Master Ren Zhi-Lin

August 12, 2015

My first feng shui teacher, Master Ren Zhi-Lin 任志林 was not famous in Hong Kong, instead he was one of the “crouching tigers and hidden dragons” for me. (“crouching tiger, hidden dragon” is a Chinese idiom meaning an unknown person with hidden talents and good skill).

Although Master Ren is not well known, he has produced some famous students like Master Long Jing-Quan 龍景銓, who is the Feng Shui master behind the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, so in a way Master Long is a Si-Hang (an older brother in learning) to me.

Master Ren came from a San He lineage and he does both Yin Zhai and Yang Zhai feng shui (feng shui for graves and feng shui for dwellings), below you can see a couple of pictures of his handy work, a close-up picture shows his name on the third line to the right of the grave markings.

We spent two years (1978 – 1980) together, doing 2 sessions of one-to-one lectures and theories each week and on the weekends I would accompany him to do feng shui for a client on site. He lived in a very modest tenement housing estate and called his business “The Purple Cloud Studio”.

When I left him he gave me his San He Luopan compass. a set of hand-written notes and also a long scroll of his calligraphy (you can see a picture of his writing below), which I have hang up in my study to this day.

He knew I have found my vocation in feng shui and left these gifts for me as a token and an encouragement to carry on his work. I am still fulfilling his wish, even though he passed away a few years after I return to Australia.

I have studied with many other teachers since, but because he was my first teacher and I was young and impressionable, he still remains the most outstanding and memorable master for me. If it wasn’t for him, I would have given up on feng shui long time ago, he trusted that it was my fate and destiny to be a feng shui architect, consultant and teacher.

Master Ren 01Master 0211880113_10153206002049858_118784142_n-1


Dispatch from Hong Kong

August 12, 2014

Today I met a very talented young Feng Shui master in Hong Kong, on my way back from my reconnaissance trip to China for the next year’s Feng Shui study tour in October 2015.

His name is Kwong Ching-Chuen (Jiang Jing-Chuan 江靜川) and he is only 31 years old, but he has been studying Feng Shui since he is 14 from a well-known and knowledgeable teacher from Ganzhou (the birthplace of Yanggong Feng Shui).

He has a very precise approach to Liqi calculations based on astronomical data, he said one cannot do Feng Shui well without a deep knowledge of Chinese astrology and astronomy. According to him many of the Luopan rings are not correctly and I have to admit some of his arguments are quite convincing.

He is most helpful in tracking the where about of some of my first teacher Master Ren Zhi-Lin’s work with his name written on the grave-stone as the Feng Shui master who locate and set the orientation of the graves. I was also able to find out some of my “Si-Hang” (elder brother in learning) and one of them is Master Long Jing-Quan 龍景銓, who is famous for being the Feng Shui master behind the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank.

If you can read Chinese he has a website full of useful information from his research, especially in Yinzhai Feng Shui and Iron Plate Divination (Tie Ban Shen Shu 鐵板神數:

It is good to know that “the new waves still takes the place of the old” (chang jiang hou lang tui qian lang 長江後浪推前浪)!

SJ asked me these probing questions below on BZMJ the other day and I gave him my answers, may be those who have learned some Bazhai would find them interesting and would like to make some further comments.

SJ: I recently heard that one could not cure inauspicious Bazhai portents by using a reductive cycle. For example, Liu-Sha (Water) cannot be cured by adding Wu-Xing Wood.

HC: It is true that BZMJ did not mention this way of doing things, but some master like my Master Ren Zhi-Lin said it was a “secret transmission”! I guess they might have been influenced by Shen Shi Xuan Kong Wuxing Shengke to Jiehua (“cures”) where the weakening or the reductive cycle is preferred over a generating cycle to deal with a bad star. Theoretically to me it makes sense, because the wandering star always has it element associates with it as it “wanders”, and we are dealing one type of wandering star at a time.

SJ: I am told that according to BZMJ, in Chapter 91, Yan-Nian (Metal) is needed to counter Liu-Sha (Water). Apparently, a star Qi is necessary to counter another star Qi. Other cases would be Fu-Wei (Yin Wood) to counter Huo-Hai (Earth); Tian-Yi (Earth) to counter Jue-Ming (Metal); and Sheng-Qi (Wood) to counter Wu-Gui (Fire).

With the exception of Fu-Wei (Wood) countering Huo-Hai (Earth), all other relationships are in a generating cycle. Also, as Fu-Wei is Yin Wood and Huo-Hai is Yang Earth, this relationship is acceptable as opposite polarities do not fight each other.

HC: I think you mean in Chapter 81 and not Chapter 91 where it only talked about the Yan-Nian picture (Yan-Nian Tu), whereas in Chapter 81 which is called “Jiu-xing Ji-fu” or how to “Subdue the Nine Stars” and it said, “Sheng-Qi falls on Wu-Gui, Tian-Yi bullies Jue-Ming, Yan-Nian holds down Liu-sha and what Fu-Wei subdue is already arranged (that is the left over Jue-Ming)”.

But what one must remember is when this chapter talks about the four auspicious wondering stars subduing the four harmful wondering stars, one must ask how can they subdue each other when they are constantly wandering at different places at different times and there are two sets of them going at the same time (one set generated by the Zhai Gua and the other by the Ming Gua)? The subduing cannot be done in space, it can only be done with the stove, because the stove can “hold down the sha and welcome the sheng”, which is the same as saying that the stoves should sit on the four harmful directions of a person and face the four auspicious directions of the same person, and this is the unique character of the BZMJ. It is not the same as saying one should use a generating cycle of a good star to counter a bad star in space.

SJ: Also, for example, if a bedroom is in the Yan-Nian portent (Yang Metal), it is best to face the bed in the Yan-Nian direction (Metal), and not Sheng-Qi (Yang Wood), as Metal controls Wood and Sheng-Qi direction will not be activated!

HC: Again you are talking about two single wandering stars rather than two groups of matching wandering stars, the priority goes with the grouping of East Four and West Four first. You need to refer to Chapter 31 of BZMJ called “The Position of the Bed” to see the guideline clearly, where it said, “…Matching the Ming direction is the most auspicious, follow by matching the different rooms (location to suit the person), then follow by the sitting mountain and finally by it relationship (of the bed) to the door of the room…” Then we also has to take the wondering stars of the person into consideration as well and they have priority over the Zhai stars according to BZMJ.

SJ: There is also a star/palace method in Bazhai where one can look at the underlying Luo Shu Gua of a portent and compare it with the Star to determine if the portent will be auspicious/inauspicious to begin with. For example, in the case of a Li House (East Four) SE: Tian-Yi (Yang Earth) – Guest Star; Luo-Shu Element (4, Yin Wood) – Host; Host Controls Guest. Inauspicious; Therefore, SE palace has inauspicious Qi even though Ju Men Xing star (Tian-Yi) is present in that portent. Similarly, NE palace with Huo-Hai is not very negative as Luo-Shu (8) Earth has same element as guest star Lu Cun (Huo-Hai).

HC: I teach this in the more advance level, but it is not exactly used in the way you mentioned. There are three ways we can use the theory of palace/star sheng-ke:

1) Use to assess the relationship between the main door and side doors in a house.

2) Use to assess the influence of a larger object near the main door.

3) Use to assess the relationship between the location of the bed and the bedroom door.

The theory behind this is quite complex and that is one of the reason I don’t teach it at the beginners level, and when one look at this method closely one can see how BZMJ is beginning to merge with Yangzhai Sanyao (YZSY – The Three Requirements of a Yang Dwelling) and Feixing (Flying Stars) in the way Ji-Xiong (auspicious and harmfulness) is determined by Wuxing Shen-Ke (the generating and controlling cycle of the Five Elements) between two stars, except the Elements for the wondering stars in BZMJ and YZSY are correlated differently to the flying stars in Feixing.


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