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Feng Shui 101: What is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui 101: What is Feng Shui?
Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

If you’ve visited our blog before, you probably have an idea in your mind of what feng shui is. If you’re new here, welcome! Either way, it’s always a good idea to go back to the basics of the practice to deepen your understanding. Even as experienced practitioners and teachers, our perspectives and relationships to feng shui are always evolving, so we wanted to share our current perspective on what feng shui is.

Origins of feng shui

Feng shui is a practice that was developed in ancient China that involves looking at our environments and how they affect us energetically. The term “feng shui” comes from a poem, and it translates to “wind” and “water” in Chinese. Essentially, feng shui is about creating environments that allow us to live in harmony with nature, to make us feel more comfortable and at ease. Many of the concepts we work with in feng shui, like the five elements, center around honoring natural cycles.

Feng shui can be paradoxical at times

Think of it as a “yes and” practice, rather than an “either or” practice. For example, feng shui is both profoundly simple and deeply complex. You might make one small change in your home based on a suggestion from our podcast, and notice a huge shift in your life. At the same time, teachers and practitioners spend their whole lives cultivating this wisdom. You can’t get a deep understanding of feng shui from a weekend workshop or reading a couple of books.

Another good example of the paradoxes within feng shui is the concept of yin and yang, which you may be familiar with. If you picture the yin yang symbol, you’ll notice how there’s a little bit of white in the black teardrop, and a little bit of black in the white teardrop - things are never fully 100% yin or 100% yang. Everything—including our homes, our environments, and ourselves—is some combination of both.

Connecting heaven and earth

One of the beautiful things about feng shui is that it allows us to connect heaven and earth, which is a concept explored in Taoism and other eastern traditions. We’re working with our homes and physical environments (earth) as well as our destinies (heaven). As feng shui practitioners, we use tools in the physical realm as well as the unseen, energetic realm to help people shift their energy and lives. Because feng shui often involves tangible changes in your home that you can see and touch, feng shui can be an approachable way to begin shifting your energy.

Schools of feng shui

One important thing to know about feng shui is that there are many schools and approaches. As it was developed over time, it splintered off into many different paths and perspectives. If you’re interested in exploring feng shui, it’s best to stick to one perspective rather than jumping around. It’s not really appropriate to try to mix different approaches together without understanding them deeply. Rather, it’s important to respect the cultural tradition of feng shui by going deep with the school of feng shui that really resonates with you. The school of feng shui that we practice and teach is BTB feng shui, also called Black Sect Tantric Buddhist feng shui. We also recognize all schools of feng shui as correct and valid. At the end of the day, they are all connected to the same core, and they all have the same goal: improving the quality of our lives.