The term Feng Shui literally translates as 'wind-water' in English. Historically, Feng Shui, also known as Chinese Metaphysics Science, was widely used to orient buildings, often spiritually significant structures that include dwellings and other structures, in an auspicious manner. Depending on the particular style of Feng Shui being used, an auspicious site could be determined by reference to local features such as bodies of water, stars, or a compass.
In other words, Feng Shui is about understanding the energy of land forms and waterways, based on their shapes, sizes and relative positions, as to how they will affect the people living on the land and in the buildings.
The history of Feng Shui spans some 5,000 years back, before the invention of the magnetic compass. It originated in Chinese astronomy. Some current techniques can be traced to Neolithic China, while others were added later (most notably during the Han dynasty, the Tang, the Song, and the Ming).
The goal of Feng Shui as practiced today is to situate the human built environment on spots with good 'Qi'. Qi means breathe or air in Chinese, literally. In Feng Shui, a 'perfect spot" requires the presence of good 'Qi' (pronounced "chee" in English). Qi is a movable positive or negative life force which plays an essential role in Feng Shui, according to the Founder and Chief Consultant of Joey Yap Consulting Group Sdn Bhd.
"Qi refers to 'energy', in the sense of life force. There are two types of Qi, namely Sheng Qi (Living Qi or good Qi or positive energy) and Sha Qi (Killing Qi or bad Qi or negative energy). In Feng Shui, we want to live in a place with plenty of Sheng Qi and to avoid places or offending structures that generate Sha Qi," Yap explains.
"Qi is invisible and we can only look for the indicators of Qi. Qi exists in the atmosphere as long as there is life form on earth. In Feng Shui, mountains of lush green vegetation carry Qi abundantly. More technically, mountains are known as dragons and the Qi is the dragons' breathe. For a layman, Qi is something that supports life."
"Feng Shui depicts the flow of Qi, in the outside world, in a landscape, a house or an office. The flow of Qi provides energy patterns that affect Feng Shui. We benefit from tapping into the good Qi by orienting buildings in a particular direction, design gardens and entrances in a positive way, so that the Qi can flow through to all rooms to stimulate specific aspects in an individual's life, for example. The quality of Qi is expressed through form, shape, colour, direction, time, and the feeling it generates within us," Yap continues.
"A good Feng Shui taps into the surrounding natural Qi (natural energy). This means we can harness the good Qi through the power of Mother Nature. An office building that sits strategically in a location that sucks in Qi and keeps it, offers good vibes for its business. And Feng Shui is not about placing objects here and there. It has nothing to do with the furniture, paintings or portraits. The Classical Feng Shui takes into account of the aspects of environment, building, time and people, without the need for lucky charms. Feng Shui is about striking the harmony and balance between people and their environment.
"The construction and very design of a building that opens up the mouth (eg, entrances) to receive the good Qi suggests long-term sustainability. In Feng Shui, an optimum location is governed by the presence of the good Qi from its natural environment and how good can a building prevent it from escaping."
"In Feng Shui evaluation, main door is one of the most importants reference factors. This is simply because main door is the mouth of a property such as a house or office, which allows the Qi to enter. A good main door must tap into the positive Qi from the environment that surrounds it."
"The Qi surrounding us keeps changing due to the nature of its cyclical flow. Our earth is revolving around the sun and we get the difference between day and night, for example. The quality of Qi rises and falls over time, as a matter of fact. The goal of Feng Shui is to take advantage of the vital Qi by appropriate 'siting' of certain structures," he says.
"The orientation of a structure, its age, and its interaction with the surrounding environment including the climate, slope of the land, vegetation and soil quality etc. can all play a role in defining Feng Shui, at a macro level."
Commenting on why the choice of office location is extremely important in Feng Shui analysis, Yap says: "An office located in a place where the concentration of Qi is abundant gets the upper hand. The Golden Triangle in Kuala Lumpur is one of the classic examples. Location is one the most important factors to consider in harnessing the good Qi. This is because we cannot change the external surroundings."
According Yap, Feng Shui is considered part of the field of physiognomy or the study of land through observation, in the Chinese Five Arts. Hence, when it comes to selecting land or a good piece of property, you need to have your eyes wide open and observe what is in the environment, so that you can understand what is the quality and nature of the area you are considering. For example, if a location is extremely windy, this indicates the Qi is easily dispersed and so it is not a very good location. If the land is particularly rocky, this is an indication of a poor quality Dragon Vein and unstable Qi. If the land has muddy, sticky soil, this indicates it is waterlogged and Qi is trapped.
"When it comes to a more substantive evaluation, we are concerned with Mountains and Water. At the absolute basic level of selecting land or property, you need to look for these two features. If you find the area that you are considering has no mountains and no water, it might be a good idea to look elsewhere! But for very flat areas, you need to have highly specialised knowledge of Luan Tou Feng Shui to be able to identify the Mountains and Water in such areas. So for practicality sake, if there are no Dragons and no Water in the area, you need to look at other options."
"But of course, merely having the presence of Mountain and Water is an extremely elementary level of Feng Shui. In Feng Shui, we are always interested in the quality of the area (not just the mere presence of Mountains and Water) and also, to qualify the Mountains and Water in the area."
"Once you have made sure that the environment is right, the property itself must be designed to be a Qi conduit and receive Qi from the environment, as well as circulating it throughout the structure. Getting a conducive location gives you a head start," Yap reminds.
Joey Yap is the founder of the Joey Yap Consulting Group, a global organization devoted to the teaching Feng Shui, BaZi, Mian Xiang (Face Reading) and other Chinese Metaphysics Subjects. He is also the Chief Consultant of Yap Global Consulting, an international consulting firm specializing in Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology services and audits. He is also the best-selling author of over 60 books on Feng Shui, Chinese Astrology, Face Reading and Yi Jing, many of which have tapped the Malaysian and Singaporean MPH bookstores' bestseller lists. Log on to www.joeyyap.com/borneopost for more details about Joey Yap Consulting Group. He can be reached via Facebook at www.facebook.com/JoeyYapFB