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Published June 26th, 2019
Feng Shui
At home, the water element can be activated by placing a fountain in the 'Career' area of a front yard like at this Lafayette home. You can also add koi ponds, small waterfalls, lush vegetation and fragrant flowers. Photo provided

The Five Elements of Tibetan Bon and Chinese Taoist Feng Shui are involved in all dimensions and the role of the Five Elements is often an important detail that is missed with even the most well-intended interior designers, general contractors and architects.
What "looks gorgeous" may not, from a Feng Shui perspective, be a safe and nourishing space in terms of sleeping and living. Feng Shui aims to attract the Qi you want most and retain that energetic in the dwelling, thus making room for the person and life for which you aspire. Kitchens and bedrooms should be auspiciously placed in the interior or back of the home, with all bedroom or office beds or desks placed in the "Commanding Position." Bathrooms should never be placed in the central channel of the property, to avoid placement in the "Health & Wellness" area of the Bagua (see diagram on Page D7).
Design collaboration "from the ground up," to quote one of my favorite teachers, Dr. Edgar Sung, involves a property starting with excellent natural light, an even land plot located above the road, and gardens. The key mantra in the Feng Shui `Land-Form' design principle is "water in front and mountain behind" for any structure. The outside of the property represents yang and inside the dwelling represents yin.
Designing interior spaces within well-situated buildings allows for a healthy Qi flow, and creates within our structures of respite and renewal, grounded strength, resilience and ease. Reading the property and assessing and auditing any property includes understanding the environment from an energetic perspective.
Feng Shui is second only to any daily spiritual practice that creates joy from within, and might include sitting meditation, yoga, journaling, or hiking in nature. It's important to note that when done in combination with intention and the right motivation, the results can be astounding and like these other practices, Feng Shui as a practice is on-going, and is never `one and done'.
The intensity and complexity of the Five Elements is not a quick study and for any Feng Shui expert the desire to learn extensively about the Five Elements in various contexts is tantamount to applying them skillfully.
Each of the Five Elements has a yin and yang aspect. So for example, yin Fire is a candle and yang Fire is an active volcano or another example, yin Wood is bamboo and flowers, and yang Wood are trees.
Applying the Five Elements and with careful skill is centrally important to positively enhance the interior and exterior design.
The Five Elements are either "Creative" or "Productive," such as water feeding wood, wood creating fire, fire producing earth, earth creating metal and metal creating water. The interesting interplay between these elements is that they can be dependent on one another - for example, one has great difficulty in a successful career (water) if the reputation (fire) is not strong, and without a strong reputation it may mean career challenges.
To enhance the water element, and thus "Career, Life Path/Journey" add Feng Shui fountains and moving water to the home and yard, use "water" colors of black and blue, integrate wavy shapes into your design, especially in the middle area of your home.
To enhance the fire element, and thus the "Fame and Reputation" area, add candles, red textiles, planters, safe fire pits and grills to your home and yard directly opposite from the career area in the middle far wall or middle backyard. Fire colors are red and red-purple, and shapes should be triangular, pointy, or prickly.
The Five Elements and the Bagua work and play in a truly sacred geometry.
We will discuss more about the interplay between The Five Elements in relationship to the Bagua areas in future issues.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions, email me at spaceharmony@g.mail.com and you may also consult www.mandalafengshui.com for more details.

The Fire Element is activated with red, like these gorgeous red flowers, placed in the Fame area of this Orinda home. Photo provided
Michele Duffy, BTB M.F.S. is an Orinda resident who, since 1999, enjoys creating "Space as Medicine" Feng Shui one space at a time, as well as hiking in nature, cooking, and spending time with her family; Canyon Ranch Feng Shui Master, International Feng Shui Guild (IFSG) Red Ribbon Professional. To schedule a professional 2019 Feng Shui Consultation, contact Michele at (520) 647-4887 or send an email to spaceharmony@gmail.com.

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