Teaching Bazhai Mingjing by Analogy
March 17, 2009
The last time I taught Bazhai (the Eight Houses Method) was with the Golden Gate School of Feng Shui just outside of San Francisco, and as usual, the students have difficulties in understanding how to resolve the contradictions when an East Four person is living in a West Four house or vice versa.
I thought of the following analogy to help them come to terms with the compass method as written up in the Bazhai Mingjing (the Bright mirror of Eight Houses), where the Zhai Gua (the Trigram of the house) is calculated based on the sitting direction of a house and the Ming Gua (the Trigram of a person’s life) is based on the years of birth of a person:
Imagine you are a traditional Chinese landscape painter and you have to find a place to exhibit your painting.
The most desirable place to do this would be an art gallery specialized in traditional Chinese painting and that would be like an East Four person living in an East Four house, where the Zhai Gua of the house matches the Ming Gua of a person, that is the house supports the person.
Imagine that you cannot get an art gallery no matter how hard you tried and all you can get is a restaurant, that would be like an East Four person living in a West Four house, where the Zhai Gua of the house do not support the Ming Gua of a person, because a restaurant is not a most supportive place to exhibit paintings.
But imagine the restaurant is a Chinese restaurant and the place has many large white walls to exhibit paintings, that would be like an East Four person living in a West Four house but the bedroom is located in the auspicious position for the person and the bed is located likewise.
Now imagine the restaurant is a Greek restaurant and the place is dim and dart, not suitable to exhibit paintings, be it Chinese or otherwise; that would be like an East Four person living in a West Four house with the bedroom located in an unfavourable position for the person and the bed is also orientated wrongly.
Now what can you do?
One cannot change the place but one can change one’s attitude to the place to take whatever advantage the place can offer.
For example, as an accomplished Chinese landscape painter, you can paint a series of Chinese paintings based on the Acropolis and you ask the owner to shine lights on them and use them as wall decorations for the restaurant. Now you get a chance to exhibit your painting and show how talented you are.
This would be like changing the bed to suit your personal direction, even though the location of the bedroom is not suitable and you are an East Four person living in a West Four housed. Depending on your skill and your attitude, you can still make a success of it, but you will need extra personal efforts and a nimble mind to understand the mutual effects of man and his environment and how to take advantage of what is available through the correlative contemplation of the symbolism of the Trigrams.