consult on the apartment.
It was a revelation. She pointed out that my parents’ bed was right under a false ceiling and split in half. This contributed to the marriage breaking up. The North West of the apartment is associated with the Father and in our double story apartment, there was a toilet and bathroom on one floor and the laundry in another. My father’s business had literally gone down the toilet after we moved in.
After she left, I felt really embarrassed. She was Italian and I was Chinese and she knew a lot more about my culture than I did. So I started buying every book in English that I could find on Feng Shui. I was studying journalism then and I realized that when I gave the same book to my classmates, they wouldn’t understand it as well as I did. I knew then that I had the knack for it.
2. 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?
There are many formulas and different approaches in Feng Shui. For instance, the Flying Stars School is well known, as well as the Eight Mansions. Fortunately, the Life Aspirations and Black Hat Sect approach seem to have lost their popularity and influence compared to the 1990s and 2000s. The person who is starting on his journey will get confused as to which approach to learn. Here is what I have learnt from my own experience: you cannot combine the different schools and try to work out the perfect Feng Shui as it does not work that way. From your own experience and your own journey, you work out which formula or approach works best for you and go from there. Don’t lose sight of the big picture by focusing on the small details.
3. When did you turn Feng Shui into your profession?
In 2000, I came to a crossroads. I couldn’t find work as a television or radio journalist and I didn’t want to go back and work as a medical doctor. I realized that I had something to offer in Feng Shui. Not only did I have the interest and passion for it, I was more bilingual than most people in the industry. I could speak English better than most of the Asian masters and I could read and write Chinese from my junior high years in Singapore. So that was when I started a two year Feng Shui apprenticeship with my Taiwanese master Chen Chien Lee in Taipei. I would study classical Mandarin at National Taiwan University in the morning and then go over to my Feng Shui Master’s place on the other side of town in the afternoon Monday to Friday.
4. Is Feng Shui widely accepted and applied in your country and do you face any difficulties explaining Feng Shui to your clients?
Having lived in Dubai since 2004, a lot of the people from the Middle East think that Feng Shui has to do with religion at times and are not open to it. Ironically, it is the Christian Arabs who are more open to it. In Asia, there are Chinese Christians who consider Feng Shui a superstition and that it threatens their faith. Unfortunately, there seems to be a confusion of the boundaries between culture and religion and this should not be the case. Feng Shui is Chinese culture and not Chinese religion.
5. What is the most common reason that people engage you for a consultation?
With regard to Feng Shui consults, it depends on the issues and circumstances of the person. Young families starting out request assistance with starting a family. Singles ask if Feng Shui can help them find lasting romance. Some families call me in with regard to assist them with their financial situation. I have never had a client call me in because everything in their life was going smoothly and they wanted to double check that it would continue that way.
6. Do you practice Yin House Feng Shui and if so do any of your clients engage you to select an auspicious burial site?
My Feng Shui master in Taiwan practices Yin House Feng Shui so I learnt all the Water Dragon Formulas and how to use the Chinese Feng Shui Compass or Luopan from him during my apprenticeship. He told me that the karmic consequences of dealing with Yin House Feng Shui for a family is far more significant than Yang House Feng Shui so you need to practice Qi Gong to keep your chi levels high to protect yourself. It is difficult to practice Yin House Feng Shui in modern times as there are specific areas designated for graves in urban living and today’s Yin House Feng Shui Masters have to work within these limits.
7. What analysis methods do you use during your consultation process?
In my Feng Shui consults, I always give precedence to the form or what is visible to the eye. Too often, consultants place too much emphasis on the formulas that they don’t see that the front door opens in a straight line to the back door, or that the stove is directly below the bed upstairs. I then use the Flying Stars formula to ascertain the different sectors.
8. From your point of view, do you think the knowledge of destiny analysis is important when it comes to Feng Shui?
Yes one hundred per cent. Whether you are going through a good or negative period will ultimately affect you. If you are going through a bad year, it will be challenging to find a place with good Feng Shui to support you. If you are having a good year, the possibility of finding a favourable place will be higher.
9. Please share with us a case study you have done which you found to be most interesting.
I remembered that just before I started out doing Feng Shui full time in 2000, I was living in a property in Subiaco Western Australia. I returned in March 2000 and saw that the courtyard had collapsed so I hired some men to dig up and pave the area. Note that the courtyard was located in the South East sector, which was the Grand Duke sector that year. A few months later after the area was paved, I got broken into. I learnt first hand the effects of digging in the Grand Duke sector for that year.
10. What is your Top Feng Shui ‘Do’ and Top Feng Shui ‘Don’t’?
Feng Shui Do: Always pay attention to the visible influences of the place that you are living or working in. Feng Shui Don’t: Remember that Feng Shui should make your life easier and flow smoothly. Do not relocate your front door or move your bed to fulfill a Feng Shui formula that inconveniences your life.