Monday, January 28, 2013

The History of Feng Shui

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Confucius.

Feng Shui is the art of placing a structure so it is in harmony with nature.  It is based upon the belief of  “kanyu”, or geomancy, whereby cultural and social issues are under the influence of cosmological, metaphysical and natural factors.

To use the ancient technique of Feng Shui, you must understand the influence of cosmology upon the earth. You should have knowledge of how astronomy and astrology influence the placement of buildings. You also need to understand the Confucian classics, the weathering process, the forces of nature, the magnetic fields and how these all influence us.  If you think about it, the knowledge required is quite overwhelming.

The history of Feng Shui originated in the West Han dynasty around third century BC. Those who practice it believe that the earth is alive with energy. If people built a structure on a land that has revitalizing energy, then they would prosper. If the structure is placed in a site with bad energy, misfortune will occur.  But originally, Feng Shui was used to help place tombs for those who had passed, rather than for building homes for the living. Back then, practitioners of Feng Shui believed that choosing a good burial site would bring peace and prosperity to those who remained here on Earth.

The instrument used to select the correct burial site was known as the Lou Pan. This invention was traced back to the Yellow Emperor where it is said that the Lady of the Nine Heavens gave him this knowledge.  This ancient compass was originally called the Hin Shi and was described as a square base called a diviner’s board, holding a bowl of water which floated a magnetic south-pointing spoon.

The Hin Shi was later developed into the Lou Pan.  During the Sang Dynasty, it was used to navigate at sea. When it was brought to Europe sometime during the 13th Century, the Lou Pan was better known as the compass which helped navigators explore the rest of the world.
The concept of Feng Shui, soon evolved.  If the Lou Pan could be used to pick good burial sites, then couldn’t it do the same for erecting buildings where people could live? The answer is yes, and so this device began its evolution of use to analyzing the orientations of buildings in relationship to the land.  Feng Shui was even applied to decor with focus on placement in relationship to the main door, and even the bed and the stove.

Since then, both the rich and the poor incorporate Feng Shui into their architecture. Archeological studies have shown that ancient Chinese city planners were made in concentric rectangles surrounded by walls that were then surrounded by lakes, hills, valleys, gardens, courtyards and parks as a way to enhance positive energy.  As for buildings, these were constructed to enhance a healthy relationship between family members and the country.

This is where Yin and Yang comes in. Yin and Yang are considered to be the foundation of the universe. Coming from Taoism, these two are complete opposites, and one cannot exist without the other.  For them, the left side of the building must represent Yang or the male force while Yin or the female force is on the right.  Examples of Yang in the past included sunlit roofs, built areas and an elevation in the front. For Yin, there must be empty areas, shadowed eaves, set back structures and elevations in the back.

The history of Feng Shui was almost forgotten in 1949 during the Revolution. If it wasn’t for the masters who practiced it and shipped it out to Hong Kong or China, we would have never known it existed. Feng Shui made its way to the United States only in the 1970’s. Various articles and shows have focused on it and people now use it to help in the building of structures.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

What is Feng Shui?

Right where you are, the potential of the universe is.  Alexandra Katehakis.
Simply put, Feng Shui is an ancient art and science that was developed by the Chinese more than 3,000 years ago.  It is a complex body of knowledge that, if practiced properly, will assure the person good health and fortune.

Feng Shui is made up of two words:  the first is wind while the second is earth.  Its teachings are based on Taoist vision and understanding of nature on the belief that the land is alive and is filled with energy.  This in turn could make a kingdom successful or bring it to its downfall.

Aside from water and wind, Feng Shui is influenced by the theory of 3 other elements:  wood, fire and metal.  It is also this that guides Chinese astrological sciences including the times, dates of birth and years as well as colors, seasons, directions and the planets.

Featured Artwork:  Pele - Goddess of Fire

The main tools for Feng Shui are the compass and the Ba-Gua.  The Ba-Gua is an octagonal shaped grid containing the symbols of the I Ching, the ancient oracle on which this is based.  Those who believe in Feng Shui say that those who know the bagua of their home will be able to understand specific areas of their life.

The Feng Shui compass is also called Lou-Pan.  This compass is used to access deeper information about a site or a building. It consists of bands of concentric rings arranged around the magnetic needle.  "Lou" means "everything" and "pan" means "bowl", which can be interpreted as the key to the mysteries of the universe.

Through the years, several different schools of Feng Shui have emerged.  If you are able to master the basic level, it is said that you will start to see powerful results which could be to your advantage both at home and in business.

Those who practice Feng Shui see it as a double-edged sword because it can be mutually productive and also destructive.  In a productive cycle, fire produces earth which produces metal which produces water which produces wood and the fire again.  In a destructive cycle, wood destroys earth which destroys water which destroys fire which destroys metal and then destroys wood.

To give you an idea what this all means, let’s say you were born on a fire year.  Too much water in the home is not good because water destroys fire.  On the other hand, if you put a lot of wooden décor into your home, then things will be good because wood produces fire.  Aside from that, experts say that you will more likely prosper if you sleep on the south side of the house or apartment.

But most individuals just do not have time to understand all the concepts behind Feng Shui.  This is why many people choose to consult Feng Shui experts when they are building an office or their home.  By being able to have someone who understands these cycles, harmony and productivity is achieved.

So what is Feng Shui?  For those who don’t believe in it, Feng Shui is simply one way of making sure that you will get good fortune.  As for those who take it seriously, it is what creates the essence of life around us.  There must always be a harmonious balance between these elements so that you can live a healthy and meaningful life.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

I'm a Reiki Practitioner . . . NOT a Physician!

Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos:  the trees, the clouds, everything.  Thich Nhat Hanh.

When someone is initiated into the world of Reiki, the new awareness of ever-present subtle energies can sometimes awaken something deep within the Practitioner.  There may be an increase in sensitivity to the ebb and flow of the biofield commonly known as the aura.  Some Practitioners have even noted that they are able to "see" the colors of the aura with the mind's eye psychically.

Often during a Reiki treatment, the Practitioner will get a sensation of blockages in the flow of life force energy (ki/chi/prana) of the patient.  These sensations may feel like hot and cool spots, increased tingling in the hands of the Practitioner (or lack thereof), or just an intuitive "inner knowing".  Many Practitioners worldwide have reportedly received intuitive impressions of emotional, spiritual and even physical illness.

Please be aware that although some Reiki Practitioners may receive occasional energetic insight with regard to your biofield, it is not customary to share this information with the client, nor is it part of traditional Reiki training to offer psychic readings as part of a Reiki Session.  Always remember that Reiki does not diagnose nor does it prescribe, and neither should your Reiki Practitioner.

What Should You Look for in a Reiki Practitioner?

When looking for a Reiki Practitioner, you should investigate their training.  If you are comfortable with their training, consider meeting them before scheduling a session.  Trust your instincts.  If you are comfortable after meeting them, then schedule your appointment.

Be aware at your first appointment that a Reiki Practitioner should never ask you to undress.  And depending upon local laws, your Reiki Practitioner may actually give you an opportunity to choose "hands-on" or "hands-off" methods.  Both hands on and no touch methods are part of traditional Reiki, and both methods are equally effective.

Remember that if your Reiki Practitioner offers you a "diagnosis" beyond the scope of an "energy blockage", you should consider finding another Practitioner.  Reiki does not diagnose nor does it prescribe.

A Reiki Practitioner is not trained to be a Medical Intuitive.

There is a field of Energy Work, where someone who is psychic can become a Certified Medical Intuitive.   I know that there are some very accurate Medical Intuitive out there, and some are even employed in hospitals.  But they also represent themselves as such, and information regarding their training and experience is readily available.

A Medical Intuitive usually works with a qualified licensed health professional, and not the patient except when receiving psychic input.  It takes a great deal of training and proof to become a Medical Intuitive, and it can be a highly respected career choice for someone who is highly accurate intuitively.  I would imagine that a Certified Medical Intuitive is not in the "business" of practicing without the supervision of a Licensed Physician.

Is it ethical for a Reiki Practitioner to say, "Perhaps you should see a Physician"?

Would this invoke fear in the patient?  More often than not, I would say "yes". So what does a Practitioner say or do when their intuition senses a major medical illness?  Say nothing?

Absolutely my answer is, "Yes, say nothing . . . diagnose nothing."  

A Reiki Practitioner is a vessel only for Universal Life Force Energy (prana/chi).  We are there to facilitate the connection between the universal energies and the patient, and nothing more.  We are trained to be facilitators for the flow of life-force energy (prana).

We are taught ethical practices in Reiki, and maintaining the integrity of the Reiki tradition is imperative.  For Reiki Master/Teachers we are also trained to teach others the art of Reiki, and that includes ethical behavior.

What is an "Energy Blockage"?

So how should you as a client interpret it when your Reiki Practitioner says you have an "energy blockage"?  Although a block in the flow of prana is believed by many to eventually manifest itself in the form of illness, it is also thought to manifest itself in your aura first.  So don't panic!  It could be only an energetic blockage.

Consider the following example:

You have been in a long-term relationship with someone who has recently broken it off.  You become anxious or depressed from your recent loss.  This "heartbreak" could present itself as a blockage in your heart chakra.

If the "ex" was providing your food, clothing or shelter, suddenly you have to find a new place to live.  The "insecurity" that comes along with being "uprooted" could manifest itself in your root chakra.

If you never really spoke your mind about tensions in the relationship, it could show up as a blockage in your throat chakra.  Does it mean you are going to have a heart attack, a low back ache, or a sore throat?  It is thought by many to be possible.

You should maintain a professional relationship with a qualified health care provider to monitor your physical, mental and emotional health. Be proactive in your overall health and follow the advice of your physician. If you have physical symptoms, or if you are having emotional difficulties (as in the example above), seek medical attention. A Reiki Practitioner is not trained to diagnose or treat medical and/or emotional illness.

The Reiki Practitioner is there to "kick-start" the flow of chi, by being a vessel through which universal energies can flow to you.  If you have physical symptoms, you should always seek proper medical attention.  Reiki by nature is a "spiritual" practice and although instantaneous physical healing has been reported, Reiki is not a "cure-all".  Rather, Reiki works to balance your energy for overall well-being.

A Reiki Practitioner is a "Facilitator" of Reiki Energy.

Beware of Reiki Practitioners who promise immediate physical healing results.  In the world of Reiki, universal life-force energy is taught as "intelligent", and it flows where it is needed.  The Reiki Practitioner is trained to be a "vessel" for "chi" and cannot "control" it . . . it just goes, and often it flows where the recipient wants it to go.  Also, If you come across a Reiki Practitioner who gives you a physical "diagnosis" when you visit them, you might want to consider a different Practitioner.

I'm not saying that a Reiki Practitioner cannot be accurate in their intuitive impressions, but what I AM saying is that it is not ethical for a Biofield (EnergyWork) Practitioner of any kind to diagnose a medical condition any more than it is ethical for a Physician to do a Dentist's job.

Reiki is EnergyWork, and not a means of diagnosing illness.  If you would like an intuitive medical diagnosis, seek out a proven accurate Certified Medical Intuitive by referral through your Physician.  You must be pro-active in your medical care! If you are seeking a complementary healing modality to energetically assist you during a medical illness or for overall balance and well-being . . . that's what Reiki is for.

Links of Interest

Monday, January 7, 2013

Looking for Miracles

Just for today . . . I will give thanks for my many blessings.  Reiki Principles.

How do you see the world?

It is difficult to see the world in a positive light when it seems as though we are surrounded by negative events and negative people.  All anyone ever needs to do is open their eyes and take a good look at the beauty in the delicate and perfectly balanced world in which we live.

Even if you are going through a bad experience, the miracle is there. The miracle is in the lesson to be learned. The miracle is in the growth you will achieve by the lesson. The miracle is in the strength you will achieve.

No matter how dark the night, morning will come.  Dark clouds may rise!  But even though it may be raining, the sun will shine again and a magnificent spectrum of color will appear before your eyes!

See the miracle!
There are two ways to live:  You can live as though nothing is a miracle, or you can live as though everything is a miracle.  Albert Einstein.

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