The Tai Chi Master’s View of Feng Shui

青龍返首 - The Dragon Rises

It’s said that when someone says something about you, it’s a better reference for others than something you could say about yourself. So naturally, I was delighted when one of my Chinese clients wrote something about me.

I was even more suprised when he emailed me about it as it was totally unprovoked!

As a teacher of Tai Chi, Mark Tan, has a cultivated appreciation for energy work, yet he’s also a modern westernised Chinese. This is his original blog post about his Feng Shui consultation and below it’s reproduced:

Rising Dragon Feng Shui – Angela Ang’s magic!

January 28th, 2009

Anyone who’s spent any time in the Far East will have heard of Feng Shui and perhaps wondered why it’s such a big deal. As with any very old, somewhat mystical and often unintuitive art, it has its believers, and its sceptics.

As someone who did part of his growing up in the East, and spent most of his education in the West, I sat somewhat uncomfortably between these two camps. Some part of me wanted to believe it, but the coldly rational Western brain did not compute. There is something inherently ridiculous about how a three-legged frog in the right corner can bring you riches.

Equally, Feng Shui is an art that has been developed and refined over hundreds of years. It pre-dates modern science and it’s also been worked upon by people far smarter than I will ever be. There must be some value in it otherwise coldly rational people all over the world wouldn’t be looking for masters of the art.

Embrace something, then make up your mind

So I decided to take the plunge, embrace it for a while and see if it’d add value to my life. The problem was, finding a good Feng Shui consultant is a bit like finding a good plumber. They’re hard to find, sometimes it’s very difficult to tell if they’ve done a good job. What do I know about plumbing/Feng Shui? How would I tell if they’ve done the job well?

God bless the internet. The world is indeed small, and after several hours of surfing around you get a good idea who can walk the walk, and the site that looked like it had the content totally nailed was Rising Dragon, run by the lovely Angela Ang.

What the hell, jump in and see what happens

So I gave her a call and had her take a look at my place.

“Move,” she said after a couple of minutes in my flat.

Turned out the Feng Shui where I lived sucked. What she said next, about the problems in the kitchen (boiler was on the brink of failing), disturbed sleep, angst between my wife and I were all spot on. The accuracy of what she said, given the fact that we’d only just met was nothing short of astounding. I honestly didn’t realise you could tell so much about what was going on just from the layout of the house!

Before she left, Angela left a long list of things we should change in the house. My wife was slightly sceptical, understandably so, so I didn’t tell her too much about the why, I just mentioned that these were things we should do.

The sheet behind the bed

There’s no point in getting a consultant in and then ignoring what they say, so Annie and I resolved to make all the changes the recommended, no matter how inconvenient they might have appeared.

One recommendation was to hang a sheet behind the bed to stop a “poison arrow” from hitting Annie. The intent was that she’d sleep better. Now I didn’t tell her why I did this, but a week later she did indeed mention that she was less tired and sleeping better.

The bead curtain

Now, I associate bead curtains with people with the tackiest taste in home décor. One of the changes we needed to make was to hang a bead curtain in the kitchen doorway. Annie hates them more than I do, and it was with some reluctance that we put the bead curtain up.

Strangely enough, the house just well.. felt better afterwards, even to the point where we began to love the bead curtain even though we hated how it looked. I don’t understand it, but I don’t think I need to. It made the whole place feel so much nicer to be in.

The best of a bad situation

Things did get better after we did as she said, things stopped going badly wrong, almost overnight in fact. We started sleeping better, we felt a lot better about everything and we didn’t stress so much whilst we were at home. We ended up in a better place so to speak. Our emotional states were in much better knack then they had been previously.

I’d say that that feel was the biggest most valuable change that Angela made to our lives. The flat stopped feeling like a place and more like our home and feeling so much better about being at home added a lot to our emotional energy. It made us cope a lot better with everything that continued to go wrong that year.

So good we did it again

This year, we got Angela back again. It’s the year of the ox and all the energies are going to change once again. A lot had passed since her first visit, Annie and I got married, we moved to Tunbridge Wells (hooray!) and I’ve now quit my job to start up a business.

The changes she made this time were much more extensive, but once again, we’ve made all of them. What we found was we wanted to. Moving our office around and changing our bedroom just felt like the right thing to do.

Something she said that tickled me was that the house was “accident prone”. Strange that someone who’s generally rather careful about movement (I teach Tai Chi) had been having lots of little accidents around the house. For some reason in this house I fall over a lot…

One immediate observation was that I was somehow, instantly more productive and inspired when working on my home business in the office, after having made all Angela’s changes.

The other thing she said was that moving our bed would make us sleep much better and sex would in fact, improve. (zomg, it gets even better?)

So this year I am looking forward to all that it might bring. Already the house feels much more homely than it did.

That plumber analogy again

Angela is like a good plumber. She knows her stuff and is the sort of person you want to keep in touch with and get back in year after year as your Feng Shui changes, and she’s not afraid to be the bearer of bad news, because she has your best interests at heart, even if the news isn’t something you want to hear. That alone earns her mucho brownie points in my camp. I really like and respect that sort of honesty. It’s the sort of honesty that earns my trust.

Sticking with the plumber thing, I don’t have to understand everything she does to appreciate the results. Feng Shui is a far larger world than I could possibly comprehend, and it’s an art more complex than I could ever fathom, but I do know that people like Angela who understand it can make a big difference to my life.

Seriously, even if you don’t believe in it (Annie didn’t at first), go visit Rising Dragon and book yourself in.

Well it certainly put a big smile on our faces to hear Mark’s kind words and I thank him sincerely for helping others to understand Feng Shui consultations better from the users’ viewpoint.

As I reported during my Feng Shui Economic forecast for CLSA, 2009 is a more stable year than 2008 and yet there are still hidden uncertainties and dangers. Like Yin and Yang there are two sides to everything; whilst some businesses are struggling others are booming. When restaurant sales go down, supermarket sales go up. There are always some who come through any time better off than others. The secret is in knowing how to position yourself so you come out in the right place!

Feng Shui is a way of helping you stack the odds in your favour, whilst still acknowledging that you must make smart moves and apply yourself diligently to benefit fully. Of course the global economic downturn affects us all to some degree. Some people will lose their jobs. Some people will find that the ways they lived before are unsustainable. Others will find the changes going on now are like when big trees fall in a forest; the light that now pours in through the canopy gives life to young growing saplings.

I hope for Mark that this time will be one where the seeds he has planted may grow to bear fruit. For any of you reading now, if you are unsure of how best to use your time while the world economy rebalances itself, do consider using Feng Shui to support you. A telephone Feng Shui consultation is a perfect start for many.