Designing Your Home and Feng Shui

"Dating back almost 3,000 years, Feng Shui is an ancient discipline primarily of Chinese origin. Its literal translation in Chinese is Wind (Feng), Water (Shui). The Wind represents all the “unseen” parts of life, such as the air we breathe and waves of energy. We need air to survive. The Water represents all the “seen” parts of our lives, like water itself. We need nourishment to live. So, wind and water represents a holistic view of all aspects of our life.

At the most basic level, Feng Shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is the relationship between people and their environments. Feng Shui was developed by observing nature, its power, acknowledging the natural forces and man’s interaction with these forces. Time also plays a very important part. In Feng Shui, nature, people, in fact everything is constantly changing. Having success with Feng Shui is also about making adjustments at the appropriate time. As the late Feng Shui practitioner, Jon Sandifer, put it, “Feng Shui is the practice of being in the right space at the right time and doing the right thing”.

Five elements of feng shui

Feng Shui

Observing your home or office with a Feng Shui eye lets you see what really is going on. Your home is a reflection of you. Feng Shui makes you aware of how your surroundings affect you. It provides tools and methods to change your surroundings to achieve specific results and increase your overall well-being, happiness, and success. It allows us to reconnect with nature by bringing in nature’s energy into our space. As we become more aligned with our environment, we become more aware of the divine flow, manifesting joy and contentment with ease.

Feng Shui can also be considered energy. You can have a greater chance of achieving balance and harmony if you are aware of the natural energetic cycles and forces. Knowing how nature goes through its cycles of seasons can help farmers better prepare for planting and harvesting! This knowledge can help people better for their lives.

Our immediate surroundings have a physical and psychological effect on us, for better or for worse. With Feng Shui one can achieve the best environment possible by harnessing and balancing the energy, or Ch'i, in their space. It’s probably the most important factor in Feng Shui: the flow of Ch'i. In Japanese, it’s known as Ki, and in India as Prana. Ch'i is the life force behind everything, and if that Ch'i cannot flow properly, the feng shui of the space will be greatly affected. You’ll learn more about Ch'i later on in this Unit.

Feng Shui becomes a way of life, but it is not a religion. Anyone from any religious belief can benefit from Feng Shui. It is not specific to the Chinese. You will find forms or aspects of Feng Shui in many cultures. Native American Indians created their teepees without corners and placed them according to the four cardinal directions. In India, Europe, Spanish or Hispanic cultures, buildings often have a center courtyard which is open and with a garden. This encourages Ch'i flow into the environment". 

Source: NY Institute of Art+Design