Feng shui is the study of how to live in accord with nature through understanding our environment and its inherent chi-energy. We search for places that strengthen and enrich our lives. Feng shui is a tool to help us design spaces that enhance our well-being.
Dr. Hsu teaches us that Form School Feng Shui is always evolving with the times. Just as new technology, materials, and lifestyles, are constantly changing, where and how we live are also constantly changing.
If we think back to when feng shui began in China over 3,000 years ago, there were no such things as mirrors or many of the appliances and materials that we use today. Ancient texts mention wells and milling grain. Many of us have no connection to those things. As innovation continues, we realize how one simple gadget, such as the cell phone, can completely change the way we live. Even if it takes some of us longer to adjust to these changes of times, we eventually do.
Similarly, feng shui has had to adjust to these innovations as well as many social changes. Consequently, feng shui knowledge has added as well as subtracted information along the way and will constantly do so. We learn and gain knowledge through a combination of theory and actual practice. Through this method, we will be able to differentiate what really does affect us and what is just superstition.
In ancient times, the feng shui practitioner would check the soil and taste the water to assess the quality of the land. Rich soil and clean water were a sign that the land was also good for living. That is still relevant today. If we follow these practices, I think we should take a closer look at our current environment and include air, water, and noise pollution.
When I hear the word “pollution”, what comes to mind immediately is air pollution. Living in the Pacific Northwest we have plenty of rain. Sometimes, the continuous gray days starting in late fall can be a major bother. Unlike tropical weather where you get buckets of water at one time, the rain we get here, just drizzles at a very slow and constant pace. This climate usually starts around the end of October and lasts until early July. But believe me, by the end of June, the majority of us can’t wait for the sun to appear. And when it comes, we all rejoice!
From an Asian perspective, we learn that there is yin and yang in everything. The dark, cool gray days of rain nourishes all the greenery that we enjoy. Nature surrounds this Emerald City with so much beauty and it is no wonder that we have an abundance of trees. It also makes sense on why our air quality is superior. There is plenty to be grateful for.
On the other hand, bad air does have negative effects on your well-being. You can ask my son who lived in a suburb of China, a city full of factories, for a year. Some days the skies were so polluted he had chest pains. You can read about it in this post I wrote, Chinese Pollution is a Reality. What’s affected is not just physical health but the quality of life. Going for a stroll in the park on a smoggy day is not going to happen. Instead, a lot of down time ends up being spent indoors. Inevitably, your circle of activities will become smaller because of your limits.
In our living environment, not only should we consider the air quality outside our home, but we must also examine the air quality in our homes. Mold, off-gassing of toxic chemicals from cleaning supplies, paint, and man-made fragrances can all affect the air in our homes. Because gasses are not seen by the naked eye, we often don’t connect them to our well-being. Just maybe your recurring headache is due to some chemical off-gassing from one of these items. When health issues appear out of nowhere, it’s good to do a mental check directly on your home air environment.
Now let’s think about water pollution. How does water quality affect our well-being? In fact, just this past week, here in the Greater Seattle are, they detected E coli in the water system on Mercer Island. I have friends and clients that live there. They have been boiling their water for cooking and rinsing. For drinking water, they are buying bottled water. We take our water for granted and expect water out of the tap to be drinkable. Only when something like this happens, do we take note and appreciate what we have. I guess it’s good to be reminded that we shouldn’t take everything for granted.
Water quality also relates to the rivers and oceans that provide our food. If you buy fish, do you know where it comes from? We usually have no clue on the water conditions these fish live in. I have no idea on where my fish come from. More and more, I realize how ignorant and trusting I’ve been.
How about noise pollution? Initially, you’d wonder how noise could affect our well-being. But, noise pollution is something we should consider. Once I was at a feng shui consultation and while talking with the home owner we had to raise our voices. We couldn’t hear ourselves very well. Just at that moment an airplane was flying overhead. I don’t know how often the planes flew over this house. But imagine if it was on a regular basis. The noise would become irritating and wear you down. If you live near a busy road or freeway or even a train station, noise can a nuisance at times. But over time we do become immune to it. Not realizing it’s affecting our subconscious, we may not know that it could be disturbing the balance of our health.
If feng shui is about our well-being, then we should consider the air, water and noise quality of our living environment. We must not only look outside the home, but also inside the home. With the advancement of technology and chemicals, most of us don’t know how these things can affect our health. Even though they’ve been approved by the government, there’s no guarantee that they’re all safe. These pollutants could be affecting us at such a slow pace, that we don’t notice anything from day to day. Unfortunately, we also have no idea on it’s long term affects on our health.
Why not take a closer look at your living environment. It doesn’t hurt to take note of the air, water, and noise pollution in and around your home. I myself must take a better look at my own environment too. Wishing everyone good health.