Feng Shui is the art of harmonizing the forces of nature known as chi to promote health, harmony and prosperity for the living. Feng Shui is much more than just an art of placement. It is a study of the environment and how the energies of that environment interact with individual dwellings. Feng Shui is indeed a highly complex art, which requires years of study and research to attain mastery.
By understanding these mysterious forces of nature, we can attune ourselves to the environment and obtain the greatest benefit. There are various systems of Authentic Feng Shui. Basically, we can define them as Form School and Compass School. Contrary to popular new age Westernized Feng Shui schools, authentic Chinese Feng Shui involves deep and profound understandings of the I Ching and Taoism, rather than plain superstitious beliefs and intentions. While Feng Shui was derived from the principles of Taoism, it is not restricted to it. The Form School of Feng Shui focuses on the living environment. In the big scale, it includes analysis of the external structures such as mountains, rivers, buildings, roads, and land contours, while on the smaller scale, it includes the internal arrangements and dimensions of a building and how the layout of furniture is designed to facilitate the flow of chi. The Compass School, on the other hand, is largely based on the theories of the Eight Mansions (Pa-Chai) System and the Flying Stars (San-Yuan Xuan Kong) System. All genuine systems of Feng Shui would advocate the use of the Chinese Luo Pan compass.
Contrary to the new age Westernized Feng Shui belief, authentic systems of Feng Shui converge on many intricate calculations of chi-distribution, time and space dimension and environmental influences.
Perhaps it would surprise many Westerners to learn that Traditional Feng Shui does not advocate the use of so-called ‘Feng Shui items’ as cures or remedies. Traditional Feng Shui is more centered on proper arrangement, proper alignment to the environmental forces and proper applications of the 5 Elements to enhance the Feng Shui of the premises.
After nearly sixty years of practising Feng Shui, I have read and studied countless classical doctrines on the subject. I have read both Chinese and English publications and would like to take this opportunity to stress that I am shocked to discover what is mostly being passed off as ‘Feng Shui’ in the English-speaking world today. The age-old Chinese cultural art of Feng Shui has been greatly reduced to a mere mercenary art of marketing ‘Feng Shui cures’. I was disturbed, too, by the fact that more and more newcomers are becoming ‘Feng Shui Masters’ after reading these misinformed books or after attending a short 4-6 day seminar on the subject! Too many books are written for commercial purposes rather than to give information.
However, on reading this book, I am pleased for a good number of reasons. Gayle Atherton has challenged the norm with a view to clearing up the misinformation that exists today. Her book not only has clear and concise explanations of the real Feng Shui applications the Chinese people still use today, but she has also taken the trouble to guide readers into the right path of Feng Shui applications. Gayle has a strong grasp of the subject, and hence an effective capacity to get the point across. Envisioned within the covers of this book are the foundations of the many advanced systems of Authentic Chinese Feng Shui, such as the Eight Mansions (Pa-Chai) and Flying Stars (San Yuan Xuan Kong) systems.
This book is designed in a way that will not only benefit the complete beginner, but will also intellectually enlighten some experienced practitioners on the basic forms and interior arrangements of good Feng Shui. Many practitioners and beginners alike will find Gayle’s work a spectacular blend of information and practical experience that will reinforce their belief in this age-old Chinese metaphysical science.
I greatly recommend Gayle’s work as a stepping stone into the fascinating world of Feng Shui for any layman. I wish Gayle all the very best in her future undertakings and greatly look forward to her next enterprising effort.
Grand Master Yap Cheng Hai