The ancient science and art form of feng shui (wind and water) is a mix of philosophical and practical approaches to living with natural surroundings and the energy that powers all life - chi. Before you set out to learn, you need to decide which school you wish to practice. The two main ones are Classical and Black Hat Sect (Western).
Classical Study Resources
Classical Feng Shui (also known Traditional) uses magnetic compass directions and land form (also known as Compass and Form School) to determine the best placement of buildings/homes and designing the interiors. Some of the many tools, methods and systems used include, eight mansions, flying stars, four pillars of destiny, Chinese astrology, nine star ki, geomancy, I-Ching, Luo Pan (Chinese compass), five element theory, 24 mountains and other methods and systems.
Lillian Too, Malaysia
Perhaps the most famous living guru, Lillian Too has penned over 80 books on Classical practices and is founder of WOFS.com, a shopping mall selling cures, jewelry and more. Too is also a renowned teacher. She offers an online courses which include:
- Practical Feng Shui for Modern Living: Online course is for beginners, but practitioners may also benefit. There are several payment options available for the tuition fee of $697, such as a monthly payment plan.
- Master Practitioners Course: Annual week-long course held in Kuala Lumpur for advanced students. Website contact information is given to request a detailed course itinerary, fees, an accommodation package and Registration Form. (Space is limited.)
Alan Stirling International Feng Shui School Of Excellence, UK
The Alan Stirling Feng Shui School of Excellence was named for its founder/owner Alan Stirling. Stirling has 30 years experience and studied with various east and west Masters. His credentials include:
- Feng Shui Master and Fellow of the Feng Shui Institute - the Home of Traditional Chinese Feng Shu
- Senior member of the Feng Shui Educational and Standards committee - setting educational standards for all UK consultants and practitioners
- Former Registered Consultant and Regional Chairman Feng Shui Society, UK
The school offers several venues of education. The in-person classes are held in London. The classes and training offered include:
- Accredited Feng Shui Professional Consultant Course: Course suited for beginners and practicing consultants taught in London. One weekend a month for 12 months. Tuition is £3,300.00 (around $4,300).
- Feng Shui Taster Day: Introduction taster to traditional Chinese Feng Shui, especially good for beginners. Tuition is £170 ($221) and if you decide to pursue, then you pay £250 per month ($325) for the remaining 11 workshops. Onetime payment of £2,920 ($3,800).
- Feng Shui Master Classes: In-person attendance classes for consultants and practitioners to move to the next level. Tuition for existing and former students is £250.00 ($325).
- One-to-One Tuition: This Skype lesson is paid on an hourly basis and undertaken to address a specific goal or problem. Tuition £250 per hour ($325).
- Distance Learning: Seven Steps To Feng Shui Mastery course has no time limit for completion and includes a free student support forum. Become an Accredited Consultant and entitled to use the letters RCFSI (Recommended Consultant Feng Shui Institute). Can apply to become accredited FSI Instructors to teach accredited classes in your local area. Tuition is $2,062.
Student reviews posted on their website from both distance learning and in-person classes are highly favorable and appreciative of the hands-on training and amount of helpful information/instruction.
International School of Feng Shui, San Diego, CA
International Feng Shui School (IFSS) was founded by Consultant Amanda Collins. She trained with renowned masters at the Compass School of Feng Shui in China.
- Gold Level: This level consists of 15 hours of live webinars (3 hours each) at a cost of $1,499.
- Silver Level: On demand videos and a 300-page manual cover Classical principles and more. Tuition is $999.
Other educational opportunities include:
- Continuation Education Credit (CEU): Offers in-house and off-site training through partnerships with Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (San Diego, New York, Chicago) and the Interior Design Educational Council. Inquire about schedule and tuition.
- Three consecutive weekend training sessions: The two-day classes include learning to use the compass, 300+ page manual and resources required to get your business up and running. Tuition is $1,799.
Black Hat Sect Learning Resources
The Black Hat Sect, formally known as Black Sect Tantric Buddhist School of Feng Shui (BTB), was brought to the Western world by the late Professor Thomas Lin Yun. Often referred to as a cookie cutter form, many of the Classical principles are incorporated in what's considered to be a modern form of feng shui. Americans especially embraced this shorter, less complex form of the practice.
BTB Feng Shui School, San Francisco, CA
The BTB Feng Shui School was founded and owned by Feng Shui Practitioner Steven Post. His credentials are rooted in having been a disciple and senior student of the late Prof. Thomas Lin Yun, who is credited with bringing BTB to the western world.
The school's tagline reads, "The original and foremost school for Black Sect Tantric Buddhism Feng Shui". For 30 years, Steven Post has practiced BTB (Black Hat Sect). He states on his website that he was the first person in the U.S. to teach Feng Shui/Geomancy and the first person to teach in the U.S.
The school offers various training programs. Classes are held in San Francisco, CA, a few in Watsonville, CA and others at the New York Open Center.
Class costs range from about $200 upwards of several thousand, depending on the programs chosen.
- Introductory Intensives: One-day or weekend introduction
- Practitioners Training Program: 20 modules when completed awarded BTB Feng Shui Practitioners Certification
- Masters Training Program: 3 years, 3 levels, and 3 certificates
- Individual and multiple modules: Addresses specific methods, systems and philosophies
New York Open Center Programs
The East coast part of the school, Geomancy/Feng Shui Education Organization is located in NY, NY (co-founded by Post and Barry Gordon ). BTB Feng Shui Masters Training Program™ and Introductory Intensives are offered at the New York Open Center. Masters Training program tuition rate is $4,305-4,620 per level depending on payment option. Attendees must complete either one introductory weekend or studied six hours with an approved BTB Feng Shui teacher.
Feng Shui Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ
Feng Shui Arizona co-owner/co-founder Lisa Montgomery is a Certified Feng Shui Consultant and specializes in desert environment practies. Her company offers various 90 minute classes at her shop every Thursday at 6:30 pm for $15. She also holds all-day classes (check website for schedule). The company's 10-year-old Feng Shui Resource Center was first recognized by the International Feng Shui Guild as a Gold Level School.
While the school training program focuses on BTB, students are also introduced to other schools, such as compass school, Chinese Astrology and Flying Star, regardless if the students will be devoting their practices strictly to BTB.
- 6-Day Certification 1 Training: The program follows the curriculum guidelines of the International Feng-Shui Guild Certification. The tuition is $999 ($300 deposit required).
- Continued Education: A 3-day program on Flying Star is a pre-requisite to Certification 1 training. Tuition is $399.
- Certification II Training: This 5-day program covers Flying Star theory compass siting/facing of buildings and Chinese astrology. The tuition is $999.
Other Learning Resources
There is a wealth of online resources for Classical and BTB, but you want to be sure you choose a reliable and knowledgeable source. Many of the websites also offer free advice, article and various information as well as professional organizations.
Geomancy Center for Applied Feng Shui Research, Singapore
No other website offers as many free resources for learning than the Geomancy Center for Applied Feng Shui Research. This hub for Classical practice and learning is touted as the oldest and largest "Authentic Traditional Feng Shui" presence on the Internet (1996). Based in Singapore, the website was founded and is operated by Cecil Lee, a Master, and Robert Lee, systems analyst and programmer developing software and other programs. Bookmark it as one of your go-to resources.
The website is a plethora of all things Classical, included many free tools and information including, calculators, articles, learning resources, daily forecasts and even free software.
- Free advice: Cecil Lee offers free professional advice on the website forum open to members (membership is free).
- Free personalized reports: 15 free reports are available, ranging from kua numbers, elements, auspicious and inauspicious directions and more.
You can also read what members have to say about Geomancy.net.
Feng Shui Store, UK
Free and a wealth of free archived articles for anyone who wishes to learn the Classical practice. In addition, you can join the website newsletter for equally occasional notices and read student comments and reviews.
International Feng Shui Guild, Lees Summit, MO
International Feng Shui Guild is a premier professional organization that offers membership and support to schools and consultants worldwide. You can scroll through the school directory to find the appropriate school for your needs. Many of the schools listed only teach western BTB (Black Hat Sect), while there are several that offer Classical training.
The Feng Shui Society, London, UK
The Feng Shui Society, The Professional Register for UK and European Feng Shui Consultants is a valuable resource. The society lists a variety of courses, events and accredited programs on the website as well as the accredited training schools. Another section is a searchable directory of directory of consultants.
Finding Local Classes
There are several ways to find classes in your community. The credentials of the person conducting the class is important. You want to ensure that first, the person knows the subject and has received the type of training needed to be considered an expert/teacher.
- Colleges and universities: Many colleges and universities offer continuing education classes as well as guest instructors.
- Chamber of Commerce: Check with your local chamber of commerce for any real estate companies that offer services and classes.
- Local practitioners and masters: Many professionals also feel the call to share their knowledge with their community and offer classes and even certification.
Books for Learning
There are many excellent books on the market to help you learn the principles. Just as you would review the credentials of a school/teacher, so you want to first understand the author's credentials.
A few good resources include:
- The Modern Book of Feng Shui by Seven Post with a preface by his mentor, Grandmaster Professor Thomas Lin Yun (about $20): Anyone interested in Black Hat Sect (BTB) school will benefit from the guide that is richly illustrated with photos for a complete visual conceptualization. The book promises to help you assess your project and then employ the BTB technique for restoring balance and harmony within the environment of a home or office.
Lillian Too's Feng Shui For Interiors (Completely Updated) by Lillian Too (around $27): The reader is given "easy-to-use ways to arrange your interior spaces" that can be applied to any modern home or office. The book covers using both Taoist and compass methods. Whether you're just starting on your journey or have been a long-time traveler, the book promises to show you how to "instantly improve the energy of your interior spaces to attract an abundance of good fortune into your life."
The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Feng Shui By Lillian Too (just under $30): Beautifully illustrated, Lillian Too explains the origins along with the fundamentals, principles, and applications. This is an excellent resource for beginners. The reader is given practical tools and technique that can be readily applied to homes and offices. A handy dictionary explains the terms and techniques used.
A Master Course in Feng-Shui by Eva Wong (about $30): This richly illustrated book is a practical and comprehensive workbook designed specifically for people not necessarily knowledgeable in the practice. This includes homeowners, realtors, renters and business owners seeking ways to improve their personal and business lives, not necessarily seeking certification. The book promises to give practical advice that will aid in building a home, buying a home or setting up an office. Exercises are also included to help the reader learn more about principles.
You can find many free online videos. When viewing videos on websites, such as Youtube, the use of discernment is needed. Check out the person's credentials and assess their knowledge and credibility against what you may already know or that of other experts. You can also read through the comments as another assessment tool.
Architect and Master Howard Choy explains how to use Compass School and the Bagua through slides of ancient Chinese buildings.
Feng Shui for Architecture Founder Simona F. Mainini, Dr. Arch., Master Teacher, discusses what to expect in the certificate program and gives a brief overview of the scientific explanation of the practice and why it works.
Davina MacKail, known for her worked in Hong Kong and China and UK TV show on advanced practices, discusses how to use your knowledge in real estate.
Learning Feng Shui
There are many experts will to share their knowledge through classes, books and videos. It is an ongoing process of ever-learning this dynamic and life-changing way of living with nature and the natural order of things.