Feng Shui: In the Flow
by Michael Braunstein
As a youngster, I rode with my dad as he drove through small towns on the Nebraska prairie; emphasis on small, often just a main street. Nearly all the small-town buildings were on the north side of the highway. I asked dad why so few built on the south side. He explained. “If you’re out in the wintry north wind, wouldn’t you turn your back to it and face the southern sun? Those buildings have the back to the north wind.” My dad never in his life heard the words “feng shui,” but I assure you he understood the premise.
Believe in science. It’s been awhile since we’ve featured feng shui as a topic. Begin with pronunciation. It’s feng rhyming with tongue and shui rhyming with stay, adding up to a phonetic “fung schway”. Simply put, feng shui is a study of energy formalized in the traditions of ancient China. Many cultures throughout history have developed systems that resonate with the ideas of feng shui, specifically the Ayurvedic system from ancient India sometimes known as vastu shastra. Of those systems, feng shui has become the best known to Western culture.
Just as biological traits are scientifically determined by genetics and immutable, the energetic traits of the universe are explained by physics. In either case, one can dress up appearances and call those traits by different names but the science is clear. Anything else is a form of denial. With that understanding, physics ordains that the entire universe is filled with energy. There is absolutely nowhere in the universe where energy is not. We should clarify that it’s natural energy we are describing, not the various energies transmitted by human dabbling such as radio wave, cell phone transmissions and the like. Those are interferences with natural energy, not part of it.
The natural energies of the universe are not created by human technology though we use human technology to measure them. Something called the Unified Field Theory breaks down the four forces to simplify understanding. Physics in the early twentieth century defined them as gravitation, electromagnetic, weak nuclear and strong nuclear. Though the Unified Field is a theory, the four forces are not. Just like biological traits, they are proven science.
For practical experience, realize that when you look around you, every single thing you see and even what you don’t — trees, cars, bodies, clouds, air, water — can be broken down into energy on the molecular level and energy is all it is. That energy is part of the flow of energy that goes through the universe. Your eyes do not see that energy but you see the effect of it. How we interact with that energy is at the heart of feng shui.
The Obstruction Junction. Solid matter is nothing but energy that has been obstructed and slowed down into visibility. (By the way, that is done by thought.) Since our material bodies exist in that slower energy spectrum, solid matter is the most common interaction we have with that universal energy. Feng shui is the artistic science of placement and use of those solid matter objects in order to work in harmony with the universal energy. Where and how we place objects and the recognition of how nature placed objects is something we should know intuitively if we are paying full attention. The rules of feng shui are a reminder of how that interaction works.
With nature it’s obvious. Would you plant a garden in a cave? No, not a good idea. Why? Because you recognize the natural need for sunlight. If you are in the northern hemisphere and you are settlers starting a small town on the plains of America, would not you build your main street with the buildings with the back to the cold north wind and the windows and door facing south to the warmth of the sun? Indeed.
From Body to Home. As humans, we surround ourselves with objects that are the basis of interaction with universal energy. Do we need to build every house or building facing south like the early settlers did? No. Feng shui describes remedies to any energetic jeopardies we may encounter or forced with which to reckon. But there are many pitfalls we can consciously avoid.
Let’s put it on a very gross level. Say you’re building a house (or choosing one). Symbolically and really, the energy that enters your home comes in through the front door. Hedges, ornaments, winding sidewalks, building the porch with a side entrance — all would serve to obstruct the entry of energy, maybe even translate into blocking prosperity.
Inside the house, placing an end table with a sharp corner near the door between the kitchen and dining area would puncture the wave of universal energy flowing through. You’d notice the consequence every time you poked yourself with the corner of that table or you’d swerve your body to avoid it and more subtle effects would emerge. You’d have a chronic backache that you couldn’t correlate but developed because you were always twisting your body just a tiny bit whenever you moved through that doorway, just to avoid the table.
Feng shui is common sense. It’s intuition. You don’t need feng shui to understand its principles. My dad didn’t need feng shui. But the reality is that our Western culture has become so disassociated from nature that instruction helps. We shouldn’t feel too bad about that. After all, feng shui was formalized because ancient Chinese culture was finding itself in the same situation.
To that end, former Omaha resident David Daniel Kennedy, one of the world’s most revered feng shui masters, is author of Feng Shui for Dummies. Yes, there is that book; among others that Master Kennedy has authored. It’s worth every moment spent gleaning remembrance of our standing with the energy of nature. Not everyone had the advantage of driving across Nebraska with my dad.
Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit HeartlandHealing.com.