It sounds like the latest Oriental dish, but feng shui is actually a method of organization and design that brings harmony and peace to your home or office. Read on to learn exactly what these two words mean and how you can benefit from them.

Feng Shui is a spiritual system that began in ancient China about 3,000 years ago. There are many complex notions that go into feng shui but a simple paring down of the philosophy has become popular in the Western hemisphere today. Basically, feng shui revolves around the “chi” or energy that surrounds all life.

The words feng shui literally mean “wind water.” Both concepts are associated with prosperity and good health in the Chinese lifestyle. To have good energy flowing through your home, use the basics of feng shui.

Basics of Feng Shui

In a given living space, each room has its own energy. The energy has to be allowed to flow freely throughout the items within the room to create a total atmosphere of positive things. Who knew that a bathroom had energy? It certainly has a lot of other things, but feng shui teaches us that even a bathroom can bring calm feelings to each family member.

Use the compass to properly divide your home into the eight sections creating your energy map. Knowing what portion of the home is in what area dictates the way you will organize it.

Feng shui theory says that you can affect the energy around you simply by creating a space that is favorable to your life. This involves knowing the five feng shui elements, feng shui colors and how the energy moves throughout each room in your home.

Getting Started – Lopan and Bagua

Practitioners of feng shui use a couple of basic tools to get started. The first tool is the compass. A compass in the woods lets you know which way is up and guides you in the right direction. The same goes for the feng shui compass also called lopan. The compass gives the practitioner a deeper sense of the energy in the home and what needs to be where in order to allow the energy to flow without restraint.

Each of the areas of your home has a different feng shui need. The compass helps to define what colors and feng shui elements need to be represented within each room. It also takes into account which element governs the lives of each person in the house.The compass looks similar to a compass you would use while hiking. There is a compass needle in the center. The compass itself consists of several concentric circles that guide the practitioner to give you a layout of what your home needs in order to be whole again.

The other tool is the bagua. It is the energy map of the house. Using a blueprint drawing of your home, you can map out the eight areas of the energy map: South, Southeast, North, Northwest, East, Northeast, West and Southwest. Each section of the home has a governing element, color and purpose in your life.The beauty, and the real advantage in my mind, is that the top can lower to give you privacy, but still let in a lot of light and let you see out with an unobstructed view.

More next month on Feng Shui…