What Is Feng Shui?

A statue of Buddha

Have you ever found yourself wondering about the answer to the question, "What is feng shui?"

A Simple Question with a Complex Answer

If you have found yourself asking that question, you are not alone. As more people find the answers the ancient art of feng shui is becoming more popular throughout the Western world. Although the question "What is feng shui?" seems simple enough, the answer is rather complex. Basically, the simple answer is feng shui is the ancient Chinese philosophy, art and science of placing objects in your environment in a way that surrounds you with positive energy, called chi. Achieving a balance of energies using the placement and arrangement of objects in a specific space brings harmony to that space and good health, prosperity and good luck to its inhabitants.

However, the answer to the question is much more complex. To fully understand the meaning of feng shui you must look at its beginning and have a basic understanding of its core concepts, beliefs and symbolism.

The Beginning of Feng Shui

Although no one is certain when feng shui began, many believe that it began between two thousand and six thousand years ago in southwestern China. The basis of feng shui practices come from the early Taoist beliefs two interacting and opposing energy forces called yin and yang, make up everything in the universe. The Taoists believed that everything in the universe had a natural order that created the balance of energy in nature and the harmonious system of the universe. They believed the energy of the universe flowed through everything and that the universal energy is the energy of life, called chi.

As the history of feng shui continued through the millenniums, it continued to develop. Practioners added theories and new findings to the existing principles as the ancient art and science of feng shui became more refined. As the centuries went on, different schools of feng shui developed and grew. Although each school has their own practices and techniques for balancing chi they all follow the basic core beliefs of universal knowledge, universal energy and the importance of harmony and balance in the universe.

Different Schools of Feng Shui

The most commonly practiced form of feng shui in the United States is the Black Hat Sect which was founded by Thomas Lin Yun. In the Black Hat Sect the philosophies are a blend of:

  • Traditional feng shui principles
  • Taoism
  • Spirituality
  • Psychology.
  • Tibetan Buddhism

Many traditional feng shui masters do not agree with the concepts of the Black Hat Sect as it did not adopt all of the basic and traditional principles of classical feng shui.

The classical or traditional form of feng shui finds its basis on the concepts of the theory of the five elements, the theory of yin and yang, the I Ching and the understanding of the forms and shapes of the land. The following are additional schools of feng shui:

  1. Shapes and Form School
  2. Compass School
  3. East-West School based on the Compass School
  4. Eight Mansions based on the Compass School
  5. Flying Stars based on the Compass School
  6. Life Aspiration School

Additional Aspects of Feng Shui

To fully understand the meaning of feng shui, it is necessary to look further into additional aspects of its practice. The following are several of these areas:

  • The importance of removing all clutter from your space
  • The importance of symbolism in feng shui
  • How to choose the correct feng shui cure for a specific problem
  • How to activate a feng shui cure
  • How to reactivate a feng shui cure
  • The best use of colors for specific areas in your home
  • How to use a bagua
  • The five elements of feng shui and their significance

Understanding the simple answer to the question, "What is feng shui?" is understanding the concept of the basic principle of this ancient art. When a new feng shui practitioner embraces the basic principle of learning how to attract positive energy into their environment, learning the rest comes with time.

What Is Feng Shui?