Friday, November 11, 2011

Thinking of Space/Time and Other Dimensions

Today I was thinking about Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity in connection to Feng Shui. In the early 1900s Einstein added time to the three dimensions of space making a fourth dimension. As mentioned previously Feng Shui is often considered the arrangement or manipulation of objects in space to achieve a change in energy.  However, since the beginning, possibly 4,000 years ago the Feng Shui model included time. So, Albert Einstein proved with our Western science the space/time continuum to the satisfaction of modern science something that the ancient people knew at some level of understanding. Because we live in a three-dimensional world it might be difficult for us to envision a world that could model additional dimensions. Or rather translate multi-dimensional thinking to a physical/spatial model. I am probably causing physicists to pull their hair out at my limited understanding of physics but in all reality, how many physicists would read a blog like this so they are most likely safe from my musings. To me metaphysics, into which category Feng Shui would probably fall, is attempting to work with concepts beyond our physical world and beyond the capacity of our senses.

 Physicists today have discovered things that cannot be directly seen but are known only by their effect on other particles of matter. Our science does not know where the energy of the universe comes from or even the nature of most of the matter that makes up the universe. But they can observe the effects of matter and energy on things that surround them. One example of things science knows but cannot see is the existence of quarks that make up protons and neutrons. Quarks are known only by the patterns they produce when electrons are bounced off from protons and neutrons in high-energy accelerators.

Feng Shui takes these theoretical ideas of multi-dimensional thinking and brings them into the four dimensional world of space/time by naming unseen energy for physical objects that we can observe with patterns of existence that we can readily understand. In Feng Shui we discuss the five “elements,” which are Earth, Metal, Wood, Water and Fire. Each of these “elements” has specific characteristics that that can be understood and remembered. Take Wood, for instance. The energy of wood is upward growth. Think of a tree. Fire energy radiates outward, Metal energy is contained, Water energy is deep and flows, Earth energy is flat or static. With these energy models in mind we can arrange physical objects in our space to effectively change the energy that surrounds us today. With these methods we can slow down or speed up energy flow, divert or attract and even change the energy in which we live and work. As the energy around us changes, it works to change us and changes how we relate to the universe and each other.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How Turtles, Dragons, Tigers & Ravens Reduce Stress Today

Where then, do we find all of these animal protectors today? They are all around us. Let’s start with a chair. A chair, believe it or not is a perfect example of being held in comfort and safety by the turtle, the dragon, the tiger and the raven. The back of the chair is the turtle that supports you from behind. The dragon and tiger are the arms of the chair.The raven comes in when the space in front of the chair is open so that one can observe everything in front.. This formula of positioning ourselves strategically can be observed in the old cowboy movies when the gunslingers always kept their backs to the wall or in military tactics forming lines of defense, the building of forts, and arrangements in executive offices. All of these situations consider that the position of power is always where your back is protected, you have the best view of your adversary and your flanks are defended.

How can we use these ideas in our daily lives? Let’s first look at a work environment. If you are positioned with your back to a door all day you may experience excessive fatigue and tension. Whether we realize this or not subconsciously our bodies go into defensive mode and the muscles in our back and neck tighten when we cannot see who is approaching us from behind. Medical studies have shown that over time our muscles can forget how to relax. The flight or fight response that is triggered by being startled or the possibility of being surprised from behind releases hormones and chemicals into the blood stream that can accumulate and remain in the body over a long period of time. This constant state of alarm can weaken the immune system causing a long list of chronic and acute illnesses and severe muscle pain. If at all possible position your desk or workstation so that you back is not to a door or even a window but against a solid wall facing the door. In addition if at all possible use a chair with a solid back and arms.  If you cannot reposition yourself the next best thing is to install a mirror or other reflective surface so that you are able to see anyone approaching from behind. Some of my clients have even found it helpful to hang a wind chime to prevent being taken by surprise. It is also important not to sit in a rigid position for long periods of time. If your work requires this try to take breaks where you can sit back and relax the muscles in your back against the back of a chair and your forearms on the arms of the chair. This passive support of the protective animals will allow your muscles to go into the relaxation mode and dispel the stress chemicals from your body. Following this ancient wisdom and honoring the turtle, dragon, tiger and raven can prevent much pain and stress of living today.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Turtles, Dragons, Tigers and Ravens

Feng Shui is so confusing! I read one book and then the next book I read contradicts the first! This was a common lament in my workshops. The reason that Feng Shui seems contradictory is that until recently, almost all of the information about Feng Shui was handed down orally directly from teacher to student. If we think about the opportunity for variation it is amazing that the information that we have today is so coherent. A good way to look at these different schools of thought is that they are the same story told in a different way or maybe with a different emphasis.

There are three generally recognized schools of thought about Feng Shui. They are the Form School, the Flying Star School and the Black Hat School. The Form School seems to be the oldest and originated in the mountainous regions of China during the prosperous Tang Dynasty. Remember, when I mentioned that in ancient times people noticed that some people prospered while other equally hard working people did not? Visionary thinkers took a look at the formations of the landscapes surrounding the prosperous groups and the surroundings of the desperate groups. They realized that a mountain at their backs protected them from surprise attacks, that if the front of the property was clear, they could see enemies approaching well in advance of the attack, water in the front of the home was more manageable that water at the back that might overflow its banks without being noticed. They were also aware that low ground often led to ill health as did ground that was too high and promoted exposure to strong winds. They found that healthy vegetation and abundant animal life pointed to a better environment for human settlement that arid land. This was a very sensible and reasoned analysis. Master Yang Yun Sang refined these observations using the metaphors of dragons, turtles, tigers and ravens. Today followers of the Form School will speak of keeping a turtle at your back, a raven at your front, and a dragon on your left and a tiger on your right.

More to come on the protective animals.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Not a Matter of Belief

Today, I’d like to reiterate briefly some of what I’ve discussed so far. Feng Shui is an ancient method of energy management that was conceived of as a way to create harmony between humans and their environment. Another goal is to create a personal landscape whose energy is supportive of our energy. In ancient times people noticed that people in particular environments were healthy and successful where others, who may have worked just as hard had poor health and did not enjoy a successful life. Over time methods were developed to discover the problems and implement processes to improve the situation. Today Feng Shui provides methods to analyze not only our personal energy but also the energy in our surroundings. Feng Shui also provides “tools” and “cures” that enable us to mitigate harmful energy and to enhance positive energy. I have been asked many times how it works and if you have to believe in it for it to work. I can only speculate about how it works. I think that by making physical changes in our surroundings, we change the energy pattern that surrounds us and penetrates into our subconscious. And this new energy pattern makes changes in our deep subconscious even mitigating negative programming. As our inner programming is shifted by the new energy pattern in our surroundings we begin to project a new personal energy field. The people around us also respond to this new energy field that we are projecting and the universe will reflect that energy back to us. Feng Shui is not a matter of belief. One might say that physical laws do not require belief to work.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ba'gua: Directions, Colors, Shapes and Symbols

Each of the nine sections of the Ba’gua or energy grid has a particular symbol, color and directional energy. The Knowledge area’s colors are blue-green, turquoise. It is considered the northwest and suitable objects for this area are books, and other objects symbolic to acquiring knowledge. It is also an area for religious artifacts. Anything that would inhibit knowledge, such as alcohol or drugs should not be placed in this area. The Career area is considered to be north. The colors are dark blue or black; the energy is “water” with a downward movement. Glass, mirrors, objects that represent the career you would wish to have. The Helpful People/Travel area is considered the northeast. The colors are shades of gray. Symbols representing mentors or travel items. The Family area is considered the east, with “wood” energy, the colors are shades of green, and the energy is growth. Appropriate symbols are columns, things made of wood or paper and family photos or mementos. The Health area is in the middle of the grid. The energy is “earth” which is stable and firm. The color is brown or yellow. The shape is low or square. Symbols of good health, healthy foods and above all space are best here. The Creativity/Children area is considered west and has “metal” energy. The color is white or metallic. Appropriate items for this area are computers, TVs, artistic or craft items, games, toys, musical instruments. The Wealth area is considered southwest. The colors for this area are purple, or metallic gold/silver. Symbols of abundance belong here such as money, gold coins or other symbols that mean abundance to you. Moving object, lights also activate this area. The Reputation area is considered to be in the south, the energy is “fire” or energy that radiates outward. The shape for this area is triangular; the colors are red, orange, and yellow. Appropriate items for this area are candles, stars, diplomas, awards and things that represent your goals. The Relationship area is considered the southwest; the colors are pink, rose, earthy colors. Symbols of love or relationships, photos of loved ones and friends, things in pairs, business cards, client lists are all appropriate objects for this area. In any of the ba’gua areas avoid dirt, trash, clutter and broken items. Also avoid using the colors and symbols of one area of the ba’gua in another area.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Beginning to Use the Ba'gua

The ba’gua is a tool provided by the “Black Hat” school of Feng Shui and is a grid that is divided into nine overlapping energy areas. These energy areas are named for areas of our lives. The first row from left to right is divided as follows: Knowledge, Career, and Helpful People/Travel.  The second row from left to right is Family, Health and Creativity and the third row form left to right is divided into Wealth, Reputation and Relationships. The ba’gua grid can be thought of as a way to map energy for the different areas of your life by superimposing it over your property, home, individual rooms or your desk. In lining up the ba’gua the career area is always placed on the wall where your primary door is located when entering your home or room. When applying to your desk, place the career area directly in front of your chair. Remember, that the ba’gua can be elongated to a rectangle or made into a square to accommodate the shape of your property, home, room or desk.

Once you have placed the ba’gua over your home, for instance, you can look to see what is happening in each area. Suppose you notice that you have a bathroom with a leaky faucet in the wealth area, a dead or dying plant in the relationship area, and a lot of clutter in the career area. You have been loosing money, your relationship has been rocky and your career is stuck. Feng Shui has a “cure” for all of these. Bathrooms are problematic in any area of the ba’gua but particularly in the wealth area. The reason is all of the water energy going down the drain. There are many ways to mitigate the situation through color, architectural design and accessories. But in this case fixing the leaky faucet would be most important. Removing the dying plant and replacing it with a vibrant, growing plant would improve your relation ships. Removing the clutter from the entrance way in the Career area will make room for new opportunities. Remember that we are thinking about energy using metaphors and there are always many, many ways to achieve the results that you desire. Each "cure" is fabricated to your specific situation and goal. So once you understand how this works you can personalize your energy adjustments to work for you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Energetic Home

Our homes are a mass of overlapping, vibrant energy fields.  Whether we are aware of them or not, whether consciously or subconsciously these energetic vibrations have a significant effect on us, change our energy and therefore change us. Feng Shui enables us to be aware of these energy vibrations that are all around us and provides a method for identifying and balancing the different types of energies.

Our homes absorb the energy of the period in which they were built or when they underwent extensive remodeling that would open up and re-enclose the space. Energy is also added through color, furnishings, plants, art, pets, and emotions of the people living there. We can use all of these things to reorganize the energy and to fill our homes with energy that will be positive for our families and us. One tool that Feng Shui provides for mapping this energy is the ba’gua.  The ba’gua could be compared to an overlay or a transparency that fits over your property, home, individual rooms, or even your desktop. The ba’gua will enable your to pinpoint problem areas both in your home and your life. Once the energy is identified it can be manipulated to our benefit.

Thanks for stopping by.  More on using the ba'gua in further posts.