15 Core Principles Modern FengShui Discover a set of guidelines for the sound practice of FengShui
The Chinese have been using FengShui for the past 6000 years, yet we are still debating whether it is a science or a superstition worth preserving. it is far more productive to study it seriously and see what it can offer us, otherwise FengShui will always remain a puzzle to us and open to continual fraud and further corruption.
These principles came about because the Chinese have used FengShui to manage their environment over hundreds and thousands of years, and this allowed them to collect many valuable experiences and insights. By examining what are the core principles, we can work towards establishing a set of guidelines for the sound practice of FengShui :
Principle 1 : An Integrated and Holistic System Our environment is considered to be an integral system as a whole, with Man at the center, including all things “under Heaven and on Earth”. 1) Man is part of Nature; therefore we are responsible to each other. 2) Nature has its universal laws and Man should follow them. 3) Human nature and the Dao are the same, so we should be “Ziran” in our behavior.
“The terrain is the body, the spring is the blood, the soil is the skin, the grasses are the hairs, the house is the clothing, and the doors are the accessories. If they are properly related to each other in a dignified way, then it is considered most auspicious.”
Principle 2 : Being Suitable and Appropriate to the Restriction and Limitation of the Site Every site has its limitation and advantages. Some places are only suitable for residential use while others are more suitable for commerce or manufacturing, so there is a need to determine what a site is best suitable for, to allow the resultant development to be “Ziran” and not forced or out of balance with its neighbor.
“Site selection is not easy because the “wind” and the “earth” of the four directions are all different and the terrain of the land is not the same. One can locate the “Xue” half way up the mountain or deep into the valley, or on a flat ground or between rock formations, or even under water…”
Principle 3 : Bound by Mountains and Near Water Mountains are the “skeletons” of the land, they not only provide us with protection from the weather and from our predators; they also provide us with food and resources. Water is the source of life and means of transportation, without water we cannot survive, so the wise people have preferred to live in a place, which is “bound by mountains and near water”.
“Whenever we locate a capital, it is either at the front of a mountain range or on a broad plain. It must be elevated and near a sufficient source of water supply. The drainage must be clean and respond to the natural conditions of the site and the terrain of the land. Therefore, the layout of the city need not be too regular, and the roads need not to be too straight.”
Principle 4 : Carry the Yin and Embrace the Yang A FengShui house should be protected from the cold wind and facing the warm sun. The phrase “Hide from the Wind and Gather the Qi” is often used in conjunction with the phrase “Carry the Yin and Embrace the Yang” because both aim to find an ideal FengShui spot (Xue) where the Yin and Yang are balanced and where the ShengQi is assembled.
“Wind cannot be avoided in the flat plain, but it has Yin Yang difference. Those that face east and south will receive the warm and hot wind (and) we called it the Yang Wind; those that face west and north will receive the cool and cold wind (and) we called it the Yin Wind. If there is no protection nearby, then the wind will penetrate the bones, and bring the owners increasing defeat and fewer off-springs.”
Principle 5 : Observe the Form and Examine the Configuration Observation and investigation of the landform to locate the correct site for a dwelling is one of the core principles of FengShui, because it is beneficial to health and well being.By examining the Configuration (Shi) in their various layers of relationship, we can begin to understand the “Original Character” of a site, and thus be able to create a building that will fit in naturally, and in a holistic way.
The ‘Six Internal Matters” are gate and door, Ming Tang or light well and courtyard, living space, sleeping area, the kitchen and stove and the rice-grinder. Again, we do not have a rice-grinder any more and we are more concerned with our study and working from home. Moreover, the toilet and urinal with the utilities area have become an internal concern rather than an external one.
Principle 6 : Examine the Geology of the Land The Chinese had a means of examining the geology of the land that was called “The Method to Test the Suitability of the Soil”. “Use the method of ”Tu Yi” to distinguish the 12 types of soil, in order to know their advantage and harmfulness, so as to benefit the people and the domesticated animals, the plants and the vegetables.”
“The soil should be firm and not loose; the ShengQi will not return to a soil that is stubbornly hard and the True Yang (the essential ingredients) will not reside in a soil that is loose and dispersed.”
Principle 7 : Analyze the Quality of Water The quality of water (especially drinking water) often determines the quality of life because plants need to be watered and humans need to drink constantly. Water can also bring disease and sickness, as well as being used for defense and transportation. The quality of water can also have a curative benefit because of the trace elements and the mineral content in it.
Different kinds of sickness are often associated with the different qualities of drinking water available and when the quality is good and free flowing, then the inhabitants will tend to be healthy and well. Hot springs and health spas often attract human settlements nearby and they are considered to be places with good FengShui.
Principle 8 : Determine the Amount and the Standard The population density of a place should be in proportion to the capacity it can sustain. In FengShui, where the water comes in and goes out is called the “Shui Kou”, and there is a standard and a guideline we can adhere to so the resource can keep up with the population growth. Many of the traditional towns and villages kept to this standard to survive.
The wealth of a place is determined by the distance (of an open space) and the amount of water (that is available). We should not waste the land or the resource, nor should we allow an insufficient land size to create unnecessary pressure on the occupants.
Principle 9 : Take Advantage of the ShengQi (Mother of Water) The aim of FengShui is to locate a building or a tomb in places where there is ShengQi so the occupants can take advantage of it. Thus we can see the ShengQi is the life force that makes things grows and ShaQi is the negative opposite that halts the growth of life. ShengQi can be cultivated by adjusting the Yin and Yang balance of a situation, so they are in harmony and mutually supports each other.
“Qi is the mother of water, when water stops, Qistops. Water in turn follows the Qi flow and when water stops flowing, Qi also. Whenever the mountain air is full, the smoke rises, the cloud is steamy and the rocks moist and shining, then the (Sheng) Qi is present. When the cloud and the air are lifeless, the colors dark and dull, the rocks broken and fallen, the soil parched, the earth withered, there is little growth and the water courses all dried up, then the (Sheng) Qi has gone elsewhere’.
Principle 10 : Suitably Located in the Middle and Residing in the Middle “Residing in the middle” in this case does not mean the building is located dead in the middle of a planning arrangement, but it is “centrally located” at the most beneficial position, so it can take advantage of its surrounding. The location should neither be too Yang nor too Yin, neither too high nor too low, and neither too large nor too small.
“An Emperor is given the mandate to establish a new kingdom. To site a capital it must be located in the center of the land, so it can control the peace of the world, stabilize the Yin and Yang and control the 4 directions to rule the country properly”. The same idea dictates that an urban business center is always located in the middle of a modern city and the best shops are always located in the middle of a shopping mall.
Principle 11 : Aesthetic Appreciations Since we perceive both the Qi of the Form and the Qi of the Formless with our five senses and our mind, an aesthetic appreciation of a built form in its environment becomes an important part of FengShui. Because Qi can exist in the Form and the Formless, there is also the beauty of the Form and the beauty of the Formless.
If it is to be located high, then it should not be too dangerously high,If it is to be located low, then it should not be too inconveniently low.If it is to be exposed, then it should not be too blatantly exposed.If it is to be concealed, then it should not be too concealed that it becomes invisible.If it is to be special, then it should not be too special that it becomes strange.If it is to be artful, then it should not be too artful that it becomes cheap looking.
Principle 12 : Greening the Environment The amount of trees and wood can give an indication of the quality of the FengShui of a site. The general guideline is not to plant them too close to the house; the distance should be proportional to the size and the height of a tree. On the sunny side it is more desirable to have deciduous varieties while on the shady side they can be evergreens
The soil is thick and the water deep,The grass is lush and the forest full.The honored guests take advantage (of the site), It is worth million ounces of gold.
Principle 13 : FengShui can be Transformed and Improved. Nature does not arbitrary set out to fool us humans, nor should we humans set out deliberately to defeat Nature by our will and our prejudices. We should use our knowledge and our know how to mutually respond to Nature to ensure that any improvement is long term and viable.If we cannot take out more than what the situation requires and destroy nature in the process!!!
“The forging and the blending of the mountains and valleys are done by Heaven, but the tailoring and the fashioning of the landscape are done by Man.”
Principle 14 : Yin Yang Dialectics to Achieve Harmony The Yin Yang Dialectics are the soul of FengShui because without Yin and Yang contrast there is no potential for the Qi to flow and therefore no FengShui to speak about. To find the balance and harmony in our environment we first need to distinguish what is Yin and what is Yang in a given situation before we can adjust and integrate them to transform the situation.
By using the Yin Yang dialectics, we can find an appropriate solution lying somewhere within the bound of the two poles. Confucius referred to this idea as being “the Golden Mean” The Golden Mean does not lay dead in the middle but is appropriately situated so the Yin and Yang are balanced and in harmony with each other.
Principle 15 : Being Timely (Shi) and Affectionate (Qing) It is also the one principle that unifies all of the previous ones we have mentioned. FengShui is human feelings and affections, which enabled us to connect our body and soul to the environment we live and work in. FengShui in essence, examines and contemplates this intimate relationship between Man and Nature.
Everything has the two poles of opposite and one of unity, from the mutual transformation of Yin and Yang, from the beginning and the end of a life, from being and non-being, from difficulties to achievements, from the front to the back, from the extreme to being overturned, they all have their quality of auspicious and harmfulness. Hasten the auspicious and avoid the harmful. Being affectionate and timely is considered to be fortunate!!!
If we have to reduce the core principles of FengShui into just one word, then we cannot avoid the “Affection” word as well. Without a mutual response between man and his environment - that is without “Qing”, there is no FengShui to speak about. “There is Affection in the Natural Environment and Love in the Human World”
If architecture cannot get entangled with human feelings and affections, then it loses its life force, its enchantment and its meaning, as well as its reason for being; it becomes just an empty space of pure physics and geometry”. Thank You Very Much Sompong Yusoontorn