What is Feng-Shui? Find articles, resources and information on traditional Feng-Shui.

What is feng-shui?

Feng means "wind," and shui means "water" (pronounced fung-shway ). In Chinese culture, gentle wind and smooth water have always been associated with a good harvest and good health, while harsh winds and stagnant water have been linked to famine and disease. Therefore, "good" feng-shui has come to mean good livelihood and fortune, and "bad" feng-shui has come to mean hardship and misfortune.

Feng-shui is not a superstition or a set of dos and don'ts. It is the art and science of understanding the forces of nature in order to design houses and workplaces that blend with the environment instead of clashing with it. It aims to help us live in harmony with the world by promoting the flow of positive energy and neutralizing or avoiding negative or destructive energy.

Like traditional Chinese medicine, feng-shui has a rich and subtle tradition with a standardized body of knowledge that takes years of formal training to master. As the tradition becomes firmly planted in the West, training programs and professional standards will evolve here as they have in Asia.

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The Feng-shui of Building Characteristics

The Building Characteristics branch of feng-shui studies the flow of energy within a structure, where it is carried in architectural features, exterior and interior.

Exterior Features

The feng-shui practitioner evaluates a building's overall shape using three main criteria:

Stability Generally, a building's shape is thought of as stable if none of the levels is significantly larger than the others and if the structure doesn't rest on pillars.
Balance A building is said to be balanced if it has a regular (i.e., symmetrical) shape.
Smoothness A building is said to be smooth if it has no harsh, protruding features, whether vertical or horizontal. Houses shaped like triangles and those with knifelike edges also lack smoothness.

A building's appearance is also evaluated according to the principle of "resemblance." Buildings that resemble prisons, fortifications, and weapons are undesirable, as are buildings that appear to be falling down, burning, or getting chopped up.

A top-heavy building   Building with triangular shape
and knife-like edges
  Building with a road underneath  

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