Feng Shui means ‘wind and water’ — the two most powerful forces of nature – and the essentials of life. The underlying principle of feng shui is to live in harmony with your environment so that the energy surrounding you works for you rather than against you.
Ultimately, feng shui is a sound and sensible way of living with a conscious connection between our outside location and our inner world.
Types of Feng Shui There are many different approaches to the practice of feng shui. Although the principles underlying these approaches are the same, the application of these principles can vary widely from one teacher or practitioner to another. There are many different feng shui tools and techniques and different circumstances require the use of different tools and techniques.
The most useful way of looking at this is to consider that there is no right or wrong way of practising feng shui. There are only different ways. If you decide to study further, in time, you will find a way that suits you.
As soon as you read books on feng shui, you will find that they differ, and often contradict each other. It is best to read as widely as you can as eventually you will be able to discern what feels right to you.
There are several reasons why feng shui practice varies so much. Firstly, feng shui developed over thousands of years and in several areas of the world. Many techniques were developed to deal with different situations and lifestyles. For example, feng shui as practised in rural China is different from the feng shui used in very densely populated Hong Kong. Also, as their skill and experience increased, feng shui masters developed their own techniques, based on their own observations. Today, in the West, feng shui is still adapting and developing.
The main approaches to feng shui are shown below. Most Western practitioners develop their own style by taking selectively from these main approaches. Some practitioners even ‘brand’ their own style and a new feng shui ‘school’ is born.
Traditional / classical / authentic feng shui. Form School and Compass School feng shui are two types of traditional feng shui. Form School examines shapes and symbolism in the environment without reference to compass directions. Compass School utilises the compass, pa kua, lo shu and feng shui formulae. Practitioners may consider this type of feng shui to be a science. Critics find it obscure, inappropriate or too literal.
Black Hat Sect Tantric Buddhist feng shui. Developed in the US 15 years ago by Thomas Lin Yun. It is a hybrid of Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism and feng shui, simplified for Western tastes. Has a huge cult following. Practitioners may be Buddhist or engage in Buddhist rituals and ceremonies.
Intuitive / modern / applied feng shui. An interpretation of traditional feng shui adapted for the West. Can be practical and pragmatic but often has spiritual overtones. Most media coverage is of this type of feng shui. Criticism usually centres on the idea of feng shui as a new age religion.
Although there are many similarities, everything you read or hear is coming from a particular style. These approaches are not essentially right or wrong – good or bad – but some will be more appropriate for you and your circumstances.
Thanks to the Feng Shui Organization London