Feng Shui (sometimes called “Wind and Water Way”, since feng shui translates as wind water) is an art and science designed to enhance qi flow and focus intention within a given space. Its principles can be applied to a desk, a room, a house, a city block; and in the case of landforms study, the local geography.
Although it is popularly publicized as a way to bring wealth to a home and its inhabitants, its deeper symbolism allows the home to be a sacred space that is approached with intention in order that all aspects of life can move forward in positive ways. On a pragmatic level, many aspects of feng shui are related to making the home or work space safe for those within it, for the Chinese recognized that fright and shock (which can result by being startled or surprised) actually undermine physical health, in turn affecting mental wellbeing.
When related to Five Phase Symbology, feng shui becomes profoundly useful in promoting health and the flourishing that is true prosperity. Any space becomes a meditation space with the application of feng shui principles—the kitchen becomes an offering to nourishment and prosperity (it takes prosperity to purchase food and the “fire” to cook with!); the living room a place to focus on companionship and relaxation; the bathroom a space to let go of what’s old to bring in what’s new in life; the bedroom a sanctuary for rest and sleep that restores both body and spirit, providing a foundation for lasting health into old age.
A thumbnail sketch of the ba gua (eight trigrams) can be applied to any room—stand in the door looking into the room; if the door is in the center of the wall, it is in the career area, if it is in the left corner of the room, the knowledge area, if in the right corner, the helpful people area. Go around the room from the near left corner (knowledge) clockwise and you get: knowledge plus health & ancestry (center left wall) provide wealth (far left corner) which gains you a reputation/fame (center far wall) then allowing you to marry well (far right corner) which marriage can produce children (center right wall)—for which you’ll need helpful people (right corner)! In this way, each room becomes a microcosmic symbol for the progression of events in adult life. The rearrangement of the room to emphasize various areas allows each resident to dwell on the importance of that aspect of life, and so behave more consistently to bring about the best manifestation of that aspect of life.
Isabeau Vollhardt, L.Ac., MSOM has practiced Tibetan Buddhist Black Hat Feng Shui for 25 years, and is expanding her workinto landform theory. Her B.A. in Philosophy incorporated coursework in Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. She has conducted Feng Shui workshops in Oregon, California, and Astrakhan, Russia. She is available for consultations for homes, offices, clinics and treatment rooms.