By Jenny T. Liu, MA

Every day, our cities produce waste and pollution that con- taminate our water and soil. The convenience of "technology" electrifies our earth with electromagnetic fields that desynchronize our body's energy and lower our immune systems. Living in cities, departed from nature, we tend to forget we are but a small part of nature. This separation from nature is a defiance of the life force that is essential to our existence. The results of these unnatural acts are reflected in our civilization.

Unable to defend ourselves, a number of new incurable diseases such as AIDS, reyes syndrome, lyme disease, and legionnaire's disease have developed. Combined with times of fast change and low morale, drug abuse and gang activity are a way of life for some people. There are children armed with guns committing robbery and murder without even a second thought. At least 50% of today's marriages end up in divorce. Violence is glorified in the media. Video games teach children how to fight. Many families and businesses are dysfunctional and struggling. Are these things normal and natural? What causes these occurrences and how do we begin to rectify some of these problems that we face every day?

We are a product of our environment. We react in certain ways to our physical and non-physical surroundings according to the natural laws. Feng Shui is an ancient yet practical philosophy that lets us understand these causes and effects so that we can create an environment that promotes our well-being. Anything that goes against our evolutionary progress or does not sustain our well-being is a violation of the natural laws. Violating these natural laws is no different than violating our own existence.

Feng Shui originated in China, but is not necessarily unique to the Chinese. It is a system of survival that is common in many ancient cultures that lived at the mercy of nature. By understanding the natural cycles, they were able to predict and prepare themselves for the future. Through thousands of years of experience, they created methods of selecting the best places to thrive and live a peaceful life.

Humans are originally outdoor creatures. Working from 9 to 5, we have become indoor beings. We lack the energies of nature that are vital to our well-being. Like our predecessors, we are still trying to survive, make a living and improve our lives. Except now, there is new technology, complicated social ethics, economics and many other twists added to the challenges of everyday life.

In the grand scheme of feng shui, there are at least 30 factors that influence our lives. Some of these include our background, personality, health, culture, parents, motivation, skills, our environment and so forth. Many of these factors are predestined and unchangeable. The most easily accessible to change is our physical surrounding. By being aware of how our environment affects us, we can use it to help make our lives more comfortable.

Everyone has a unique body and energy. This energy or "chi" is a frequency with a specific wavelength and direction. A person's energy can be revealed by their appearance. The facial features such as the length, width, shape, size and color of the forehead, eyebrows, eyes, nose, cheek bones, lips, teeth, ears, hair and so forth can tell us about a person's energy. The way people carry themselves, their posture and their walk are all physical clues to the energy within.

A person's birthday, birth time, and birth place can also be used to generate a highly accurate astrological chart called the "Zi Wei" that also sheds light about a person's life energy. Similar to reading a person's energy, the natural forms in the landscape, the year a building comes into being, its blueprint and site location all come together to tell us about the energy contained in a specific place. Depending on what type of energy a person has, he or she fares better in certain places than others.

The earth's energy varies from place to place. Ancient feng shui books depict hundreds of different land, mountain and river configurations, explaining the energy contained there and the potential effect it may have on the people who live there. For instance, people tend to fare better near water such as a harbor or bay area. Hong Kong, San Francisco, New York and so forth are all harbor cities where people thrive. On dry, barren land such as a basin or near earth faults where the earth's energy is unstable or weak, there tend to be less populated and prosperous cities.

Being indoors over half our lives, the energy contained within our buildings has a great impact on our own energies and the progress of our livelihood. At home or at work, feng shui guides us on how to be synchronized with natural frequencies, showing you how to stimulate existing frequencies to induce positive chain reactions. This means being in alignment with similar earth frequencies, knowing which rooms are best to use, surrounding yourself with images that promote your unique energies, knowing when and what colors and objects you can use to activate progress in certain areas of your life.

By being in positive energy fields, you enhance your own energies. This enables you to attract positive things and be protected from negative people, places and things. At home or in the office, practicing feng shui translates into creating an environment that allows family or business members to be mutually respectful, cooperative, focused and productive. This means the leaders (parents or bosses) are able to think clearly, make good decisions and do the right things - setting a successful example for their children or employees - all which create a path that directs us towards a higher cycle of life.

Jenny Liu holds a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Design from UC Berkeley and a Masters Degree in Architecture from UCLA. She is an expert in the 5,000 year-old Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui, who also shares her knowledge through seminars, workshops, periodicals and the Internet. Awarded for her Master's Thesis on Feng Shui, Ms. Liu is a fourth generation practitioner with her own consulting firm. For more information, please see her website at http://www.liu-fengshui.com   or for the library of her articles http://www.spiritweb.org./Spirit/feng-shui.html . If you have questions, you can also reach her at (818) 282-8536.

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