Tilting the door by a few degrees is one of the major criticisms leveled at some practitioners of the Xuna Kong Da Gua (XKDG) School of Feng Shui. Not only it is practically impossible to do so accurately, one wonders if the theory has overtaken the practice and the Essence (Ti) of the system is cut off from it Function (Yong). An orally transmitted secret from XKDG, which I have translated below, may give us a clue how to handle this difficulty.

玄空大卦口訣
An oral transmission from Xuan Kong Da Gua

方圓圖實窺天心之竅。
The square and circular arrangement is an aperture to peep into the Heaven’s Heart.
至微者理也,
The subtle aspects are the principles,
至著者象也。
The gross aspects are the images.
體用得之一源,
Essence and Function have the same source,
顯微於以無間。
(We) Cannot see the gaps between them.
其吉凶消長之理、
They hold the reasons for fortune and misfortune, transient and lastingness,
進退存忘之道,
The way to advance and to retreat, to remember and to forget,
達其義自能通乎其數,
Understand their meanings and (you) can interpret their numbers,
而氣運蘊乎其中,
With the Qi of the time cycles built into them,
學者有會于心。
(You) Need to keep this in mind.
大可大用,
Make use of the large (gross),
小有小用,
Be frugal with the small (subtle),
無乎不貫,
(So) Nowhere it cannot penetrate,
無所不宜。
(And) Nothing it cannot fit.

In essence what this secret transmission says is to take care and make use of the gross and the physical aspects of a situation first, then concern with the subtle and the theoretical to find an integration between the two, which means tilting the door, based on some numerical calculations of minute degrees, should be like an icing on the cake, it is not the cake itself.

The Chinese are not so concerned with what is conceptual and what is quantifiably accurate, they are more concerned with efficacy – what the method can do to help them achieve what they want.

So instead of spending a lot of money tilting the door by less than one degree or just a couple of degrees, ask ourselves first, what is the big picture here? What are we trying to achieve? Perhaps tilting our mind-set by a few degree is much cheaper and more efficacious than physically tilting a door!

In the beginning of 2015, we will have a couple of Master-Course on XKDG School of Feng Shui, one in Berlin, a 4-days course from 20-23 February 2015, will look at the theory and the practice of the system and some of the difficulties we will encounter, and the other in Zurich, a two days course the week after, from 28 February to 1st March 2015, will look at XKDG Date Selection and how to use it to be timely. For further information please refer to our ECOFS website: http://www.fengshui-college.org/ Under Course and Workshop for ECOFS Berlin and for Switzerland.

Image taken from Ong Feng Shui Studio.

Image taken from Ong Feng Shui Studio.

Compass methods of all sorts used correlative thinking, which can be very open-ended without considering the physical world and human behaviour. Life is very complex, there is no one single law or causal relationship that can explain everything.

The numbers and patterns are there for us for us to contemplate with what we can observe in the physical environment and what we can find in human needs for each particular thing-events.

Don’t just rely on the compass calculations or a cycle of time to come to terms with our world in a particular space-time. Wealth cannot be explained away simply by a set of numbers, nor can the stock market be understood by following the moon-phase alone.

Below is a typical Feng Shui expert’s advice, attacking other methods and promoting his particular own, but missed the most important aspect of Feng Shui and that is to observe the physical form and configuration of a site and the functional needs of the occupants before looking at the intangible “stars” using correlative thinking with numbers and symbols. In fact the external form is not his first consideration, it is the Gua Qi from his Xuan Kong Da Gua calculations. In reality, the best Qi is not the intangible “Compass” Qi, which is meaningless without taking into considering the Earth and Human Qi at the same time.

“When I design a new house from the scratch, the external form is my first consideration, what direction and compass orientation can give the client the best energy based on Xuan Kong Da Gua, then I will look into the water supply point and sewage exit to get the Jiu Xing water method’s 5 ghost carry money after I know the design of the house shape.

Be careful with feng shui professionals who only rely on the Flying Stars system.”

The 10,000 things come together by the interaction of the San Cai Qi of Heaven, Earth and Human, so please look wider and beyond the numbers and different cycles of time (the so-called “Heaven Luck”), when we want to understand the Feng Shui of a situation.

Also books, whoever wrote them, are good, but they cannot give us the full answers by the nature of the limitation of written words. Only constant practice can give us the skills we need and that is why there is no point in talking to someone who has no experience in doing Feng Shui about the effectiveness of Feng Shui, which lasted for thousands of years, not by a set of numbers, but by its usefulness.

The way to overcome the Da Gua Maze is to observe the physical form and configuration of a site and the functional needs of the occupants before looking at the compass calculations.

I am here in Krakow the last two days (22-23/05/2011) teaching an introductory workshop on Xuan Kong Da Gua Date Selection and realized that there is no published table in English to correlate the 60 Jiazi of of the four pillars of time to the 64 Da Gua (Hexagrams) to obtain the Gua Qi and Gua Yun numbers needed to select a suitable date, so I made one up for my students and would like to share it with anyone looking for a table of this kind. Please feel free to download this table for your own use.

The Six Schools of Xuan Kong

February 11, 2009

At the end of the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republic era in China there were six major schools of Xuan Kong, they were the Wu Chang Pai (無常派), the Xiang Chu Pai (湘楚派), the Dian Nan Pai (滇南派), the Su Zhou Pai (蘇州派), the Guan Dong Pai (廣東派), and the Shang Yu Pa (上虞派).     

Out the six schools only the Wu Chang Pai, that is the Feixing Pai 飛星派 or the Flying Stars Schools as we know it today, headed by Zhang Zhong Shan 章仲山 at the time, flies the stars in the way that is genuinely Xuan Kong. The others did not really survived or at least they are not practiced much any more, with the exception of the Shang Yu Pai originated by Zhang Xin-Yin 張心言, and is popularly known nowadays the Yi Gua Pai 易卦派 or  Xuan Kong Da Gua 玄空大卦, where it divided the 360 degrees of the western compass into 64 Hexagrams of approx 5.6 degrees each.

Because everyone is very secretive, it is difficult to known exactly how the other four school worked, except they tended to be static and don’t fly the stars. Some don’t worry about sitting or facing; they take Period 1 as Kan Qi, Period 2 as Kun Qi and Period 3 as Zhen Qi etc. (that is, using the Early Heaven Trigrams and matched them with the Luoshu numbers instead of using the Later Heaven Trigrams like Flying Stars do).

Some fixed the stars in a particular palace, like the Qian palace as the Sheng Qi palace, and the opposite Xun palace is the Tong Gua Qi (Connected Gua Qi), therefore a house that sits or faces these two directions are always auspicious.

Some chose a different way to fly the stars, for example the Fu Mu Gua (the Parent Gua) always fly reverse ending up always a reversed house.

Some used the facing as the Period Plate and the sitting as the period 5 plate, that is the sitting is always Period 5 and only the facing flies according to the period the house was built.

Some used the Hetu paring to work the period, for example if it is Period 1 then add 6 a to do the chart. It was a confusing time.

There are no connection between these schools and the Taoist sects; they are practiced more by region (eg Suzhou Pai and Guangdong Pai, etc), rather than by religion.

The most authentic and traditional was the Wu Chang Pai and still survived today, thanks to Master Shen Zhu-Nai, who cracked their secrets and wrote books on them to pass down to us.

There were six schools of Xuan Kong and only one was genuine, because Zhang Da-Hong, the lineage holder of the Xuan Kong system, insisted that their art be kept secret from the public, so many not belonging to the lineage, tried their best to interpret Zhang’s writing to come up with their own interpretations that are often incorrect.

Most teachers don’t mention the other four schools because they don’t existing at all as far as the general public is concerned, especially in the West, so there is no need to say anything about them, with the exception of Da Gua of course. It is usually distinguish from the Flying Stars by name and teaching.

Some do mix some of the other schools techniques in their interpretations, but it is seldom the case and if they do, they would call themselves a special name, like the Imperial School of Feng Shui or the Central China School of Feng Shui (Zhong Zhou Pai).

Gradually, Feng Shui is opening up in the West, so the chance of being ripped off by the charlatan teachers is getting less and less. But nevertheless be extremely careful in choosing the right teacher and course to begin your Feng Shui study, as your first teacher always has a deeper influence on your future development then other teachers who come after.

Below shows a Liji Ruler used by the Xuan Kong Feixing School.

xuan-kong-liji-ruler4

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