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风水. Feng shui is the ancient Chinese practice of placement and arrangement of space to achieve harmony with the environment. Feng shui literally translates as "wind-water." This is a cultural shorthand taken from the following passage of the Zhangshu (Book of Burial) by Guo Pu of the Jin Dynasty: The qi that rides the wind stops at the boundary of water. Since Richard Nixon journeyed to China, Feng Shui has been rediscovered by Westerners. It has been reinvented by New Age entrepreneurs for Western consumption. Feng shui speaks to the profound role of magic, mystery, and order in American life.

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      02.09.2008 00:56
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      I came across Feng Shui book few years ago and when I first started reading, it became very interesting and I still think very much of the Feng Shui today. And it does really work.

      Then started to experiment through out the house and changing furniture and adding different things adding pictures etc. Clearing all the unwanted clutter and stuff. And I was amused by the positive changes.

      As our busy lives sometimes can take the lead and we get lost in the time and do not get time to sort the clutter or unwanted stuff round the house and by clearing the stuff it would take all the load off from our emotional,mental and other aspects in our lives.

      It does not take really much to make it better. It is amasing how much it helps.
      Hope that this advise will help someone to do the same and improve their lives a bit...

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        15.04.2002 05:37
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        Sounds strange doesn't it, using boot fairs to clear clutter- but it can be done. I am a confirmed clutterholic and have spent the last few yeas trying to clear the rubbish that I have accrued over the years. I have found a very good book on the subject, but my house is still so messy I can't find it. When I do, I'll tell you about it (it's probably been mentioned already). In my more cluttery days, I used to browse around bootfairs - mainly because I was reading English at College and couldn't afford new novels. I used to pass some bric a brac stalls and when I used to see some of the old rubbish that some people were trying to sell I used to think to myself, "They're having a laugh aren't they?" When I started clearing out my clutter in earnest, I looked at some of the garbage gathering dust in my home. Lo and behold, it was identical to the objects being sold on those bric a brac stalls - ancient games of Old Maid, fake crystal look fruit bowls, strange hoover parts, limited edition souvenirs from Woolacombe which are manufactured in their thousands (you know the type of thing) etc. Now when I sort through my rubbish, I pick up each and every single thing and ask myself, "If you saw these at a boot fair would you buy them for 10p?" If the answer is no, the item is discarded. It works every time and two skips worth of tat have been removed from my house (that's how much of a hoarder I used to be). I've told many friends about my boot fair technique and it has changed their lives. At least three people I know have used it to declutter their house. One man (a friend of a friend) managed to clear out his garage for the FIRST TIME IN TEN YEARS so it worked for him. Try it and let me know how it works for you too.

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          15.02.2002 17:29
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          Feng Shui As those of you who read my opinion will know, I have a deep interest in alternative medicines and therapies etc. One of these interests is feng shui - I recently had an opportunity to attend a talk on the subject, which was given by a professional feng shui consultant. I found her presentation both interesting and entertaining and came away, to a certain respect inspired, but also just a little bit sceptical. This opinion takes on board some of the things which she discussed in her presentation – I hope I was listening properly! The consultant started her presentation by telling us about the history of feng shui and how it can be used today to arrange your home and workplace so as to accumulate auspicious energy for happiness, prosperity, and good health. She explained that feng shui is an ancient Chinese system in which we are able to harmonise man made structures within the environment and is literally translated as “wind and water” and is perhaps more easily understood as Chinese Geomancy or to the layman “Art and Placement” which, when the principles are put into practice, could help transform your life! This is done by harnessing the positive energy of your environment. Firstly, you have to understand and learn to recognise the hidden energies of Chi. The flow of Chi is, in feng shui terms, the hidden life breath that permeates the environment in which we live. To help us understand Chi in simple terms there is a saying which is “When Chi is in disarray, misfortunes rule the day”. Yin and Yang ========== Most of us have heard about Yin and Yang, which are the “energies” which continually “dance” together, striving for the cosmic balance that brings harmony. Yin represents cool and dark and lifeless, whilst Yang represents hot and bright and full of life. If these forces are kept in harmony within your home and w
          orkplace, it is reputed that you will enjoy good luck! The consultant told us how to balance Yin and Yang by creating comfortable levels of light and shade – and to gain success by adding slightly more light to enhance and emphasise your Yang energy. Feng Shui inside the House ==================== The consultant discussed shapes of items in the home and according to the “laws” of feng shui, it is better to have regular shapes rather than irregular, apparently, furniture which are square or rectangular have better feng shui than those which are triangular or shapes with missing corners. She went on to say that any protruding corners create “knife edges” and should be softened by placing a plant directly in front of them. Apparently, this deflects and dissolves all the killing energy released by the edge. You must ensure that the plant is changed regularly as it cannot survive the “killing” Chi coming from the corner. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, my house does not have exposed overhead oak beams. Apparently, overhead beams cause bad energy to press down on anyone sitting or sleeping below them. If you do have overhead beams, the consultant suggested that you hang a five-rod windchime on the offending beam, which will counteract the feng shui defect. It is imperative that the rods of the windchime are hollow rather than solid so that the Chicken can travel through them and transform into good luck. If you have a tiny hall or any tight corners in your house, it is a good idea to enlarge the space with the use of mirrors, as large mirrors are excellent for enhancing the stale energy of a tight or cramped space. The mirror should be placed on the wall, which does not face the door or reflect the door, as this will cause all good fortune to dissipate! Too late for me and a lot of the other ladies in the audience. She told us that the ratio
          of windows to doors in one’s rooms should not exceed 3:1 and too many windows caused all your luck to seep away. She also pointed out that it was not good feng shui to have a window on the opposite wall to the door – at that point, a lot of the audience were asking for the telephone number of a builder. In feng shui the main door represents the “mouth” of the house. Its feng shui affects the entire household so it should be sighted carefully (not that most of have a choice when we buy a house!). The consultant went on to say that it is important that the main (front) door is not facing a toilet, staircase, mirror, a pillar, the edge of two walls, or a protruding corner and should most definitely not be below a toilet on the floor above – at this point, I most definitely viewed this evening as a “bit of fun”. The consultant told us that in order to create feng shui harmony one should paint one’s front door accordingly to the element of the direction in which it faces – red for South, Southwest or Northeast; blue for north, East or Southeast; white for West, Northwest or North and green for East, Southeast or South. Apparently, it is important to open two windows in two different rooms at least once a week – this lets fresh air sweep away any stale yin air in the room. If this is done on a sunny day (some chance) it will bring in vibrant yang energy which attracts good fortune. If you leave your home empty during the day, the consultant advised that it is good feng shui to have a pet as yin emergency accumulates in the silence and stillness of the house – this can be countered by the presence and movement of a cat, dog or fish. Apparently, it is a feng shui tradition that fish bring good luck and it is suggested that a tank of guppies is placed in the north corner of your living room – this is reputed to help your career to come alive wit
          h positive new developments! The consultant went on to tell us about fireplaces in living rooms – she said that according to feng shui, the best place to have one is on the south wall, but is also auspicious located in the East, Southeast, Southwest and Northeast. The Northwest wall is not a good place for a fireplace – she said that it you have one here, you should consider closing it up or not using it. The consultant told us that fresh flowers should be placed in your living rooms and hallways as these bring precocious yang energy into the room. However, they must be removed before they wither and die as this can promote depressing yin – dying flowers must never be left in your home – they should be immediately replaced with fresh ones. Still on the subject of flowers, the consultant said that dried flowers should never be displayed in ones home as feng shui does not consider then auspicious, however, it is quite acceptable to display silk or even plastic artificial flowers. To bring luck into your home, the consultant advised that you can buy a three-legged frog, which can be purchased from Chinese supermarkets – it should be placed in the vicinity of your front door, facing inwards as if it has just come into the house – she stressed that it must not be placed facing the door. The consultant told us how to create a “universal wealth” corner in our living rooms, which is the Southeast corner. Placing a leafy green plant or an aquarium of fish there can energise this. Apparently, this should only be done in the main living room and not in any other room of the house. Feng Shui in the Bedroom =================== It is important that mirrors in the bedroom do not reflect the bed as reflections in the mirror suggest the presence of a third party! Again, the subject of sleeping under exposed beams came up – it you sleep under an exposed bea
          m, it can cause sleepless nights and a rift between couples. The consultant suggested that any beams are camouflaged with fake ceilings or alternatively, it should have two bamboo steams, tied with red thread, hung from it. Beds should be positioned in a certain way in order to bring good luck. The bed should always be placed in the corner of the bedroom diagonally opposite the door and you should never sleep with the your head or feet pointing directly at the door. Also, the door into your bedroom should not face a toilet or kitchen door as this can create bad energy – if this is the case, then any bad energy can be dissolved by hanging a windchime between the two doors. Bedroom doors should not face a staircase, a mirror or another door. If they do, it is suggested that they are kept closed at all times, if this is not possible, then hang a light or windchime up between them. The consultant advised that it is good feng shui to have a headboard on ones bed and that the bed should be pushed up against the wall. You should never sleep facing away from the door, as you should always be able to see the entrance. Pictures of fierce animals, water, or abstract subjects should not be hung on the walls of a bedroom. Water subjects in the bedroom suggests financial loss, however, hung anywhere else in the house, they promote good feng shui. Feng Shui in the Garden ================= The consultant went on to discuss water features for the back garden and their association with money luck – she said that small water fountains, (such as Charlie Dimmock pebble fountains) and/or small ponds in your garden bring exceptional money luck when located in the North or Southeast corner. If you have a water feature in your front garden, it should be located on the left of the main door from the inside of the house looking out. Apparently, this ensures the stability of any married couples liv
          ing there – water on the right-hand side causes husbands to have a roving eye! Fun Feng Shui =========== The consultant ended the presentation with a few “fun” feng shui principals such as she suggested that once a week you should play loud music for ten minutes as this clears out your room! She suggested that you have a wealth vase, which is kept hidden in a cupboard. It should be made of gold, crystal, or glass and filled with semiprecious stones and with some soil taken from a rich man’s garden. Another “fun” bit of feng shui advice she gave was that you never leave your washing hanging out overnight as the night energy is excessively yin and your washing will absorb the yin energies of the night and upset your feng shui. Anyway, whether or not you take any of the above seriously is up to the individual reader, however, it was a bit of fun and interesting evening.

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            02.07.2001 03:02
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            Feng Shui means “wind and water”, and is the ancient Chinese art of creating and maintaining good fortune. It is an enticing blend of many aspects of eastern cultural beliefs, including astrology, the I-ching and folklore, and offers practitioners the apparent opportunity to improve and enhance the quality of their lives. In recent years, Feng Shui has been rapidly increasing in popularity in the west, with its image of being an environmentally friendly alternative to science, a tool for the attainment of career goals and new relationships, and a panacea for the assorted problems of modern living. I have read a fair number of books on Feng Shui since the revival of this ancient art, and it has become apparent to me that the manuals available to us in this country are first of all westernised adaptations rather than the true Chinese practice, and secondly have a tendency to disagree with one another. Hmmmm. Not a good start then! The main problem with the adaptation of Feng Shui for the west is that the practice itself stems from an ancestor worshipping culture – this means that a lot of Feng Shui (and probably the most important parts) come from choosing an auspicious grave site to keep the ancestors happy so they will send the family good fortune from the afterlife. Take a look at the books available to us in the west and you will soon see that this aspect is conspicuous only by its near total absence from these works. This is probably to do with the fact that in our culture, the dead are buried in tiny overcrowded grave plots, making this impossible – it seems therefore that in terms of traditional Feng Shui we are screwed before we even start! The image of Feng Shui being environmentally friendly is something of a misconception as well, as at its core is a distinct “me first” attitude. In China, there are countless cases of disputes between businesses and sometimes even whole communities, as th
            e Feng Shui improvements that one has carried out is perceived as being a detriment to the other. So it is not environmentally friendly (or even friendly at all) for a lot of the time. But the main question is does it work? Are all the marvellous claims made for it actually true? Well, I have to admit that some parts of Feng Shui are good common sense, such as clearing out your clutter, not placing a desk with your back to the door (try it – it actually does make you feel uncomfortable) and not sitting mirrors where you can see yourself in sleeping position (very scary if you wake up and see something moving in the other part of the room!). I did once try some “cures” recommended to improve your career though, and shortly afterwards I was in fact offered two jobs in one day. Coincidence, or was it my placing flowers in the correct segment of the house that did it? I’m sorry, but I think I will have to go for the first option there! To members reading this, I would certainly say that Feng Shui is certainly worth reading about, but remains something that each individual should make up their own minds about. (If you are interested, then Lillian Too’s “complete illustrated guide to Feng Shui” is a good place to start). As a nasty old sceptic I personally don’t read too much into it in terms of curing problems and sorting out your entire life, but if nothing else it does provide quite a nice interior design plan for you house! Finally though, I would like to leave you with one more thought. In Chinese, the word “feng” actually puns with another word quite nicely – it means lunatic.

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              24.06.2001 06:13
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              Feng Shui seemed to be the in vogue word last year, and I fought against jumping on that particular bandwagon, however I have to admit I did recently succumb. One of my colleagues at work is very "into" Feng Shui, and after much persuasion I decided to give it a go, and see if it would bring any improvements to my life. A lot of FTSE 100 companies have been adopting the technique in the offices in order to make the best use of the positive energy forces, and they are hardly likely to waste vast amounts of money on an unproven theory...or are they?? My friend decided to concentrate on a few areas of my life in order to maximise the Feng Shui. Firstly, my love life. As most parents of young babies will know, your love life tends to take a very back seat. My husband and I both work long shifts, and rarely see each other, and then when we do, we are so exhausted we hug our sides of the bed and nothing more. My friend explained that generally when the love life needs improvement, you have to energise the southwest corner of your home. Right.....and where would that be??? However, she prefers a more personalised approach, and introduced me to the kua formula. In order to find the formula for you, you have to discover your kua number. Add the last 2 digits of your Chinese year of birth based on the lunar calendar. If the sum is higher than 10, reduce to a single digit. For men, deduct this number from 10. For women, add this number to 5. If you get a 2 digit number, keep adding until you reduce it to a single digit. The result is your Kua Number. e.g. birth year 1986, 8 + 6 = 14, then 1 + 4 = 5. For males 10 - 5 = 5 (kua). For females, 5 + 5 = 10, then 1 + 0 = 1 (kua). You get that?? Read it slowly if not. I promise it is easy to do. Once you know your kua number, you refer to a table to discover where your personal love mansion, also known as nien yen is located. My year of birth is 1974,
              so 7+4=11, then 1+1=2, and added to 5 makes 7. This makes nien yen in the northeast. Now I had my kua number, and nien yen direction, my friend told me to concentrate on my sitting room as well as my bedroom, but to avoid water and plants in my bedroom. My kua number told me to focus on the northeast, (which I did with some help from my husband), and I was told to display a cluster of medium quartz crystals, a crystal tree, 8 solid crystal balls, a pair of puffed crystal hearts or a pair of crystal mandarin ducks, and also to use scented candles. Like the gullible fool that I am I bought a crystal tree at my local shopping centre, and indeed it increased prosperity....of the shopkeeper!! Then I waited...and waited...and needless to say I am still waiting. My husband is even claiming that he could have the marriage annulled due to the lack of activity of the last year! I have to say I have only had my suspicions confirmed that this is another fad which will cost me money because I was desperate enough to give it a go.

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                21.06.2001 02:51
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                Feng Shui is not to be mistaken with similarly strange named martial arts originating from the Orient! Literally translated Feng Shui means 'wind and water', although different sources do say different things. It is a Chinese art which deals with the placement of objects to promote good things in the human spirit and get rid of the bad things. Of course it's all a load of rubbish. Or at least I think so, so why do thousands of people waste time and money on this ludicrous idea, and how on earth can having your toilet seat open be bad for you? Supporters of Feng Shui can laugh at me now, for I have not experienced the power that Feng Shui brings. I am not enlightened. Well frankly I don't care. I just fail to see how arranging the house differently can bring me love, wealth or whatever else Feng Shui claims to offer. But before I ridicule it further let me tell you a bit more about it. Feng Shui deals with the life force of the body, known as the 'chi', and aims to make people more compatible with the world around them. Apparently the energy (chi) is meant to flow openly and not be restricted, and this can be affected by various objects and where they are placed. Feng Shui divides the room up in to 9 areas, know as houses. Each house has its own purpose, and can be affected by certain objects. These are as follows....... 1. Water (Journey) - This affects your path through life. Adding water to this section makes the path clearer and more enjoyable. 2. Earth - This affects relationships in your life, from work to romance. Pairs of items work well here, or images of animals which mate for life. 3. Thunder - This affects the authority figures in your life, such as bosses or parents. Stones such as smoky quartz can affect this area. 4. Wind - Wind blows energey in to your life, which can either affect your health or materialistic gains. This can be enhanced by the
                addition of wind chimes. 5. Tai Chi - This section symbolises the centre of reconciliation and disharmony. Quartz helps this area. 6 - Heaven - The spiritual energy affecting our friendships. Crystals are good for this area. 7 - Lake - This are deals with creativity and is enhanced by malachite. 8 - Mountain - This represents our relationship with our own spirituality, and can be improved with the use of amethyst. 9 - Fire - Symbolises inner fulfilment, and is affected by stones such as ruby. These are just basic guidelines of course. There are lots of other rules, for example water should never be placed in a bedroom or fire in a food area. Then you have mirrors, which should never face one another as energy will be trapped (as the Big Brother contestants thought). Then you have the toilet seat things, and lots to do with doors. The list is endless, and if you ask me all pretty pointless! Do people who employ Feng Shui in their houses really believe in any of it. Do they really think that various energy flows around their house and affects their day to day lives. I hope not, because when you think of it the idea is so outlandish that you may as well believe in aliens and UFO's (or for that matter the bible!). I don't think all that many people can honestly tell me with their hearts that they believe in all of this. So why do they do it? Put simply; it's cool. Feng Shui is the fad of the moment. It's the thing to do and everyone who's anyone must have a Feng Shui friendly house, and then Joe Public will follow. It's a craze that will pass, one which I doubt has any effect on anything at all, or at least not in the way it is meant. There are a couple of reasons why Feng Shui may inadvertently work. Firstly it is important not to underestimate the strength of the mind. If you think that something is going to affect you then the chances are it will. So if a person
                believes that the changes they made are having an effect, subconsciously they may make them have an effect. Don't believe me, it has been proven in clinical trials!! Next there are some basic facts about Feng Shui that mean it may just work, if only a little. Things like tidying up your house and reducing clutter; most people will find it a better environment to live on so will be happier. As for leaving the toilet seat up.....load of rubbish if you ask me! Yes, I am sceptical about all this mystical stuff, but I do have to say that a lot of the Feng Shui inspired items and decorations actually look quite good. I may no believe in the mystical properties of crystals, but they can look pretty good! I predict that Feng Shui will fizzle out as the years pass, and return to being a relatively unheard of old Chinese art form. Of course I may be wrong, it may work and there may be streams of energy flowing through my house now, right down the toilet seat! But somehow I doubt it...........

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                  04.10.2000 07:12
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                  I found a little paperback book called 'Feng Shui', published by Geddes & Grosset, at just £2.95, in my local cut price bookstore. It explains how this ancient art works and the theory behind it. It is supposed to help you to clear the clutter from your life and enable the correct lines of energy to flow in the correct direction. According to the book there are lines of wealth, health and even happiness that should flow through your home. If these flows are blocked you will get problems. You also need to guard against bad energies coming into your house. I found it all a bit hard to take in and believe, but the system has been used in China for thousands of years so it must be worth looking into. Nothing survives that long without some foundation to it. Things like windchimes and mirrors can be very effective if placed in the right position. This book helps you decide exactly where to place these things that 'reflect' energy lines. Apart from the esoteric aspect Feng Shui is also popular from a decorative point of view. This means that mirrors of all shapes and sizes and windchimes in every conceivable shape are very easy to find in the shops. The first thing I did after reading this book was to clear some surfaces and create lots of space and light. It makes no difference if you believe in Feng Shui principles or not, you will certainly benefit from doing this. My rooms look brighter and there is more light, so I feel much better. It cost nothing to do this and the effects are immediate. This ancient Chinese art can help you with your house, garden, and even your business. There are a few simple things you can do without getting too heavily involved in the esoteric side of Feng Shui. First of all, remove all that clutter. most of us has a large collection of this in at least one room of the house. This in itself is said to be the first step in getting 'Chi', or energy
                  , to flow freely through the building. 'Chi' flows well in areas free from clutter and it moves too fast along straight lines. The various places the Chi (energy flow) has travelled over have all left their influence on the stream. How do you know if you have bad Chi is your home? Well, that is quite a complex thing to work out and it takes years of training to understand fully. However, there are several simple indicators. Think about certain areas of your life. Are your finances good? Is your relationship happy? How is your health? Do you have a good reputation? If you are happy that aspect of your home doesn't need a remedy. If you aren't then perhaps a little work on the Chi in that area might help. For example, if your finances aren't good, you check and find that your money area is your dining room. Maybe you spend too much on food! (You actually need to use a Lo Shu, or Feng Shui chart, to check this properly.) You can use this method to good effect and counteract the bad influences by using certain Feng Shui remedies in different parts of your home. THE REMEDIES. +++++++++++++ Light: Light is energy in one of it purest forms. In China, special octagonal mirrors are used to deflect unpleasant Chi. Light up dark corners. Life: Add a plant with rounded leaves. Don't use cut or dried flowers though as they have no life in them. Colour: Any area that makes you feel stressed should be decorated in a pale colour. White is best with a single splash of bright colour to focus the Chi. Movement: If Chio stagnates it needs to be enlivened and moved around. Use a mobile for this, a silk banner, incense smoke, or running water. Stillness: Use a statue os stone pot, a piece of driftwood, or any large but beautiful object to create stillness in a room. Sound: Wind chimes , be
                  lls or the sound of water running create harmony and soothe the flow of Chi. Straight lines: Sometimes Chi needs enlivening even more and straight lines like beams can help this. If it is too lively and you want to slow it down you can break up the straight lines with scrolls, fans, etc. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Feng Shui is far more complex than this but at least you now have an idea of the basics and enough to make a start. I must admit that I was very sceptical of this system of laying out and decorating my house, but the results were pleasing. I don't know if I now have perfectly balanced Chi, or even if I really go along with the idea, but my home feels better. Its lighter, brighter, more relaxing and soothing. There seems to be so much more space. It's worth working it all out and giving it a try.

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                    26.08.2000 05:33
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                    As a newcomer to Feng Shui, I am fast becoming an addict! The basic principles centre around channelling energy or chi in a positive way. I am sure you have all heard the almost superstitious 'rules' such as keeping your toilet lid closed and not sleeping facing a mirror and whether there is any truth in these I cannot say. These are the 'rules' which have earned Feng Shui it's 'claptrap' status among a lot of the sceptics but I believe you need to approach it in a different way. Indeed if you consider some of the superstitions of British culture, such as not walking under ladders and repeating 'white rabbit' three times on the first of the month, then you may see why such ways are branded nonsense. To me Feng Shui has provided a brilliant and structired way of tidying up my life in general! You see, clutter is on of the theories arch enemies so to speak. Apparently clutter attracts and harbours stagnant chi which isn't good! i suppose the proof is in the pudding but think about how good it feels when you tidy out a room or even an area of a room and everything looks neat. Maybe this is where the truth of the practice lies as everyone must realise that a tidy environment DOES make you feel good. So why not give Feng Shui a try? You don't have to go the whole hog and demolish toilets in the south west of your home, but maybe by adopting just a few of the principles, you can make your world a slightly better place. It works for me! Take a look at www.worldoffengshui.com for some interesting practical advice. (You will need to join but it is free) ************ Update ************ I have recently learnt that Feng Shui's definition of clutter is: Things which you posess but neither use, nor love. Looking at it this way it seems a very logical idea to get rid of this stuff, so if these thoughts can't help me, nothing can! Also, I previously commented
                    on looking at Lillian Too's Little Book of Feng Shui (only £1.59 at amazon.co.uk). Since then I have found a much better 'little book' which seems to offer advice and solutions in a much more practical way. It is also written in much clearer and simpler English, which slightly detracts from the 'hocus-pocus' felling of Too's book. I hereby declare that I change my little book recommendation to... Feng Shui & Your Home by Aroon Ajmera (NB No disrespect to Too's book - this one is just better for beginners and also works on the principles of the Bagua grid, as opposed to Too's literal compass directions) ************** Update 2 ************* Also from further research I have discovered that you don't have to take the Feng Shui advice as literally as it is given. For example one of the ideas is to keep two pink peony flowers in the relationship corner or your bedroom, but this can be interpreted say by placing two peony scented candles there. I just thought this may make people feel a little more likely to try it, as it is not an inflexible set of rules as such.

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                      21.08.2000 15:49
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                      I can't explain why, but I do believe there is something to all this Feng Shui business. I know it might just seem like a trendy fad - I recently saw a cable shopping channel devoted to selling feng shui goods, which to be honest sounds like a contradiction in terms to me. Anyway, here's my take on the subject of feng shui... So far I've just done some of the basics - tidy up clutter, throw out things that do not have a use, keep the toilet seat down... Well so far that seems like good sense, a bit of tidyness and good hygiene never did anyone any harm. OK, then I made sure mirrors were in the right places, got the right kinds of plants for the doorstep (in my case, kumquat plants, which are really expensive and don't always survive our harsh Northern winters), then I got some windchimes, too. To avoid annoying the neighbours I put the windchimes inside the entrance. And, yes, I couldn't see why these little touches should make me healthier wealthier, wiser and all the rest of it... But I swear it seems to be working. Overall I am happier, and even wealthier (only slightly, mind you). And that's good enough for me. Presumably the basic feng shui principles do help us to be more clear headed, at ease, or something, and more likely to be successful. But who needs to know WHY it works? Some people do seem to be taking it too far, though. I don't think there's much point paying for a consultant (it sounds as though you'll receive inconsistent advice anyway). There's also not really any need to splash out on books or magazines: the Collins Gem guide, at £4,99, is a good basic introduction, which covers everything you'll need to know. Here are a couple of useful websites I've found on feng shui - http://my.geomancy.net/mygeomancy, which has some excellent free analysis tools: - find out what are your 4 good and your 4 bad directions - a step
                      -by-step guide to evaluating your home. There's also a very comprehensive index, if you follow the 'Resources' link. http://www.worldoffengshui.com/ all kinds of goodies on here, including discussion forums. So, why not check it out - and get rid of all that clutter!

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                        12.08.2000 08:27
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                        Having only recently discovered Feng Shui I find I am becoming quite an addict. I understand chi must flow and there must not be too much ying or yang or too little either. It may be nice to have the sun coming through the window all day but that, in Feng Shui, can be considered too much yang so, to try and break up the bright light that shines through into your living room, hang a crystal at your window. The result is quite spectacular. Many comments have been made by people visiting my home when they see the beautiful colours of the spectrum spreading across my room, the result of the sunlight passing through the facets. Spin the crystal and you can have a good game of trying to 'catch' the colours. Having such colours around creates a sense of well-being. The hall is a very important place because it welcomes people. I have a laughing buddha on a chest opposite my front door. People are welcome to tickle his stomach. It is believed that if you stroke the stomach of the laughing buddha he will bring you luck. Actually the face of the laughing buddha is enough to raise a smile, even on dark days. If you want fame you must place a horse...no, not a real one, a picture or statuette of one in the south facing corner of your living room. Of course, if you are unsure where that is, you will need a compass. You can actually purchase special Feng Shui compasses. We don't really need Feng Shui for us to create an atmosphere in which we feel comfortable but, if like me, you feel you need help to get a sense of direction in life, it can be a useful tool. One tip, always keep your toilet lid down (except when you need to use it!)...leave it up and your money goes down the pan. Don't say you weren't warned.

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                          16.07.2000 02:14
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                          The whole idea of my wood beams producing negative energy is ridiculous. I love the way my 16th C home has been renovated. No superstitious rubbish is going to make me change my mind. My daughter has experimented with this. Don't put the bed under the window, Oh, no it faces an open door now. The only place is under a sloping ceiling, oh,no that's not allowed either, and I'll bang my head. Basically what the book tells us is that she cant have her bed anywhere in her bedroom. Calming, relaxing, improving your life. What a joke. It just leads to constant furniture rearanging. My title, lets just say if I ever come across the person that introduced the idea to Britain, I'll let the dog loose on him.

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                            15.07.2000 02:38
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                            Walking around our local craft centre here in Dorset and came across a shop selling books, products and gadgets associated with the ancient art of "Feng Shui". Not really paid alot of interest before i decided to take a look around and got talking to a lady who explained its concept. Basically it is to do with "harmonising" your souroundings and creating a more relaxed atmosphere. Interesting I thought but it is going to take alot to harmonize a house with a screaming toddler in it!! So to start with I purchased a beautifal wooden chinese windchime which is based on Feng Shui and creates harmonising sounds to help you abandon fears, stresses and uncomfortable thoughts. It lives in my garden and creates the softest sounds which surprisingly has a huge effect on me. Not only does it makes me so relaxed, it is also very distracting and directs your thoughts to pleasant ones. Ok it sounds corny but I too was a little sceptical but have found myself convinced and eager to look into Feng Shui more and would like to recommend to others to try it! Look out for specialised shops in craft markets and health shops..you may be pleasantly surprised!

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                              14.07.2000 20:36
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                              No this isn't a rave review about Feng Whatsit! It's just in my desire to further my knowledge I typed http://www.fengshui.com into my browser and stumbled into a site that explains it all! ( for any of you that haven't come across this before that's known as 'sarcasm' ) Firstly you have two circles with a little dancing white light around it ( the circles overlap if you can be bothered to watch for long enough! ) then you click and get taken to 'transition' ( laughably the screen changes colour ) which gave me a headache, click again and you get 'nine star' which didn't look very star like to me, another click and straight back to the ruddy circles again! So what's this all about then? Well ironically this site told me absolutely nothing about Feng Shui except what I already knew .... that it's all a load of colly wobble!!! Supposedly Feng Shui is the ancient art of placement ( I got that off http://www.fengshui.co.uk!! ) which for you and me means some prehistoric old git decided that we all had to stick our furniture in certain places otherwise our money would fly out of the window and our legs would fall off! I have to say ( in case you haven't already noticed! ) that I'm pretty sceptical about the whole thing. I don't need someone else to tell me not to stuff things under my bed ( my mum's been doing that for years ) and I'ld of thought it went without saying that mouldy fruit isn't particularly healthy. Feng Shui seems to be about stating the bloody obvious and throwing in a few theories so that everybody rushes out and buys the latest book or video... If you have an ounce of common sence you don't need it! Stick your sofa where it looks nice and stick Feng Shui where it belongs!!!

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                                08.07.2000 02:23
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                                I totally agree with Jiastar. It is the rearrangement of your frame of mind that is the reward of the practice of Feng Shui. A few years ago I installed a fish pond in my garden. The finishing touch was the addition of 4 goldfish. At my wife's insistance and for the purposes of creating harmony, I was forced to buy an additional fish. At first I was sceptical but I have to admit she was right. Every morning when I go down to feed the fish I find myself counting them. Every day I count to five. Every day it makes me feel happy.

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                                  05.07.2000 05:45
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                                  Pronounced Fung Shway, is the art of, living in harmony with you enviroment. Don`t we all feel good when our home looks good. There`s nothing better than when the house is clean from top to bottom & everything in it`s place...well that`s really what Feng Shui is all about. It has been practiced in China for around 4,000 years. People in Hong Kong and such places are always consulting Feng Shui experts, even concerning their businesses. There must be something in it! I always say don`t knock something if you haven`t tried it. I read that dried flowers were bad Feng Shui(as they are dead flowers), as are wilting plants. The experts say Fresh flowers & healthy plants are good. So I outed my dying plants, swapped my dried flower arrangements for bright fresh looking silk ones instead & once a week I get a £2 bunch of flowers from my local market. It hasn`t changed my life any, but the house now feels more welcoming & fresher, which is pleasing..so, it has had some sort of effect. Other tips to try are: Always keep the toilet lid down & the door closed. (even that makes the house seem tidier), it is said that Good luck gets flushed away down the toilet, if left up. Add touches of red in the bedroom, eg flowers, a lamp., this is good for romance. Get a Money Plant...if it thrives, so will your wealth. Keeping your hallway, or entrance in through the front door, compltely tidy & clutter free. This helps good luck come into the house. These are just a few things, that are worth a try & if you think they are good there are loads of books on the subject.

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