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Modern Feng Shui

The last Chinese emperor was deposed in 1911. Western educated Chinese no longer believed in the old ways, but in modern technology and science, not ancient wisdom, and Western culture spread to China along with the sciences and technologies.


1966 – 1976—Cultural Revolution squashed traditional Chinese culture, art, old building, libraries, feng shui books, and luo pans (feng shui compasses). Many feng shui practitioners fled to Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, London, Sydney, San Francisco and Vancouver. To this day, this is where you will find most of the authentic feng shui masters.


In the West, Stephen Skinner wrote the first English book on feng shui in 1976, but feng shui did not take off until Grandmaster Thomas Lin Yun arrived in the US in the late 1970’s and Sarah Rossbach, one of his Mandarin Chinese students, wrote three best sellers on the subject.


At the same time that GM Lin was introducing feng shui to Westerners, architects in China were curious about the feng shui of the old building styles and found books on the subject written by Western writers, Derek Walters, Joseph Needham, Andrew March, Sarah Rossbach, and Stephen Skinner.


1989—the first modern Chinese feng shui books were published in Chinese, some heavily censored. Professor Cheng Jian Jun and Wang Yude worked to promote the worthwhile study of feng shui in China.


William Spear, a macrobiotic counselor and teacher, coined the term “intuitive feng shui.”  He taught classes at the East West Center in London in the late 1980s and was brought to teach there later by Gina Lazenby, founder of UK Feng Shui Society.  His version of feng shui was a more spiritual version—it emphasized perceiving the qi instead of calculating the qi.   His book Feng Shui Made Easy is good if you are right-brained, intuitive, artistic, and feeling.


Other students of GM Lin wrote books and formed businesses of teaching feng shui, coining the term “Western Feng Shui.”  They stress interior decorating and symbolism of material things.  Most of these practitioners studied with GM Lin Yun and use his notion of the Ever Changing Trigrams to orient the Ba Gua, although they do not all acknowledge this. A few of his students studied deeply the more transcendental or invisible energy behind the material things.



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