October 18, 2014
I gave these questions out to my students last week and the worse result in the class was 14/20. How many of them can you answer?
1) What are “the five essential components of a landscape model” (Dili Wujue)? Please draw a sketch showing their relationship to each other.
2) What is the “four animals model” (Siling) arrangement? Please show with a sketch or explain how they are derived from nature – “the five essential components of a landscape model”.
3) How can you tell the yin and yang of mountain and water? When is a mountain considered yin and water yang and when is the reverse being the case?
4) Please name 5 of the 15 core principles of form feng shui and explain briefly what they are.
5) What is the essential difference between “Bazhai Mingjing” (The Bright Mirror of Eight Mansion) and “Yangzhai Sanyao” (The Three Essentials of a Yang Dwelling) in the Eight Mansion School of feng shui.
6) A man and a woman were both born in January 1987, what are their Minggua numbers? Do man and woman born in the same year always have the same Minggua numbers? Please give reasons to your answer.
7) In a west-four house the husband is a west-four person but the wife is an east-four person, so the house suits the man more, what can we do for the woman?
8) What are the names and the elements of the 8 wandering qi in Eight Mansion School of feng shui? What is the most desirable of the 8 wandering qi and what is the least desirable?
9) What is the term “Xuan Kong” means? How are they expressed in the Flying Star School of feng shui?
10) In a Flying Star chart, each of the palaces has four numbers or stars, that is four latyers of numbers, what are they and what do they represent?
11) In a Period 8 house facing S3, is it better to have a home office in the west or north-east Guaqi-wise?
12) Please construct a replacement chart from a normal chart for a period 8 house sitting on E1.
13) In the Xuankong Dagua School of feng shui why do we need to match up “the coming dragon” and the “going water” with the sitting and facing of a tomb or house? Please name 2 types of auspicious matching of numbers.
14) Is the Tongren Dagua, with the Qian trigram on top of the Li trigram, an auspicious or harmful Hexagram? Please give your reasons.
15) Please name the four San He water methods learned in class.
16) What are the 12 Life Stages in the San He School of feng shui?
17) What is the major difference between a Sanyuan and a Sanhe Luopan compass?
18) In what directions the “general” Direct and Indirect Spirits for Period 7 are located? Also, in a Period 7 house facing E2 where are “specific” Direct and Indirect Spirits?
19) What is the San Cai Methodology for feng shui audit and analysis? Please explain how you can use this methodology to find the appropriate suggestions in a feng shui consultation.
20) How does a feng shui “cure” work in practice? For example, what would you do if your client asked you to use feng shui to help her find a husband?
We have just started a new 2 years teaching of 6 units (last being the final examinations unit) on Professional Practtitioners Course in St Petersburg and the following core competencies are what is required for each student to obtain at the end of their training:
Core competencies = basic skills necessary to be a practitioner of Feng Shui.
1. Learning the language, philosophy and History of Feng Shui (Unit 1)
– The Feng Shui paradigm
– The deep and shallow structure of Feng Shui
This includes having an understanding of the traditional Chinese paradigm and means being able to think within this framework by looking for patterns and inter-relationships instead of linear cause and effect relationships.
2. Reading energy in tangible forms (unit 2)
– Form and Configurations
– Dwellings, cities, etc.
We rely on the tangible energy we receive from sight, sound, touch, smell and taste to be able to piece together the complex pattern of inter-relationships in any given situation. This includes being able to listen to our Client’s needs.
In order to read qi (energy) as it manifests in ‘form’ we need to use our spatial skills, (our internal 3D map) so we can create and appreciate the outward form of places. We need to be able to think about how objects sit in space.
3. Reading energy in intangible forms (unit 3 & 4)
– Time & space
– Bazhai Pai (Eight Houses)
– Feixing Pai (Flying Star)
Knowing techniques for uncovering the qi (energy) patterns we cannot ‘see’ with our five senses. To get a complete a picture of the inter-relationships of a situation we need to consider the subconscious energy patterns involved and also the patterns of time.
4. Putting it together: identifying
Problems & formulating solutions (unit 5)
– Check lists
– Case studies
By using a mixture of techniques and information we can put together a pattern of any situation. (See attached diagram). Form is considered the pivot of the model of inter-relationships because Feng Shui is essentially about creating space and form. The other techniques are ‘tools’ to help us to do this in the most holistic manner possible.
5. Communicating the solution(s) (Case studies in unit 5)
(Both verbal & written communication):
a. To clients
b. To other consultants (eg. Architects, interior designers)
c. Case studies and reports
As a professional Feng Shui consultant we need to be able to present our solutions and advice clearly to both our Clients and other professionals, such as architects, interior designers, drafts-people and builders. We need to be able to communicate verbally and be able to read plans and produce sketch designs that are of a professional standard. When forming your solution remember to keep in mind your Clients brief, their requests and their needs.
April 25, 2013
Progress report on our new architectural office and feng shui school in Berlin: The scaffolding is up, the old roof should be down in a few days and a new one installed by the end of May with the concrete ring-beams built in. All subcontractors have been signed up. It is wonderful to be a builder-architect and see a building come together infront of your eyes little by little each day.
March 26, 2013
Our new “ar-qi-tektur” office and new teaching room for ECOFS (European College of Feng Shui) in Berlin is under construction. Below you can see a couple of pictures of the teaching area being renovated (one looking east and the other looking west). Our schedule is to get the building work done by the end of the summer (August) so we can start teaching again in September in our new premise at Weißenseer-Spitze, Berlin.
You can see our ECOFS Berlin teaching program for 2013 here:
Flying Star-wise, the office/school has a “Timely Mountain and Timely Water” chart, with the main entrance having a 1,4 combination for literary success.
Two palaces with 8,2 and 4,7 combinations are influencing the architectural office part of the building, which means there is a water star 2,7 Early Heaven Fire combination when viewed from the influence of adjoining palaces in terms of wealth and activities. So this area should have Gua Qi support for passionate creativity, a very good potential for architectural work.
The ECOFS part is located in the timely water star 8 area with an adjoining influence of 1 Coming Sheng Qi star. The timely 8 Earth will be able to control the 1 Water and what the host can control is its wealth, so the school should have Gua Qi support for wealth and it also means the college needs a good structure and organisation to control its activities.
The kitchen/coffee break area has a 9,3 combination, which means the Gua Qi is also suitable for cooking, eating and communication. The toilet is located in a Metal/Wood conflict area and that is acceptable too.
We tried to make our new office and college not only functionally efficient but ritually correct as well. We hope everyone who walks through our front door will come out with literary success!
November 20, 2012
I often get to be asked questions by students of architecture when they have an assignment to do, this student from England is a Malaysian Chinese and she has to do a 5,000 words essay on Feng Shui and architecture, I thought since I have written the answers to her questions, we might as well share them on my blog post:
1. What do you think motivates your students’ interests in Fengshui?
Motivation for my students vary: a) I am mainly a teacher’s teacher, many of my students are already teaching or practising Feng Shui for a living and they come to me to improve their skills. b) Career change, looking to retrain as a Feng Shui consultant. c) Wants to use Feng Shui to support their chosen career path, from professions like real estate agents, environmental designers (architecture and interior design), facilities managers and personal trainers, etc. d) Interested in Chinese culture, comes from other disciplines like TCM, Taijiquan and Qigong. e) Wants to use Feng Shui to handle their personal problems – learn to change their “luck”. f) Doing it for a hobby or looking for a new spirituality through learning Feng Shui. The last group is quite small because my tuition fee is not cheap and I don’t teach Feng Shui as a religion.
2. Do you have many architects coming to you for lectures and classes? What do you think motivates their interests?
About 10- 15% of my students are architects and interior designers; they are motivated to study Feng Shui to improve their skill as an environmental designer. Some are frustrated with their work and look to Feng Shui for a creative outlet.
3. What do you think is the main reason behind the increase in Westerners’ application if Fengshui in their everyday lives?
The main reason behind the increase in Westerners’ application of Feng Shui is because they feel modern architecture has failed them. They feel their quality of life is decreasing because the modern built environment don’t support them. They want Feng Shui to empower them and to make their home and office a special place just for them.
4. In your case, you came to learn and practice Fengshui because you had to redesign your proposal for a project in Hong Kong. Why do you think Western architects came to practice Fengshui? Personally, do you think its more of a self interest in the subject and the environment or perhaps due to demand?
Some architects come to learn Feng Shui because they have clients interested in using Feng Shui or they are doing projects in China. Some come because they have a personal interest. So it is both due to demand and due to personal interest.
5.One of the reasons Fengshui is popular in countries like the states and Australia is due to business immigration. Could you perhaps provide any other factors that may have influenced Fengshui’s rising popularity among Western countries?
Feng Shui went through a popular fad phase in the early 80s and 90s, this popularity lead to many books being written on the subject and a lot of people still find these books interesting and want to learn more. Many who discovered Feng Shui during this period got deeper into the subject and they continue to study and promote Feng Shui. So the rising popularity is also due to the momentum of this new age fad not completely die away. Another factor for the continual rising interest in Feng Shui, though in a slower pace, is put forward by Ole Bruun, who thinks Feng Shui became popular because it can make a home sacred for the occupants, may be he is onto something there.
6. It can be said that Fengshui is more noticeably popular in the States and Australia. However while Fengshui is practiced and applied by many in Europe, the subject doesn’t seem to be as obviously popular as compared in those two countries. Why do you think that is?
Feng Shui is not as popular in Europe, compared to Australia, Canada and the US, is because there are a lot less Asian migrants in Europe and most Europeans are not familiar with Asian cultures. I know at least one or two Germen who don’t want to know about Feng Shui, because they think their European culture is more superior.
7. Would you say Fengshui now has a significant presence among Western architecture? If so, Fengshui seems to have a ‘silent’ presence in the field, why do you think that is?
I think Feng Shui has become better known but not necessarily has a significant presence amongst Western architecture. It is true that it has a more “silent” rather than “audible” or acceptable presence. A few years ago we want to write some articles for the German architectural magazines, but they turned us down because they think it will lower their professional standing. They have a view that Feng Shui is only a Chinese superstition.
8. Fengshui consultations have always existed since long before. But among the Western societies, Fengshui has not always been well received. Would you say that there’s been a signification attitude change in their attitude towards Fengshui? Would you say its being more sought after in recent years? Do you think it may have any connection to the consumer culture that characterizes the society today where just about anything is commoditized into a ‘product’ and where nearly everyone seeks to be or possess something unique? Or perhaps its just that in the 21st century in which everything seems possible, people are getting more accepting and open to just about anything?
Feng Shui has not been well received by the Western public because there is a lot of false information written in the books and in the popular press. Two of the “pioneers” who promoted Feng Shui in the early days, did it to promote either their religion or their business interest, thus give an impression that Feng Shui is a superstitious rip-off from the Chinese culture. I would not say it has been more sought after in recent years, but the more serious side of Feng Shui is emerging after the new age fad die away. Part of its popularity is due to the consumer culture like you said, promoted by people who want to sell their Feng Shui products. It is not good for Feng Shui but it will persist because that is a part of our social make-up.
9. Would you say the rise in Fengshui popularity may have connections to marketing gimmicks or related schemes in which Fengshui has become a sort of ‘trend’, perhaps a ‘fashionable product’ to be sought after?
Yes, the rise in popularity of Feng Shui could have connection to marketing gimmicks by people like Lillian Too with her chain of “The World of Feng Shui (WOFS)” shops. Unsavoury characters like Donald Trump also uses Feng Shui to do their business, even though they have no idea what Feng Shui is all about. In the hay days of Feng Shui Craze, hairdresser even used Feng Shui to sell their haircuts! They left a horrible legacy to Feng Shui and we can still feel the bad after effects years later. Of course there are also many charlatans in Feng Shui and that doesn’t help the situation either.
10. Looking up articles related to Fengshui, I have come across several that tells of residential projects in which they have incorporated the application of Fengshui in the design/ development. Would you say this is more of a marketing gimmick mainly aimed at the fast expanding Asian community in Western countries, or out of interest in being harmonious with the environment and ecology?
Yes, most of them used Feng Shui as a marketing gimmick, rather than as a tool to improve the environment. However there are people beginning to use Feng Shui to promote ecology and environmental sustainability, but they are quite small in number by comparison.
11. Have you had any problems with applying Fengshui to architecture? If so what sorts of problems have you had?
Personally I don’t have any problem with applying Feng Shui to architecture, to me good architecture is good Feng Shui and vice versa. Nowadays we use Feng Shui in all our works even when it is not asked for. We find it to be a very useful tool if applied appropriately. Over the years we have developed a design methodology using Feng Shui principles, it is called “The San Cai Methodology for Feng Shui Analysis and Design”.
12. Many cities are imposing urban renewal/ regeneration schemes. What do you think of Fengshui’s potential in these schemes?
In our experience, Feng Shui is vey effective in environmental preservation and urban renewal projects because Feng Shui is about space, time and human action, so time (cycles of time, being timely and using historical time as a design tool, etc.) plays an important role and we can take advantage of Feng Shui effectively in this area.
Below are a couple of photos of our office and Feng Shui school in Berlin under construction, we are converting an old building not very far from the center of Berlin to house our new ar-qi-tektur office and ECOFS (European College of Feng Shui). It is done with Feng Shui principles and we picked the site after doing a thorough Feng Shui survey of Berlin to identify this “hot-spots” for redevelopment.
September 13, 2012
Another person has just joined in at the last minute, so we now have 21 participants plus Gyda and I on this Feng Shui study tour of China (“A Journey Through China of Old”) in less than a month’s time. I have been fully preoccupied with preparing the travel notes lately and altogether there are 21 sites to write up (21 again, must a lucky number!-):
1) Feng Shui of Beijing 北京
2) Cuandixia Village 爨地下村
3) Prince Gong’s Mansion 恭王府
4) Yungang Grotto 雲崗石窟
5) Huayan Temple 華嚴寺
6) Hanging Temple at Hengshan 恒山悬空寺
7) Wooden Pagoda in Ying County 应县木塔
8) Wutai Shan – Wuye Maio/ Tayuan Si/ Bodhisattva Summit 五台山
9) Foguang Si 佛光寺
10) Chuangyang Gong太原純陽宮
11) Twin Pagoda太原雙塔
12) Jinci Temple 晉祠寺
13) The Ancient City of Pingyao 平遙古城
14) Qingxu Daoist Temple 清虛觀
15) Chenghuang Maio 城隍廟
16) Confucius Temple 文廟.
17) Wang Family Mansion 王家大院
18) Shaunglin Temple 雙林寺
19) Qikouzhen Old Town in Linxian 磧口古鎮
20) Longxing Temple in Zhengding 隆興寺
21) Yu Family Stone Village 于家石頭村
You can download a sample pdf file note of our first day’s trip to Cuandixia Village, about a couple of hours of coach ride from Beijing, by cut and paste the link below:
or to visit the article section of our ECOFS website (there are many other interest articles to read):
I hope to write up some dispatches from different places on our travel in the blog entries with photos and commentaries, so please stay tuned!
August 19, 2012
THE SAN HE WATER METHODS
XUAN KONG DA GUA DATE SELECTION
30 October – 02 November 2012, European College of Feng Shui, Berlin
In the first half of this workshop we will cover the theory and the practice of all of the four major Water Methods in the San He School of Feng Shui, using the three 24 Mountains rings. The second half will be allocated to the study of the Xuan Kong Da Gua Date Selections, so some knowledge of XKDG School of Feng Shui would be advantageous but not a pre-requisite as we will cover the basics before venturing into the more advanced topics. However, the ability to recognize the 10 Heavenly Stems and the 12 Earthly Branches in the Chinese characters is expected. A comprehensive set of notes and templates for the San He and XKDG Luopan Compass will be provided free of charge for the participants.
San He Pai Feng Shui
The San He School of Feng Shui is also known as the San He Water Methods because it puts the emphasis on where the water comes in and goes out to determine the auspicious and harmfulness (Ji-Xiong) of a site. This school uses the 3 rings of the Earth, Heaven and Human plates of the 24 Mountains and the 12 Life Cycles or the 12 Qi Phases (十二長生位) to do its analysis and is a very popular school in China for locating tombs and houses in the country side, where the mountain ranges and the water courses can easily be identified. Due to urbanization in China the majority of the population increasingly moved to the towns and cities where natural environment is not so visible and this method is being over taken by methods, like Flying Star, which pays relatively less attention to the landform and more to the abstract influence of space and time on occupants in a highly populated environment.
There are quite a few San He methods using the similar terminology but different technical applications of the same philosophy. In this Master Course we will examine four of them and hopefully after the course you can incorporate these ancient techniques into your modern practice. Below showed an antique San He Luopan my teacher Master Ren Zhi-Lin gave me in 1980 at the end of my study in Hong Kong with him.
Xuan Kong Da Gua (XKDG) Date Selection
XKDG Date Selection is an extension of the XKDG Feng Shui system, so we will start the course my familiarizing ourselves with the 64 Hexagrams on the XKDG rings, which has an “elemental number” and a “period number”. These numerical concepts will form the basis for the Date Selection as much as it is for the Feng Shui techniques.
The Four Pillars (or Bazi – Eight Characters) of time (year, month, day and hours) are translated into numbers and they are used for the calculations to seek an auspicious outcome. If you decide to attend, please bring along with you a 10,000 Years Calendar.
There are many Date Selection methods and XKDG Date Selection is one of the most popular after the Chinese Almanac, because it is very easy to use and relatively flexible in it choices.
Learning this date selection method will further enhance your Feng Shui knowledge, especially when your clients ask you for an auspicious date and time to commence their tasks or projects.
Early Bird discount if paid by middle of September: Euro 520.00
Full fee: Euro 630.00 (Full set of notes include free of charge)
Gyda Anders & Howard Choy, Feng Shui Architects