The Five Elements or Forces (wu xing) – which, according to the Chinese, are metal, earth, fire, water, and wood – are first mentioned in Chinese literature in a chapter of the classic Book of History. They play a very important part in Chinese thought: ‘elements’ meaning generally not so much the actual substances as the forces essential to human life. Earth is a buffer, or an equilibrium achieved when the polarities cancel each other. While the goal of Chinese medicine is to balance yin and yang in the body, the goal of feng shui has been described as aligning a city, site, building, or object with yin-yang force fields.
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Make sure the bed is positioned as far from the door as possible. Place the bed in the area further from the door or diagonally from the door, but not in line with the door. In other words, you want to be able to see the door while in bed, but not be aligned with the door. Be it the bedroom door, the door to the balcony/patio, the bathroom door or your closet doors, you do not want your bed in line with any of the doors in your bedroom, or too much chi will flow towards the bed. Ideally, the bed can be diagonally positioned from the door, jutting out from the opposite corner.
It’s time to start a new Pinterest board. According to feng shui principles, Cho recommends opting for a sturdy headboard, preferably a wooden one, with no bars or holes on it. “The headboard keeps you connected with your partner and stabilizes you in bed. Not having a headboard makes your relationship feel more temporary,” Cho says. And if you’re single, a sturdy headboard can help attract a strong and secure relationship, proponents believe. If buying a new headboard isn’t in your budget right now, some feng shui experts suggest adding two large pillows behind your sleeping pillows. This makes for a comfortable and soft DIY “headboard” in the meantime. But Cho warns, “It’s better to have a headboard if at all possible. If you can’t afford one, then you can try the pillows but it’s not a substitute for a solid headboard.”
Dana Claudat is a modern feng shui master, designer, and founder of the blog The Tao of Dana. She is a Stanford-educated art historian with more than a decade of experience in design, feng shui, and research with thousands of clients, yet her approach to space is simple. Starting where you are, using what you have, you can create more of your dream home—and dream life—every day. Dana is a longtime mindbodygreen contributor and instructor (she may have had a hand in the hundreds of plants in mindbodygreen headquarters!), and her work has been featured in design and lifestyle publications around the world. You can work with Dana from wherever you are in the world in her online Feng Shui Camps and through her Online Feng Shui Consultations. For more art and feng shui lifestyle inspiration, you can follow Dana on Facebook and Instagram. Join in her weekly feng shui notes, including monthly New Moon Full Moon feng shui rituals, here!
Crystals are the powerhouses of good feng shui energy; they bring the essence of abundance from deep within the earth. If you are new to crystals, start with clear quartz, preferably in a rough/natural shape. Along with the clear quartz, there are 3 more crystals that can help you attract the energy of wealth: pyrite, citrine and amethyst. Pyrite is excellent as a wealth feng shui magnet, and reasonably easy to find and well priced. Genuine citrine tends to be pricey and a bit hard to find; amethyst is easy to find, works very well on many levels, including purifying the energy in your home. If there are no crystal shops close to where you live, check our online selection of feng shui crystals (our store is powered by amazon.com).
Put your books elsewhere. You can keep a few books in your room if you read to put yourself to sleep, but too many books can make you feel overwhelmed in the space. Your bedroom is a place for rest and relaxation, and if you have too many books there, it will be too much like a place for work. Too many books in your resting space can also be overwhelming.
To ensure a good night's sleep, be conscious of your bedroom's ceiling as well, suggests Cerrano. "Do you have a ceiling fan, beams, a skylight, an angled or slanted ceiling design?" she asks. "Any of these could negatively affect your sleep and energy as they relate to Sha energy (which drains a person's energy)," Cerrano explains. If your ceiling has any of the aforementioned items, avoid sleeping directly under them, if you can, she suggests.
Images can be very powerful, we all know that. They can be of great help with expressing a desired quality of energy when the real objects are not available, not suitable or cannot be placed well in your home. For example, you might not want plants in your space for whatever reasons, but you can always go for images of lush energy – no constant care needed, always fresh! The same principle applies to images of water. If fountains are not to your (or your home’s) liking, you can use images of clear (and ideally moving) water as a wealth feng shui cure. High-quality wall murals work wonders in most spaces.
The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the home, according to feng shui, because it's where we seek restoration, balance, and peace. It's also the place of dreams. In feng shui, the items you place between your mattresses have an energetic association with your intentions. So yes, you can make money (or find true love) in your sleep. Use sensual fabrics and fluffy pillows to promote relaxation and don't store things under your bed — shoes, suitcases, books, pictures, and files are too energizing for restful slumber.
To demystify some of the rules of this ancient Chinese tradition, we tapped New York–based professor, feng shui expert, and author of The Holistic Home, Laura Benko to give us simple, actionable tips on how to incorporate its philosophy in our homes. Benko is widely acclaimed for having rebranded feng shui into a more modern, holistic approach while still honoring age-old traditions. To Benko, feng shui is not about transforming the structure of a home, but about making our homes evolve with us. Though nearly imperceptible, these small tweaks can have a "profound impact on your daily life," she insists.
Nature creates a sense of peace. In fact, research shows that viewing nature reduces anger and anxiety and enhances feelings of pleasure. So flood your home with natural light, open windows and doors to let fresh air inside, and bring plants indoors. Decorate with bamboo, wood, or wicker, and use stones and rocks to add texture. You can also adorn the walls with paintings of nature and its serenity.
The Solution: If you have that configuration in your kitchen, no need to gut renovate just yet. Instead, put a wood element between the sink and stove—water feeds wood, and wood feeds fire. So in this case, wood acts like a mitigating element between the two opposing forces. Wood is also represented by the color green in feng shui, which can be used instead of the actual material.
In Taoist and feng shui theory, yin and yang are opposites that are dependent upon one another and which must always be in balance. The principle of duality—the idea that all things are balanced blends of two things—is at the root of yin/yang theory. While most other spiritual philosophies believe in opposing dualities, such as good vs. evil, the Chinese Taoist system believes that balance and equilibrium between opposites is the desirable state. Discord occurs when one principle outweighs the other.
The bagua map is used by first orienting yourself to the main entrance to the house, or the entry to an individual room, then using the map to identify the different key areas of the space. Then, specific items can be positioned in those key areas to enhance the feng shui. For example, the place defined as the wisdom area is a good place for a small stack of books, while the love and relationship space is a good place for a wedding photo.
In Feng Shui, we use the “commanding position” to locate important furniture such as your bed. The bed is arguably the most important piece of furniture to put in the commanding position because you spend so many passive hours sleeping! To place your bed in the commanding position, you want to be facing the door while not in line with the door while lying in bed. Ideally you can be diagonally across the room from your bedroom door. However, I understand this is not always possible. In that case, find a mirror and place it so that you can see the door while lying in bed. I suggest freestanding mirrors, as they’re easier to move around and get just right.
A common place for storage in the bedroom is usually under the bed, but Cerrano believes it's not good practice: "This may not be the most ideal place for extra storage. Why? From a feng shui perspective, storage under the bed can obstruct your sleeping pattern because the movement of energy cannot flow evenly around the energy fields of your bed. For instance, shoes are suggested to be stored in closets because they symbolise other people potentially taking advantage of you."
You'll also want to consult a Bagua map to see what elements to pull into your space. Locate what Bagua your bedroom is located in relationship to the front door of your house, and add accessories accordingly. For example, if your bedroom falls in the Health and Family area, where the dominant element is wood, try to incorporate greens and blues in order to sustain that element.
The Mystic Knot is one of the most often used symbols in feng shui. Being a combination of six times the infinity symbol, this feng shui knot symbolizes a long and happy life full of good fortune. Mystic knot is sometimes referred to as the endless knot because it looks like it swallows its own tail. In Buddhism, the mystic knot is one of the 8 magical auspicious objects.
Decorate your home or office with a feng shui aquarium to attract wealth chi. This is a fun and lively way to add beauty and wealth to your personal areas and workspaces. You can also use feng shui symbols and images of specific fish to bring a sense of wealth to your environment. Consider using images of art in the bedroom, a fish clock in the kitchen, or a fish shower curtain in the bathroom, for instance.
Live plants have their own chi and will draw chi to them. Don't have a green thumb? "The next best thing is to showcase high-quality silk plants and flowers — not plastic," says Varone. The best places for plants are in the kitchen (between hot and cold appliances to create balance), in the dining room (to draw abundance), and in the family room (to promote health, life, and connection).
5. Minimize. Your bedroom should be a place of rest, contemplation, and intimacy. Exercise equipment, phones, and a TV give off and take up a lot of energy. The bedroom is a place where you turn off the stresses of the day. If you must have your bedroom serve double duty, use a folding screen or hanging fabric to conceal them. If you’re not willing to part with your TV, keep it in an armoire or cabinet so you can shut the door while you sleep.
Feng shui is a Chinese metaphysical philosophy that brings harmony to an environment. Good feng shui does not bring you wealth if you do not strive for it, but it does give you the necessary support to seek your wealth and fortune. Feng shui also helps you use various methods to create an environment at home and in the office that will strengthen you and attract the feng shui energies of prosperity and wealth.
So what are some of the drawbacks of having a metal headboard or bed frame? "From a Bau-biology feng shui perspective, choosing a solid wooden headboard and frame is ideal because 'metal frames and metal box springs can amplify and distort the earth's natural magnetic field,'" Cerrano elaborates. "Wooden materials are not a conductive element, so they can help reduce radio frequency signals from wireless appliances (your computer, cell phone, and television) from negatively penetrating your personal energy field," she adds.
Whether you're looking for balance and harmony in your home, office or diet, feng shui is the latest (by Western standards, anyway) miracle cure for all that ails you. But, in fact, the concept of "chi," the energy that feng shui strives to balance, can be traced to Taoism, a Chinese philosophy that dates back to the sixth century B.C. The Taoist belief asserts that human language is incapable of explaining our existence in the world. Chi is a power beyond the physical world.
Be aware of the position of the windows. If you can, try to avoid placing your bed between the window and a door, or you'll be in the middle of the "draught" of chi running between these two places. If you can't avoid it, just make sure you have nice, pleasant curtains to block some of the bad energy. You should also avoid sleeping facing the window, if you can, or your sleep won't be as restful.
In feng shui, placing your bed in a “commanding position” is key. This means that your bed isn’t directly in line with the door and that you can see the door in front of you when you’re lying down. The commanding position puts you in a “safe” place and gives you a sense of stability (both physical and metamorphic) because you can spot whatever enters your space. Another important part of positioning your bed is to make sure you have equal room on both sides, so both people are able to get into bed easily. By making space, you create a balance of energy on either side of the bed.
A bedroom is no place for an office. A creative corner, maybe, but a technology-filled, deadline-driven, endless to-do list office? A constant reminder of your unread inbox does not cultivate rest or intimacy. Consider a mobile office that partners a laptop with your dining room table (and attractive storage for all your supplies) before you resort to a bedroom office.
While this may seem like an obvious problem to tackle around the house, we are all too guilty of accumulating tchotchkes that don't play a specific function in the home. According to Benko, clutter is more than just visually displeasing: "It's an energetic anchor that impedes the best things from unfolding in our lives," she says. "An excessive amount of clutter stops us from having clarity of thought, and can weigh us down emotionally." Feng shui is less about having an overly perfectly styled home, and more about creating a happy and healthy environment.
Not all bedrooms are ideal candidates for feng shui layouts. Most American homes weren't built with any feng shui considerations, so the challenges are always present when trying to create an auspicious feng shui bedroom layout and design. This is especially true of small bedrooms. Space is a premium in small bedrooms. This includes wall space that's often broken up by doors and windows.
As for which direction the toad should face, some experts say that the frog should face the inside of the house, while others say that it should face towards the front door. From how I read this, it seems that the toad should face towards the front door if its applicable. In other instances, such as placing the toad in a wealth area that’s away from the front door, it should face towards the inside of the house.
If you have even one leak – anywhere in or around your house – stop reading this blog post and fix it now. In feng shui – and in life – water is wealth: a water leak is both literally and figuratively a leak of precious resources. That’s why fixing leaks will help you save and retain money, rather than watching it flow out just as soon as it flows in.
For example, when I think of a lifelong love partnership, I can come up with many images, none of them being the Mandarin ducks (the traditional feng shui representation of love & marriage). This is because I have no cultural or emotional connections to this image. However, for many Chinese people, the image of Mandarin ducks will genuinely speak of devoted love because there is strong cultural lore connected to this image. This means that approaching feng shui in an intelligent way and with a good dose of healthy discrimination is the cornerstone of successful feng shui work.
I know many of us could use extra storage, but under the bed is not the place for it! In feng shui, it’s best to have the air flow all around you while you’re sleeping, so it’s a big no-no to have objects under the bed—especially sharp, dangerous items. Other items to watch out for are shoes, books, or anything associated with very active energy. If you have mementos from past relationships stored under there, it may mean that relationship is holding you back. If you must store something under the bed, make it something soft, like extra linens and pillows.
A common practice today is to place the toad in the wealth area or corner but NOT on the floor. It is also suggested that you should place it somewhere close to the front door so it can bring wealth from the outside to you. However, it is suggested NOT to place the toad directly opposite of the door because the incoming Qi from the front door would be too strong.
Victorian-era commentators on feng shui were generally ethnocentric, and as such skeptical and derogatory of what they knew of feng shui. In 1896, at a meeting of the Educational Association of China, Rev. P.W. Pitcher railed at the "rottenness of the whole scheme of Chinese architecture," and urged fellow missionaries "to erect unabashedly Western edifices of several stories and with towering spires in order to destroy nonsense about fung-shuy".