The core of feng shui is based on alignment and balance. For those who practice feng shui, both have internal and external significance. Ancient Chinese practitioners would use feng shui inwardly to spread joy and contentment. However, over the past several thousand years, the world and life has become much more complicated. This has caused discord and strife in life and has required feng shui to be practiced outwardly as well.

The Two Premises of Feng Shui

Feng shui is based on two premises and levels of practice. The first premise is that humankind’s state of mind and energy can cause the environment to become good or ill. The second premise is that the condition of the environment affects a person’s internal well­being. The best example of this is clutter. We will discuss the effects of clutter later, but clutter is an element of your environment that causes you to have ill feelings inwardly. For instance, if you work in a small and cluttered office, you may become easily agitated and claustrophobic. You have to leave the space for a more open area to feel better inwardly. This is the perfect example of how your environment affects your internal state.

The Chinese use several methods to help one’s state of mind and energy to become good. These are based on the I Ching, or The Book of Changes. These methods include meditation and chi kung, internal exercises that are designed to promote healing and good health. When you are working on your environment, there are other tools that are used. These include the compass, form, horoscope, and divining techniques. These are all tools that we will utilize in this course to create a better environment for you in your home or office.

The Chinese liken these two levels to that of the two sides of a coin. They are inseparable and interdependent. To understand these two levels better, it is easiest to look at the “three coordinate powers.” These are heaven, earth, and man. Heaven corresponds to time, and earth corresponds to space. Mankind is the human relationship to heaven and earth and is the outer level. Horoscopes are used to determine the human relationship to heaven. Compass and form are methods that are based on the underlying horoscope methods and are used to find and adjust your position in relationship to the earth.

The inner level is how the principles of earth and heaven relate to one another, how they balance and interact, as well as how they can be brought into perfect harmony in people. Mankind uses the principles of heaven and earth for good or bad. When you live in harmony, the principles of heaven and earth are able to flow naturally and freely, which creates a healthy environment and provides you with radiant and vital energy. However, if we lose this harmony, our environment will fall into confusion and discord.