The Fayette Citizen-Weekend Page

Wednesday, January 3, 2001

The art of feng shui


I finally figured out why my life has been slightly out of sync for the past 40 odd years.

My Chi is completely out of whack.

How do I know this? By reading the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway). It seems that 3,500 years ago, the Chinese came up with a way to balance the positive and negative energy of the elements around them to create well being. Having the yin and yang energies coexist harmoniously emerged as the art of feng shui.

Today, it has resurfaced as a means of dealing effectively in a chaotic world.

OK. I'm in. If all it takes is rearranging my furniture and hanging some chimes in strategic places around my home to guarantee prosperity, good health and success in the work place, I'm ready to move my sofa to the front porch if necessary.

"Feng Shui is not difficult to practice," the author states in the introduction. Excellent. But, she warns, even the most skilled practician rarely gets her feng shui completely correct. Also, there can be periods of bad luck triggered by "bad flying stars."

I'll risk the stars. On to practical applications. This is where it gets tricky. You have to read a compass, knowing where "all cardinal directions are" regarding your surroundings. Lucky for me, I have two Boy Scouts in the family.

From compass readings, we move on to creating our feng shui boundaries and actually getting to place good fortune symbols around the house. This I can do. Bring on the jade plants, coins and wind chimes.

Uh oh, a warning follows: "Do not overdo the setting out of crystals, wind chimes and three-legged toads... the placement of the lucky objects will be symbolic.

Now for the front door, "the most crucial aspect of my overall feng shui." I can welcome good luck with the correct Chi or I can jeopardize the whole scheme by failing to protect my entryway from poison arrows. Fortunately, my door opens inward and the foyer is spacious with the properly placed mirror reflecting light. I'm off to a good start.

The book rambles through the house, illustrating good feng shui versus bad feng shui with colorful pictures and diagrams. After 327 pages of advice, I'm ready to tackle the new millennium with the wisdom of a Chinese sage, the creativity of a brush-and-ink artist and the humor of a happy Buddha.

Just help me move the sofa.

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