In Chinese feng shui translates to wind and water. As a form of knowledge and mystical instruction it dates back several thousand years to ancient China. Thousands of years ago, the rulers of China needed to consider carefully the geography and layout of the country, since constructing any buildings, bridges or infrastructure depending on the land.
In particular builders needed to carefully plan their constructions around the severe winds, mountains and water masses, as well as the propensity of China to flood. Because of these earthly considerations, the word feng shui (meaning wind and water) came about.
In America, we became acquainted with Feng Shui back in the 1840s during the California gold rush when many families from all over the world came to the US to seek their fortunes in gold. These days we are all know about feng shui and it is a common principle that modern people use to help organize their lives.
Indeed we can thank the many Chinese immigrants that flocked to the United States in the 1800s since they brought with them their belief systems, which included a faith in the principles of Feng Shui. In this day and age we tend to use a more basic version of this knowledge, but it continues to prove its worth.
1) The origins of Feng Shui
The Chinese originally devised the principles and philosophies of Feng Shui in order to decide where to bury significant people, in particular members of dynasties and royal families. It was initially taken up to select burial sites for the wealthy, as well as palace locations for royalty. Scholars that practiced feng shui analyzed the signs and signals given from the earth to make a decision as to where to construct buildings and bury the dead. For example, they would consider which trees were clearly affected by wind, looked for rocks, and streams.
Based on these early observations, the book of the I-Ching (meaning Book of Changes) was written. At its core, Feng Shui functions as a rulebook to working with nature, following a life that respect and reveres the earth, and acting with integrity towards our immediate environment as well as the planet more generally. Feng Shui really must be experienced to be believed. Ask anyone who has ever taken up the practice and they will tell you that it not only turned their life around but also saved it as well. Feng Shui really is the most practical guide to better living that the numerous new age remedies have to offer.
Feng Shui provides principles that not only improve your inner self but also your lived in environment. Many people that organize their lives around the framework of Feng Shui report that it brings a balance to your life force. Not only does it built a platform for a balanced life style, it also brings harmony and serenity even in this day and age of hustle and bustle and confusion.
2) The principles of Feng Shui
To improve your life through Feng Shui, it is imperative that you follow the guidelines of balance and harmony that are at the root of Feng Shui. According to Feng Shui, the universe is composed of three components. Every living being, every plant and every object is supposed to represent one of these three element which are Yin, Yang and Chi. Yang is male in nature where as Yin is female in nature. Together Yin and Yang are two forces which are responsible in creation and sustenance of all living and non-living objects on earth. Chi is the force that is created through the natural interplay of Yin and Yang.
Chi (or positive energy) should always be able to flow freely through any space in order to help us being in balance with the elements surrounding us. Chi is what brings us what we desire in life and allows us to be prosperous. Chi is based on the natural energy exchange which exists among everything on earth.
3) Some introductory tips
Learning about feng shui takes time, and there are very many principles to follow. That said, bringing positive energy into your home is relatively easy and can involve only a few simple adjustments. Here are a few tips to get you started.
a) You should never crowd furniture. Each piece of furniture should have space around it to allow chi (or good energy) to flow freely.
b) Never place beds, chairs, sofas or desks right across or with their back towards the main door. You and your guests should never positioned with your back right across the entrance door.
c) Do not concentrate too much of one energy in one place. Your house should balance fire, water and metal to be in balance, you should avoid placing to much fire, earth or wood in one area.
d) Do not position elements in opposition to one another. For example a fireplace or stove should not be across from a wash basin, fish tank or toilet. The clash between fire and water will cause disharmony in the house.
e) Illuminate dark corners since they concentrate too much negative yin energy. Place a light or a plant in shadowy areas to disperse the darkness and allow chi energy to flow into the space.
Incorporating the principles of Feng Shui into your home is sure to help you better balance your life.