Feng shui is an ancient practice of living in harmony with one's environment first developed some 6,000 years ago by the Neolithic Chinese. Feng shui is not a charming Eastern philosophy grounded in superstition, nor religion but the study of how the environment, places, people, time, and how the energies of each interact. It is rapidly becoming a standard practice for creating the ideal environment in which to live and work.
Feng Shui literally means wind and water. It is phonetically pronounced "Fong Swee" (Mandarin - northern China) or "Fung Schoy" (Cantonese - southern China) or "Feng Schway" (for most Americans,).
Feng Shui can be stated as a form of "Geo-mancy" or "Earth Wisdom." Many cultures in the world have a form of Geomancy in their history. The Chinese form of Geomancy, or Feng Shui, has evolved to be a combination of Art and Science. The science comes from the calculations and methodology used in analyzing a property. The art of feng shui is the wisdom acquired from performing a multitude of analysis and knowing the exact degree to which the remedies (which are the results of the scientific analysis) are prescribed.
The practice of feng shui was born out of China's reverence for nature. The Chinese have always believed in the oneness of all things. They believed if they could reflect the balance of nature in their daily lives, they could achieve a more harmonious living condition. They studied the landscape, seasons, weather and many other factors to try to understand the environment that they lived in. They learned how the rivers changed course and their rates of flow, when the sun was high or low and the quality of its heat and which areas of land were saturated, fertile or parched and why. Noticing the timing and quality of how the different energies all flowed together was complicated and scientific. It involved learning what the heavens and earth were doing and how the humans could successfully fit into the patterns. Their fine tuned expertise was purely observational, practical and common sense. This knowledge helped them build their homes in the best positions, facing the most beneficial directions. They grew their crops in locations where they were most likely to have high yields. They survived well in their very harsh environments, building successful communities and prospering. Cities grew where the energies of meandering rivers, deep estuaries, protective mountains and flat lands combined in the most productive ways.
Throughout ancient China, classical Feng Shui was a closely guarded discipline used as a tool to ensure the good health, wealth, and power of the Imperial Dynasties. The keepers of this secret body of knowledge - Feng Shui Masters, were highly respected meteorologists, astronomers, and other scientists and who were charged with sustaining the good fortune and prosperity of the royal court. These masters were very selective of their protégés. Extreme care was exercised in the selection of candidates who would become their successors. It has been guardedly passed down the generations through very specific lineages.
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