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Roots of Feng Shui

1. The I Ching – considered the “mother of Chinese thought,” the greatest classic of ancient China, revered much as The Bible is revered by Christians. The I Ching, with its 64 Hexagrams, is where the Trigrams of the Ba Gua come from. It is used for both divination and to understand constant cycles of change in nature and in life. It is said that the 64 Hexagrams are identical to the 64 codons of human DNA. The ancient people were wise even before the sciences were able to prove their theories centuries later.


2. Three Main Teachings

Confucianism—Confucius lived from 551 – 479 BC and stressed the responsibilities of the individual to their parents, family, and Emperor. Confucianism acknowledged the genetic chain from distant forefathers, through us, our children and grandchildren, and on to their distant descendants. This is where the concept that good grave site feng shui was important as an aid to improving one’s own feng shui, through the connection of the qi of our ancestors. This was brilliant given that DNA had not yet been discovered. Confucian cosmology sees the world as being made up of 2 things: li (form) and qi (breath)


Buddhism—founder Siddhartha Gautama (566-486 BC). Buddhism’s main point was to end suffering and reach enlightenment. The teachings of Buddha originally were an oral tradition, and around the 1st century B.C. they were recorded. Among its teachings was the concept of:

-karma, that is, one’s destiny is determined by good and bad deeds during present and past lifetimes

-the idea that emptiness is the ultimate state of enlightenment

-nirvana, the end of all desires

-many bodhisattvas, “enlightened existences,” deities who delayed their own achieving of nirvana in order to help others achieve enlightenment; ex. Kuan Yin, goddess of mercy, known for compassion

-meditation, a way to reach enlightenment

-sutras, Buddhist doctrines, especially the Heart Sutra, which contains the phrase “Color is emptiness, emptiness is color.”


Taoism—Founded by Lao Tzu, a 6th century B. C. philosopher. Legend has it that he wrote the Taoist classic Tao Teh Ching, and proposed the idea of going with the flow.


Tao—literally translated, “the way;” the natural way, the way of the universe—grew out of ancient rural Chinese life and its identification with and dependence on nature. It teaches that man is a part of nature and should live in harmony with nature. Tao is the source of all existence. Out of Tao comes the dynamic of balance, the concept of Yin and Yang, complementary opposites that are born from and are harmoniously united in Tao.



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