There are many aspects to Feng Shui. One can use the analogy of comparing Feng Shui to an onion. As you peel the skin away, there are deeper and deeper layers to be discovered. One of the topmost layers is environmental Feng Shui. Many practitioners go only as deep as this level. Despite only hitting the surface of the science of Feng Shui, they do have some limited success. Anyone who takes the time can apply these environmental Feng Shui principles to their offices and living space. Although much is said about these factors, they bear repeating as questions abound about the “common sense” environmental aspects of Feng Shui.
One of the most basic principles of environmental Feng Shui is that you do not sit with your back to an entrance. It is amazing how many modern offices have cubicles or office furniture arrangements that place a person facing away from either the entrance to their cubicle or the door of the office. Placing a person like that is both unproductive and creates a suspicious feeling in the person who consistently has to turn around to see who is behind them. One company had a worker, who knew nothing about Feng Shui, with a mirror next to him to see who was approaching from the rear. While we do not recommend mirrors as a Feng Shui remedy, (see the article on mirrors) this was one case where it did come in handy to make the person aware of his surroundings. People can be much more productive if they are comfortable. A desk that is aligned in such a way as to protect the backside of the worker is a much more comfortable situation.
Another common sense Feng Shui axiom is that curves are much more pleasing than angles. In art, a smooth curving brush stroke is much more pleasing to the eye than a sharp angle. The same is true in buildings. It seems that much is written about angles pointing at you. They are referred to as Metal Sha, Qi Arrows, etc. From a common sense perspective they do not look pleasing, nor do they provide comfort. They create on on-rush of direct chi from two directions with a focus directly at you. The objective then is to break up that on-rush of energy. Ideally a curved corner is much more desirable. Many architects and builders are now building homes with no angles at all. Every corner is rounded. If it is a building near your home or office, consider putting a tall bush or shrub in front of the angle to break up the qi force.
Clutter – this has to be the most popular “cure all” solution for your basic Feng Shui practitioner. Feng Shui is about pleasing and comfortable environments. While some people thrive on clutter, it is not a way of improving one’s prosperity or well being. So even though it is basic advice, it is still good advice. Take care of the clutter. You may have seen this solution on TV, but it works for assisting in clearing out the clutter.
Looking at environmental “Sha” (evil influence), freeways and roads are the most predominant in today’s world. Some suggestions about these environmental influences are to avoid living right next to a freeway. This is true for railroad tracks as well. While people can become accustom to the noise Sha, it does not provide a harmonious environment. There is too much fast moving qi and noise Sha. If you have this situation, try to put some barriers between you and the Sha. A hedge or a wall can deflect some of the noise. Another situation to avoid is living in a house or building on the outside edge of a curved road. This is like a sickle of qi slicing through the house. From a common sense perspective, it is more likely that a car will lose control and end up in your yard. Again, the solution would be to create a barrier such as a hedge or wall that is protective. While these can be protective, ensure that they fit with the environment around, are beautiful, and are not isolating.
Another problem in today’s cities is the problem of proportion. Many times a high rise is built next to a small building or apartment complex or even a single home. A high-rise by itself is unprotected and exposed. A small building surrounded by high-rises is overwhelmed and the occupants have a similar feeling. The solution here is to avoid situations like these. This is true if you are planning a building or if you are looking for homes.
Modern environmental influences can also include electrical lines. Although the debate about high-tension power lines continues, Feng Shui considers this Fire Sha. Too much Fire Sha is not good. If there are power lines near your house, consider adding earth element to ground this fire.
A more traditional environmental Sha are cemeteries. Cemeteries are the resting-places for the yin spirits. Too much yin chi can be overwhelming. There is another study of Feng Shui known as “Yin House Feng Shui.” This is the study of the Feng Shui of the dead. Traditional Chinese culture believes that the siting of the grave can affect the generations to follow. Cemeteries are places to mourn and have separation associated with them. This is even more yin qi. Yang house (homes for the living) should not be near cemeteries.
Good Feng Shui standards follow the concept of “being plugged in.” This is applicable to bedrooms, houses and apartments. In the bedroom, keep your bed “plugged in” to a wall. Do not have the bed at an angle to the walls, nor away from a solid wall. This leads to uncomfortable sleeping patterns and a generally poor rest. The bedroom is where you regenerate and absorb the most chi of the day. Most people spend at least six to eight hours sleeping. During this time you are absorbing the qi of the room. When a proper Feng Shui analysis is performed, the focus should be on the bedrooms and the entrance (where the qi circulates into your house). The most important part of Feng Shui is creating a balanced environment for the people. A supportive bedroom is a must.
Houses and other buildings should be plugged into the ground. Stilt houses are not considered to have good Feng Shui since they are not “plugged into” the ground. This can lead to instability and stomach problems. When looking for a place on a hill, try to find one that is grounded.
Lastly, always remember to keep a balance. The fundamental theory of Feng Shui is the concept of Yin and Yang. This is about balance. If a room is too bright, put up curtains. If a room is too dark, consider adding a skylight. If it is too cold, turn on the heater. Too much of anything is not healthy. 168 Feng Shui Advisors uses the philosophy of “Bringing traditional balance to modern living.” There are a lot of modern environmental problems around, but there are as many traditional solutions. Thousands of years ago, things were much simpler which allowed the time to examine solutions in depth. The answers to today’s environmental issues are still to be found in traditional Feng Shui.