What is Feng Shui?
Most people have heard about Feng Shui, however they might not know too much about it. There is much more too it than the simple and generally held understanding that it is about arranging furniture in a certain way. There are many self nominated Feng Shui consultants who believe that using salt lamps, adding live plants and water fountains to living spaces makes changes in people's lives. For this reason, it is important to highlight a few things you didn't know about feng shui.
Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophy that has existed for more than 4000 years. The underlying principle is to live in harmony with an environment so that the surrounding energy works for you rather than against you. Some people dismiss feng shui as being a modern fad, however nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact that it is still being used today shows what a durable philosophy it is.
The five elements in feng shui are water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. A feng shui practitioner will incorporate these elements into a work or living space. They must be used together in the correct way to ensure that the energy of the area is in balance.
Feng Shui looks at how the placement of things and objects within the space affect the energy flow in your environment, and how these objects interact with and influence your personal energy flow. In your home, your energy flow affects how you live and react to the surroundings. The physical objects in your home are also a reflection of who you are. In your office, your personal energy flow affects how you think and act, which in turn affects how well you perform and succeed in your professional life. The ancient Chinese understood that energy is a constant force in the universe, and surrounds us in everything that we interact with. Feng shui was developed as a means to harness that energy in the best possible way to ensure only a positive outcome.
Where furniture is placed in a room is important in feng shui, as spaces should be uncluttered and have ease of access. However, what is equally important is the material which the furniture is made from, and its color. As has previously been stated, there can be conflicts in the energies of elements and colors within a space, and this must be taken into account.
It is all about living in harmony with nature and your surroundings. Therefore, some spaces have higher energy and are more important than others. Through the artful placement of furniture and objects, use of the Bagua, color theory, and the five natural elements, Feng Shui helps bring the natural flow of energy into your space.
With origins in Taoism, Feng Shui was established over 4,000 years ago in China. Feng Shui principles are incorporated into most buildings in Asia and has developed popularity in the Western world, particularly Europe, since its introduction in the 1980’s.
There are various schools of thought on Feng Shui, but they all agree on these basic principles:
- We are one with Nature Chi (life force energy) is in everything and it is has a major influence in our lives, which can nurture and support us, or sap our energy.
- Yin and yang are polar opposites that need to be in a comfortable balance in our spaces.
- Everything in our universe possesses characteristics of the Five natural elements - Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water – and restoring these natural elements into our built environments creates better harmony and well-being
I will do another post on Feng Shui to shed more light on the overall practice and comparison with ancient Indian ritual called "Vastu".