Friday, October 21, 2011

If you know "what", then you know "how"

My friend Howard suggested that I should write about "How does Feng Shui work". He mentioned that his Russian translator studied FS for more than 10 years from different masters and still could not work out how it was supposed to work in practice. 

The simple answer is, "If you do not know what Feng Shui is about, then you will never know how to practice to have results." 

Let us go back in time to see how Feng Shui was practiced according to a poem in Shi Jing 詩經:

篤公劉     既溥且長    既景迺岡     相其陰陽     觀其流泉     

Honourable Liu brings us to the land that is broad and long. He measures the directions of shadows as he climbs up the hill. He examines the sunny and shady sides of the mountains. He watches how the stream flows.

During the reign of Xia Jie 夏桀 (the last emperor of Xia Dynasty), the tribe with family name Ji 姬 had a wise and honourable leader Liu. He led his people in search for a piece of land where his people could live happily. The poem describes how he did it. This is the first written record of how to practice Feng Shui to have good results. His tribe lived in prosperity thereafter. Many centuries later, they established the Zhou Dynasty.

Obviously Gong Liu did not use the flying stars or the hexagrams because at that time, such sophisticated technique was not known. Feng Shui is a living knowledge that grows with time but the ancient technique used by Gong Liu is still the most fundamental part in our practice today.

Since many different ways are invented over time, most of the inventions are useless but they are being taught by different teachers. To mention a few: use a three-legged toad (the money frog) to bring wealth, create a money vase, use the bagua mirror to cure sha qi, hang a flute under a beam, use a sleeping elephant to make your child obedient or to make your customer to listen to you etc.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feng Shui is not '1 + 1 = 2'

Some of you may ask sarcastically, "Feng Shui is '1 + 1 = 3' then?"
The answer is simply that Feng Shui is not a piece of mathematics. We cannot use an equation to describe Feng Shui. In the same way, Feng Shui is not a force, not an energy, not equivalent to any scientific terms. What is it then?

Feng Shui analysis is a description of the kind of metaphysical "energy" called qi entering a house and its interaction with the occupants to generate various outcomes depending on who lives there and how the person reacts to the qi. To make it simple, let me explain in simple terms.

Let us say, a certain kind of qi comes into a house. This kind of qi is capable of helping people to make money with art. Obviously if there lives an artist, he will find a lot of inspiration to help him create highly appreciated art and he can get rich because of this. He/she can be a movie star, singer or dancer and the house helps him/her to gain fame and fortune. If the occupant is a wealthy man who is uneducated and does not know how to appreciate art, the qi in the house can bring him a lot of beautiful women going after his money. He enjoys flirting around and spending his money like flowing water. The occupant can also make money by prostitution too and the qi there helps him/her to be charming and sexy. How can we design an experiment with houses having same qi pattern built in the same environment then? Someone living in the house can create a lot of beautiful products. Another person can give birth to a lot of beautiful children. It is not true that we can predict what happens in a house "accurately" based on Feng Shui analysis of the house. The case studies found in books are just matching events with star charts in a post-mortem.

A Feng Shui practitioner should know the clients well. The job is to find the most beneficial qi pattern for the client to help him live a successful and happy life.

Demanding a scientific proof that Feng Shui works only proves that you do not understand the nature of Feng Shui. There is no room for argument.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Does Feng Shui Work?

A simple question but the answer cannot be simple. The answer depends on what you actually mean by "Feng Shui works".

If you live and work with support from behind and facing a lot of opportunities and you can also get help from people who are your left and right hands, obviously you will have a very good chance of success. This shows that the arm-chair principle of Feng Shui works. If further, there is vibrant energy coming to you that helps you do your work well, and that you can bath in the energy that helps you live a healthy and happy life, obviously you will enjoy a wonderful life. This requirement is provided by the good water star and mountain star that are invisible and not measureable. I can only say that with my numerous case studies throughout my 30 plus years of practice, this is a modest but true experience.

Wild claims like "Bury in the Yin year and get rich in the Mao year 寅葬卯發" is not uncommon by Feng Shui masters. Listen to Master Jiang Da Hong's proud words:

On this piece of land, other masters bury the dead will yield robbers.
When I bury the dead, it will generate kings and dukes.

人葬出賊頭     我葬出王侯

I don't know what he would have said when asked, "Why didn't you bury your parents to make yourself a king or duke?"

Yang Yun Song 楊筠松 was the imperial Feng Shui master. Yet the imperial palace fell to the hands of the rebels with the emperor fled and him ordered to cut his hair and walk the dragon in Kun Lun Mountains. If Feng Shui under the hands of the supposedly best Feng Shui master of all times could not even protect the emperor, how can one claim that it works?

All I can say is that Feng Shui works but not in the way people claim it to work. I will never say that with the help of Feng Shui, a Feng Shui master can create billionaires. Well, at least the Feng Shui master who makes such claims has not become one yet.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lu Ban 魯班 (2)

The two sides of the Lu Ban Che are divided into eight parts. On one side, the eight parts are labelled:

Wealth Wood Star 財木星

Sickness Earth Star 病土星

Separation Earth Star 離土星

Righteousness Water Star 義水星

Officer Gold Star 官金星

Robbery Fire Star 劫火星

Harm Gold Star 害金星

Fortune Gold Star 吉金星

On the reversed side, the eight parts are labelled:

Honourable People Star 貴人星

Heavenly Calamity Star 天災星

Heavenly Misfortune Star 天禍星

Heavenly Wealth Star 天財星

Fame and Fortune Star 官祿星

Lonesome Star 孤獨星

Heavenly Thief Star 天賊星

Prime Minister Star 宰相星

If we compare these stars with the stars we are using today:

Tan Lang 貪狼

Ju Men 巨門

Lu Cun 祿存

Wen Qu 文曲

Lian Zhen 廉貞

Wu Qu 武曲

Po Jun 破軍

Zuo Fu 左輔

then there are a lot of similarities and quite a bit of discrepancies.

1 White Tan Lang is water today. In Zi Wei Dou Shu, Tan Lang is water and wood in nature.

2 Black Ju Men is earth and is related to illness.

3 Jade Lu Cun is wood but in Zi Wei Dou Shu it is earth. It is wealth related but it is also troublesome and lawsuit related.

4 Green Wen Qu is wood today but in Zi Wei Dou Shu, it is also water. Today this is a literary and art star. In the old days, these two qualities laid the foundation for opening the door to political success.

5 Yellow Lian Zhen is earth today. In Zi Wei Dou Shu it is yin fire. This star is a powerful fame and fortune star. Probably because it is too powerful, it is easy to get disaster when abused.

6 White Wu Qu is metal today and is a lofty and lonely star. The negative side can also bring lawsuit, injury and robbery.

7 Red Po Jun is metal today and is considered a thief star. Of course, the positive side is winning in the battle field (and life is like a battle field).

8 White is earth today. It is considered the most gentle and fortunate star.

We can see that metaphysics is a living discipline. It grows and develops over the centuries and should be considered living and growing today.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lu Ban 魯班(1)

LuBan (Gong Shu Ban 公輸班) was the most celebrated carpenter/engineer in ancient China. He was born around 507 BCE in the State of Lu 魯國 during the Spring Autumn Era 春秋時代. He wrote a book titled Lu Ban Jing 魯班經. In this book, he explained how different forms including houses, windows and doors, and furnitures can affect the occupants. This probably is the earliest Feng Shui book for houses.

The instrument he used in designing and building houses was a L-shaped ruler. Carpenters and builders later all used this instrument which is known as Lu Ban Che 魯班尺.

                                                                   Lu Ban Che 魯班尺

The length of the ruler is 1 che 尺 4 cun 寸 4 fen 分 divided into 8 subdivisions labeled with eight meaningful words. The length of the ruler is approximately equivalent to 46 cm. The Che 尺 used during Ming/Qing 明/清 Dynasties was 32 cm. LuBan Che is 1.44 Che and therefore 32 x 1.44 = 46.08 cm. This matches the LuBan Che in Imperial Palace Museum in Beijign.

The four divisions labeled Cai 財, Yi 義, Guan 官 and Ji 吉 are auspicious. The four divisions labeled Bing 病, Li 離, Jie 劫 and Hai 害 are inauspicious.

According to the book "Lu Ban Cun Bai Ji 魯班寸白集":

財者財帛榮昌          病者災病難免
離者主人分張          義者主產孝子
官者主生貴子          劫者主禍妨蔴
害者主被盜侵          吉者主家興崇

Wealth indicates money and prosperity. Sickness indicates inevitable sillness and calamity.
Separation indicates severence of people. Righteousness indicates birth of filial son.
Officer indicates birth of noble son. Robbery indicates misfortune from all directions.
Harm indicates being robbed. Fortune indicates fame and fortune arriving at the family.

How was the ruler designed? Was it just according to the average size of the people in those days in China? Were comfort and beauty the main concern?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Life is a Chaotic System

Chaotic behaviour that is highly sensitive to initial conditions defines chaotic systems. The behaviour is popularly called butterfly effect. Small variations in initial conditions can produce huge difference in events that come after. This makes such systems unpredictable. The weather, the economy, and outcomes contributed by human activities belong to such systems. However, we can create mathematical models to give a probability oriented picture of such systems to predict what we are likely to encounter and hence what measures can be taken for the most desirable outcome.

Our life is not written on the rocks. The path of life is wide and there are many crossroads. A split second decision will determine the days after. The difference, sometimes, can be heaven and hell. An astrologer’s job is not to tell accurately what his client will be 10 years later. His job is to tell his client there is an important decision to be made during a certain year and to give proper advice what to consider when making such a decision. To make the right choice will help him live a much better life. The job of an astrologer is to help people do the right thing at the right time to achieve the best results.
A life-reading system is a mathematical model to give a probability oriented picture of a person's life based on his birth data. The quality of the system lies on the philosophy behind building the model. Such quality is not measured by scientific discipline but by the wholeness of wise thinking. The song is of natural beauty but it needs a good singer to bring out the beauty.

How do we know whether an astrologer is giving a good advice? You cannot live twice to test this. Perhaps we have to rely on the old wisdom: “You get what you deserve!” What you deserve to have is not according to what you are born with but how you have been doing.