Practically everyone in the civilized world has probably heard about Feng Shui. The first thing that comes to mind when I think Feng Shui is an ornament made of Chinese coins and red threads. And that’s probably all most people can conjure up in their heads when they hear the term. But what exactly is Feng Shui and what does it stand for? Those Laughing Buddhas aren’t only about decoration apparently. Based on a principle of patterns of energy that is supposed to have positive and negative effects, Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art. It has origins that can be traced back to over 3,500 years with roots in Taoism. The term “Feng Shui” literally translates to feng wind + shui water, according to the Free Dictionary.
If one flips through the pages of any popular lifestyle magazine these days, there is sure to be an article about how you can enhance your life with Feng Shui. While it shares some points of similarity to the Indian Vaastu Shastra system, Feng Shui is more comprehensive and is supposed to bring about harmony, happiness and prosperity to its practitioners. It has become a popular New Age practice today with many followers all over the world. One of its most famous adherents is American billionaire Donald Trump.
However, most of its original meaning and purpose has been lost according to some consultants. “… Feng Shui has become an aspect of interior decorating in the Western world and alleged masters of Feng Shui now hire themselves out for hefty sums to tell people such as Donald Trump which way his doors and other things should hang. Feng Shui has also become another New Age “energy” scam with arrays of metaphysical products … offered for sale to help you improve your health, maximize your potential, and guarantee fulfilment of some fortune cookie philosophy,” writes Robert T. Carroll, an American academic.
So, does Feng Shui really work? Most Feng Shui consultants and adherents would have you believe that it is a miracle cure for every problem under the sun. On the other side of the coin however, there appears to be a sizable section of the population that would dismiss it as just another new age fad.