Ancient wisdom

Updated: 2013-01-10 07:14

By Peng Yining (China Daily)

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Feng shui, literally "wind and water", dates from China's Warring States Period (475-221 BC). In ancient times, the practice was also called kanyu, meaning a geomantic omen applied to buildings or land.

Traditionally, a feng shui master was consulted before rooms, buildings, settlements and tombs were constructed.

Based on ancient Chinese philosophies, including Taoism and Yijing, often known in English as I Ching, The Book of Changes, feng shui was once an important part of traditional Chinese culture and emphasizes the harmonious coexistence of humans and their environment. Following the disciplines of geography, architecture, ethics and prophecy, the practice also promotes the Taoist principle that the earth, sky and mankind are part of a single whole.

Followers believe that the correct location and decoration of buildings and tombs can produce good luck for the occupants and their descendants.

The positioning of furniture and the direction in which various objects face are strictly set in the rules of feng shui. Placing furniture in an inauspicious location can bring bad luck, the loss of qi, or energy force, and perhaps even disaster.

Many of China's most famous cultural monuments, including the Forbidden City in Beijing, were designed in accordance with feng shui principles.

(China Daily 01/10/2013 page6)