Three Common Misconceptions About Feng Shui
Over the years, some call decor or design work they’ve completed “Feng Shui.” When I take a look, I’m often thinking, “What? Where?” Part of the problem is that there are many different schools of feng shui, and each has their principles from which they work. Part of it is that there are MANY books on feng shui, and their information can been conflicting and confusing, to say the least. We all strive to be current: multifunctional spaces, open concept spaces, and “feng shui”, a term few know enough about to accurately evaluate. And the last part is that we all want to utilize knowledge that’s 10,000 years old, yet it takes time and intense focus to learn and utilize the many facets of feng shui. I decided in this blog entry to have some fun with such a serious subject, so I hope you will enjoy some of the fun photos that I found (to which I’ve added captions.)
I recall when I first began my study of feng shui. I had watched a public broadcasting system program entitled “Feng Shui: Creating Environments for Success and Well-Being” that BTB feng shui practitioner Deborah Gee produced and hosted. (Feng Shui Creating Environments Wellbeing) I was fascinated, and immediately went to our public library to learn more about the subject. At that time, they had three books on the subject, yet after reading these books, I found myself confused, as these three authors disagreed on most aspects of feng shui. Once I learned that there were different philosophies within this art & science, my path became clearer. One thing I knew for certain: I didn’t want to pursue traditional feng shui because I was born into the East group, and my husband was in the West group, which wouldn’t be a great match in my own home. (This explains arranged marriages in China, BTW. Both partners need to be in the same group.)Fortunately, I didn’t stumble along blindly for long. Charlene Weaver was my initial BTB feng shui instructor, as director of the Seattle Feng Shui Academe’. Charlene was amazing, and I soaked it all in as best I could, doing six feng shui consultations with my mentor, practitioner Vanessa Stewart. I then became a certified feng shui consultant. I attended as many conferences as possible down in Berkeley, California presented by the late His Holiness Grandmaster Professor Thomas Lin Yun, founder and supreme leader of contemporary Black Sect Esoteric Buddhism at its Fourth Stage. I further learned a lot from teleconferences from one Professor’s best students, Katherine Metz through the years, and took a year of training in her Feng Shui Practitioner’s program. I continue to study, meditate and grow in my understanding of feng shui.
How are Misinterpretations Born?
People’s misconceptions often result from:
- Reading books from a variety of schools of feng shui and combining them, not realizing that there is more than one “set” of solutions.
- Reading that there are four or five possible cures (again from a variety of sources) for a problem, and the person does ALL of them instead of choosing one. Sometimes a novice will, as an example install a chandelier with hundreds of crystals, rather than using just one 40 mm crystal.
- Looking for a problem at every turn in your home, and endeavoring to “cure” all of them. The “everything has a cure so let’s use it” (even if it’s not a problem) is often utilized by novices.
Here are the 3 most common misconceptions from my doing hundreds of feng shui consultations over the years:
Misconception #1: Paint Your Front Door Red
While you want your front door to stand out and be visible from the street, it isn’t necessary to paint it red. If your home has been stained or painted light tan, then you might consider painting your door navy blue, black, dark green, or something that makes it… stand out. You want a person’s eye to be drawn to the door, but red is a very strong color… an auspicious color. If your home is stained or painted grey, you could use a huge variety of colors, but unless you plan to use red throughout the home, then rethink using fire engine red.
Misconception #2: Don’t Put Mirrors in Your Bedroom
This depends upon what school of feng shui in which your consultant is trained. BTB Feng Shui (also called “Modern Feng Shui” and “Western Feng Shui”) uses mirrors for solutions to problems in the bedroom. Used properly, a mirror/mirrors can improve a partnership and strengthen a bond. It can also help to correct a problem where a bed cannot be placed in command position. There are other cures, as well. Lastly, a mirror can simply help you see if what you’re wearing is going to look good, which of course is not feng shui at all.
Misconception #3: It’s all About Your Furniture Placement
While the placement of your bed, desk and cooktop are very important, as is the placement of your front door, the rearrangement of furniture living room, dining room, or children’s bedroom is a small part of the total picture in a feng shui consultation. This depends, to some extent on the issues that I’m asked to address, of course, and the floor plan of the home or office. To use the analogy of a physician’s job, it’s a bit like taking a patient’s pulse is a small part of diagnosing an illness for a doctor.
Just like most of us wouldn’t dream of taking a scalpel to another person without years of training as a surgeon, it may be best to leave feng shui to someone formally trained in this ancient and amazing practice. There are many practitioners throughout the U.S. and Canada, and I’m sure you can find someone in your area. I’m talking about education as in practical training from qualified instructors, mentors and gurus.
Books certainly play a part in honing one’s skills, but just as a surgeon needs to be in the operating room to watch a master perform surgery, then do it herself under the tutelage of the master, and then be able to ask questions and gain insights from the master. According to Grandmaster Professor Lin Yun, Feng Shui is 10,000 years old. While simple in its goals, (i.e.: to create the most harmonious and beneficial environment through the use of ancient tools) it is nuanced in its multi-faceted complexities. True scholars in the practice of feng shui are never done studying. If one has read a book or two on feng shui, there’s a beginning knowledge that needs to grow deeper and broader in spectrum to be sharing its wisdom with others.
zhù nǐ men xìng fú
I wish you happiness.