Where to Learn the Life Changing Art of Feng Shui
We’ve all heard about the Chinese practice of Feng Shui—it has something to do with arranging a room for optimal energy, or “Qi” as it’s referred to over here.
That hazy definition is essentially what the extent of our knowledge was on this topic before coming to China. Lately, though, we’ve begun to learn a little bit more about this practice, and what it can really do for us.
So, what is the basis of Feng Shui? Where does it come from?
According to the holistic Chinese philosophy, each entity on this planet has its own purpose, its own place in the natural order of things.
Each creature and essence come with its own energy force, and this vitality is the crux of who we are, what makes us living beings, what differentiates us from others.
The philosophy notes, importantly, that each of our energies interacts with each other.
The practice of Feng Shui addresses our personal energy’s interaction with environmental energy. This will be either positive or negative, according to the belief, based on how we arrange our surroundings.
Bad Feng Shui results from energy getting stuck in its environment. In order to support our own personal Qi, we must design our space in such a way that promotes a harmonious, balanced interaction between the energy of the environment and ourselves.
So, Feng Shui is the system of arranging your surroundings in order to ensure your environment permits energy to be free flowing.
When carried out successfully, it is believed to positively affect our thoughts and actions, and bring good luck to all aspects of life, including physical and mental health, relationships, and material success.
Historically, it was used to orient structures, especially spiritual ones like tombs. Today, however, the practice has extended to be used more broadly. It’s become common to arrange workplaces and homes according to this system.
Fundamentals to Feng Shui your space
Unblock stuck energy and welcome balance into your environment with these essential tips.
1) Purchase a fountain. Place it outside the entrance. Ideally, you want the water to be flowing towards the center of your space, promoting energy growth.
2) Introduce plants to your kitchen space. Whether that’s flowers or greenery, your best bet is to place them above your cabinets in the space between them and the ceiling. The less space that remains empty here, the better, to prevent energy getting stuck—so bring on the tall plants!
Quick tip – silk plants may be used in place of real ones if there is not enough light to promote the growth of live plants.
3) Hang up art work. Highlight pieces that display positive images, or convey happy feelings.
4) Play music and/or hang up chimes—if you haven’t heard traditional Chinese music before, we suggest that!
5) Amp up the light. Whether with fireplaces or bulbs, the most ideal, Qi-promoting light is that which emulates the real deal.
6) Hang up mirrors. Near entryways, in dark hallways (to boost light), and in areas where they will reflect nature from outside. Whole mirrors are preferred to fragmented ones, promoting the viewing of oneself in a full piece, which is believed to give you a sense of completeness.
7) Decorate with crystals. Popular ones are jade (for health and wealth), rose quartz (for loving energy), clear quartz (for creative energy), and amethyst (for spiritual and meditative energy).
8) Keep the bathroom door closed.
9) Face your bed in the “commanding” position. This means against the wall diagonally across from the entrance, which allows you to keep an eye on anyone entering your room.
10) Cover the TV when not in use. The device prevents calming energy from blossoming.
11) Keep windows clean. Dirt and grime promote negative energy.
12) Clear out your space. Literally! Make space for new, vital energy force by clearing out the stagnant, old space.
Where to study the practice in China
Offering both a “Mastery” course and a “Feng Shui for Life” course, this school provides its students the opportunity to take a comprehensive program that details the discipline, or in the case of the latter, a five-day beginners’ workshop. No matter which stream you choose, you will get exposure to a practical application of the practice via field trips to physical sites in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Located in Beijing, this center provides a course for beginners that takes place twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays. They cover the basic principles of Taoism—the philosophy at the heart of Feng Shui, the practice’s major ideas—including its connection with health and how to read floor plans, and then ties in the connection between the ancient practice and Beijing, giving students applicable, tangible lessons that promote a well-rounded, experiential schooling.
The class also features lectures from Florian Mohr, a well-respected Traditional Chinese medicine therapist, martial artist, sinologist and business consultant.
If you have trouble getting to China, no problem. This school provides fully interactive lessons online for those interested in honing the practice from abroad. The courses are outlined in a seven-step program, beginning with a Key Concepts program, and progressing to more in depth courses like their Advanced Four Pillars professional training course, which aims to help you understand not only your own Qi but your clients’ too.
Before we sign off…
We encourage you, as always, to take your travel experiences as far as you possibly can. That means, while you’re in China, make sure you’re taking full advantage of your surroundings. Try every dish you can. Visit every monastery. And, of course, embrace all art forms to the best of your ability. That means taking a class in Feng Shui. Not only will you be able to better understand the practice when you take a whack at it for yourself, but you’ll have lifelong memories of that time you learned from an old Feng Shui master, first hand. Plus, and we promise you this, once you’ve learned to enhance the Qi in your life, you’ll feel the shift in energy and won’t want to go back!