Feng Shui is a three thousand year old Chinese study of achieving harmony by placing objects and making arrangements of space in sync with the environment. The literal meaning of the words in Chinese is “wind and water” – two primary elements of nature. The focal point of this study is Qi or Chi i.e. positive energy. The Book of Burial states “ The Qi disperses with the wind and collects on the boundaries of Water”. The name stems from this very saying.
Feng Shui acts as a morale booster and is said to bring luck to businessmen. It may also be applied during the construction and decoration of a home to ensure the well being of its dwellers.
One has to exercise extreme caution due to emergence of a large number of frauds out to make a quick buck by taking advantage of the situation. It had become increasing difficult for the Chinese Government to detect such swindlers and hence was banned at one point of time.
As with others, Feng Shui can be categorized into two main schools of thought – Traditional and Modern. Traditional schools again have 2 groups - San He (emphasizes the effect of neighboring landforms – Three harmonies) and San Yuan (stresses the importance of time – Three Cycles). The Modern Feng Shui has many sub-divisions which include Black Hat Sect, Fuzion, Intuitive and Pyramid Feng Shui.
The fundamental theory behind Feng Shui is the optimum utilization of the 5 Elements (Earth, Fire, Water, Metal and Wood) and the 8 Bagua trigrams (Qian, Kun, Zhen, Xun, Li, Kan, Dui and Gen). A perfect balance between these will result in peace and harmony in life.
Feng Shui sprang from a combination of astrology and architecture as early as 4800 B.C. It was first introduced in the U.S. in the early 19th century. However, its use has been prohibited in The People’s Republic of China (PRC) since mid 1900s.
Many famous buildings and monuments have been structured strictly as per Feng Shui guidelines. The Hong Kong Disneyland is a striking example. The four corners section of New York, The Joss House in Australia and the famous Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong are a few others.
It is widely in practice in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and rural China. Architects and builders are being strongly advised to incorporate the rules of Feng Shui in their design layouts, even in places with little or no Asian population.