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Feng Shui:   Myth or Truth

By Alexa Chou

Can red paper under your business phone really bring you more business? Will a horse statue in your travel position cause more opportunities for travel or help you sell your house? Myth or truth? Decide for yourself…

Feng Shui has become more accepted and widely applied in recent years although a sense of mysticism continues to surround the practice. Understanding the many rules and schools of thought within Feng Shui requires an acceptance of basic theories about the universe which can seem alien to our current perception of the world.

Are these indeed truths gained from over thousands of years of practice and experience, or are they instead myths helped along by the power of suggestion and self-fulfilling prophesies? You can be the judge. First, a little background for those new to Feng Shui, and a brief review for those already familiar with its concepts, followed by historical and modern-day reports of Feng Shui in action.

Feng Shui 101

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of aligning one's life in harmony with the environment to create good fortune and health. Literally translated, Feng Shui means wind and water and refers to all elements of the Earth, whose shape, size, direction, and characteristics are created by the interaction of these powerful forces. These energy forces are known as qi or chi.

Feng shui is the observation and adjustment of qi. It is the interaction of Yin and Yang as primal forces of qi. Qi, or the vital energy of life, is both tangible, such as in electricity, breath, mountains, rocks, wind, water, plants, and buildings, and intangible, such as in thoughts, symbols, and spirits.

As a technique for living, Feng Shui is best thought of as the science of selecting or arranging your living environment so that the five elements and the Yin and the Yang energies are in complete harmony, thereby bringing the good life to those living within that environment.

Feng Shui is an art born of experience and common sense combined with the ability to correct disharmony in the environment, thus improving one's immediate living and work space to further strengthen this vital balance and harmony

Feng Shui at Play in the World

Let's start with an example where you can judge whether Feng Shui or "geographical" common sense is at play:

Feng Shui practitioners believe that a good location has protection in the back and water in the front. History seems to bear this out in the metropolises of Hong Kong (bounded by the South China Sea and Central Mountain of China), New York (bounded by the Appalachians and Atlantic Ocean), and London (bounded by the Chilterns Mountain and the River Thames). All became great contemporary centers of communication and finance.

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