Tag Archives: feng shui

Song Dong Waste Not

Song Dong Waste Not until Jan 27th

at Carriageworks, Sydney


I met some friends at Carriageworks the other day and realised I would have to go back with some more time to see “Waste Not”. And so I did.

What would happen if you could spread ALL the contents of your home in a big shed?

This installation shows everything that Song Dong’s mother had accumulated over the years. Some items there she had for fifty years! Growing up in communist China pre-industrialisation you were trained to save and re-use. So she started keeping everything.

The exhibition was a healing experience as they as a family went through everything each time they re-assemble the show.

As a good Cancerian my hoarding tendencies are quite strong, so it was a great mirror for me going through the exhibition looking at all the items, big and small.

I loved the bird cages. My grandfather used to grow quails and other birds, so there were always lots of wooden cages around. I was never fond of keeping birds in cages, but I had such a great relationship with my Grandad as a young child. I was always fascinated with all his artesan skills, building things out of wood, including the cages and pieces of furniture.

However the main thing I felt while looking at the exhibition was raw exposure. Are the things that we keep able to tell a story of who we are?

What an amazing act of bravery!

I actually spent quite a bit of time there, but noticed that most people, apart from the reading part, would not spend more than 10 min looking around the whole exhibition. Was this a sign of our short attention spam? Or were they feeling generally uncomfortable?

I felt uncomfortable. (Would I feel different if I lived a less cluttered existence? Not sure). But I stayed. I felt some sadness for the pure impermanence of the material world. One day, everything fades away. Material possessions loose their beauty and become junk.

I felt like invading someone’s privacy as well. But I stayed …

And then I started looking for treasure.

The bird cages were treasure-like for me. But then I realised that the true treasure were the bars of soap, some from the early 60’s! The soap bars were rationed and scarce at that time, so they were very precious.

I think once one feels the need to save everything, they may continue to do so for the rest of their lives. In a continuous journey of disenchantment and lack of trust in providence. I suppose part of the sadness I felt was brought by that as well, the obvious hardship that appear to have lead to the compulsive hoarding.

After being in Song Dong’s installation my questions for us in the modern world were:

Can we go fanatic about re-cycling and start accumulating too much clutter?


Is there an underlying connection between frugality and hoarding?


The exibition ends on Sunday 27th Jan. I hope you can go. And let me know how you liked it.




Feng Shui supports your Business Success


The success of a business depends on many factors, however we believe that Feng Shui represents as much as 30% of this success.

Although we start by looking at the form, or the physical distribution of furniture and how that affects the flow of chi, this alone is not enough to bring good results.

The use of classical formulas, like the Flying Stars and the BaZhai, in conjuction with the Form Feng Shui, are also fundamental to the business success.

Let’s just look at Form Feng Shui first and what we aspire to achieve for a successful layout of the office or workplace.

The flow of chi in a business represents the flow of wealth and opportunities, and supports the harmony and good health of the employees.

The entrance is very important and a great place to start.

One important observation is how the chi approaches the building, which type of chi (positive or negative), and which directions they come from when reaching the entrance. We want to cure the sha chi and enhance the sheng chi (positive or beneficial chi). This often can be done by aligning the entrance to favour the positive chi, using possibly pot plants or moveable barriers. Also the positioning of the name of the business can be a good way to attract the good chi in.

The reception area is the ‘mouth of chi’, so the size of the space here is relevant. We want to collect that positive energy in this area, so it can enter the remaining office area, preferably in a smooth way. Rounded reception desks without sharp corners have been popular for many years now and this is good for the flow of chi. Lots of plants and even a small water fountain (location calculated with the Flying Stars) are welcome here. When designing the layout we always suggest curved walls as well, the curves bring the yin or caring element to the area and this is especially important in the health and allied-health industries.

Energetically the reception area is your business card. It needs to translate what your business is about.

I remember once I went to visit a business and the owner was a counsellor/coach. She had, however, decided to rent the large room at the front to a personal trainer who transformed the area in a small gym. The reception area was very aligned with the personal trainer, but had no energy of the owner’s business, so the rental turned out to be a negative outcome for her counselling business.

After the reception area, we look at the flow of chi in the common areas. The best design is always to have space between the desks and the walls to avoid creating stagnant energy. Stagnant energy creates unhealthy energy, generating illness, tiredness and disharmony in the work place. Clusters of four desks can work well in a larger space, especially when the employees have they backs to a partition.

Now we have the basics and can start looking at the classical feng shui formulas.

The Flying Stars is calculated using the facing direction of the building and the year the office was last renovated. It reveals the hidden luck of the space.

Finding the Flying Stars is fundamental to the success of the business as we use them to discover the wealth star and cure or remedy the negative potentials of other areas.

We want to activate the long-term wealth and the immediate wealth. This is done by identifying the area where those two stars are and activating them, often with a small water fountain or a citrine crystal. Simple, but very effective.

The same is repeated for the negative stars: star of arguments, star of litigation, star of illness and star of robbery, which are in turn cured with simple remedies, such as a lamp, a picture of water, a metal object.

The Flying Stars are also excellent to know when planning the office space from the beginning. This way we can make sure the Managing Director/CEO and the Accountant/CFO are sitting in auspicious areas.

These are just a few things that we look at in a Feng Shui consultation for business. There are many more details that need to be looked at, such as auspicious directions, colours, and relationships for instance. So it’s a very complete and wholistic approach that is always tailored for the individual needs of the business and its owner.

The results our clients receive have shown us clearly along the years that Feng Shui with no doubt helps businesses attract more clients, increase profits and promotes the well being and satisfaction of the employees.


Feng Shui Tips for Choosing a House to Buy

Basic tips on buying a new home. Important points to look for:

-       plenty of natural light with an important part of the home facing north (living room or family room, or at least a sun room), or north-east;

-       choose a street where many of the houses have been renovated, so you know the area has good wealth potential;

-       choose a house on the higher side of the road, avoiding homes below the level of the road whenever possible,

-       what’s the name of the street? Choose a positive one.

-       avoid proximity of power lines (<3 km away);

-       avoid steep slopes or make sure the house has its outline linked to the ground with brick or stone walls all around;

-       avoid main roads;

-       avoid houses on corners;

-       avoid homes with ‘circular’ walk ways in the centre of the house, as they cause stress (merry-go-around problem), especially when they include the kitchen;

-       some modern features, such as kitchen in the centre of the room, glass-wall ensuite bathrooms, walk-in wardrobe behind the bed, walk-in wardrobe with no ventilation, wireless surround sound, may not be suitable for a stress free and healthy life;

-     choose a home with a nice green backyard or space to create one, essential for relaxation;

-       choose a home matching the main breadwinner’s orientation (either west or east orientation, depending on year of birth and gender);

-       choose a home with a front door facing an auspicious direction (again in relation to main breadwinner) and with auspicious stars (Flying Star chart needs to be calculated).


Feng Shui and Awareness


I am just back from a 10-day vipassana retreat and as I arrived home I noticed a few things that normally would’ve bothered me, such as some people’s behaviours, weren’t bothering me any more.

What happens during silent meditation retreats is that we are practicing sharpening our awareness, constantly focusing on the present moment, taking mindfulness to a deeper and deeper level each day.

After ten days of practice I had become much more aware of my feelings, emotions and the whole environment around me. And my habitual responses, the ‘auto-pilot’, were less active than before. And arriving home I could notice my perception of my environment was also changed. I found areas that were cluttered incredibly out of place, for instance, and I was able to tidy them up.

The practice of mindfulness raises one’s awareness and little by little what was not apparent before becomes apparent, and what appears to be comfortable often shows itself as discomfort. Nothing really has changed in the outside world, but one’s perception of it has changed. And only then we may realise that we live with a lot of discomfort and are completely oblivious to it. We have shut down to our own suffering, and we don’t even know how miserable we actually are. We are living on the surface and missing out big time on what life is all about.

Well, and you maybe asking what vipassana retreats have to do with Feng Shui?

When I visit homes of people that are centred, and often these people have awareness sharpening practices (such as mindfulness or vipassana –insight- meditation), their homes are spiritually clean and physically very harmonious. They tend to have an intuitive understanding of positioning of furniture and objects; their home is de-cluttered, clean and exudes some peace and calm. Also independent of their financial situation they have chosen homes that are well positioned and beneficial for them from the Feng Shui physical and astrological points of view. Simple coincidence?

I don’t think so.

At the end of the day awareness is the best gift we can give ourselves, and the world. It is reflected in our attitudes towards work, towards our loved ones, towards our homes and towards life in general. It is reflected in the choices we make moment to moment (aka the snow flakes – yes exactly those that add up to the snow ball…).

In spiritual practice, just to clarify, we speak or right awareness or right mindfulness. Meaning that the type of awareness that leads to a more fulfilling life is not the awareness that a bank robber has while cracking the code of the safe (just in case you were wondering!), but awareness that arises coupled with correct understanding of the law that encompasses all natural phenomena (dhamma).

Just to give you a few examples.

I had a client who came back from a ten-day retreat and gave his entire wardrobe away because he realised he never liked any of those clothes.

Another client, living in a dark and damp apartment to save money, was given notice by the landlord two weeks after our consultation when the need to take better care of herself became clearer. She then moved into a much nicer apartment with lots of natural light and water views.

When we live a life without awareness it’s like our world is small and confined. We have less time, or no time, for others, and as Pema Chodron nicely puts it: ‘I remember the time when my life was the size of a postal stamp’. And our suffering is so intense we can hardly move, but for most of the time we pretend we are fine, although every step we take is taken out of fear.

That’s why is so important that we sharpen our awareness, starting with self-awareness. Behram Ghista my Teacher says: ‘the inner world is the world of causes, the outer world is the world of effects’. It’s ok to see healers and doctors about our physical and psychological discomforts, but anything they can gives us is never going to address the problem itself, because it will only be dealing with the symptoms.

At the end of the day, no one can come and save us from the mess we have entangled ourselves in. We have to do it ourselves, preferably with the guidance of a Teacher. And the earlier we start the better, because we will have a lot less knots to untie!

Our homes are just a reflection of our minds, both conscious and unconscious. When we choose a home to rent or to buy, often that reflects our understanding about ourselves and the world (as we perceive it). The more aware we become, the better the choices we are able to make, because we are letting go of those knots, and the better our homes will become.


In Classical Feng Shui we work with the San Cai: Heaven, Earth and Humanity

In Feng Shui we use the San Cai principle: Heaven, Earth and Humanity. How these three interact determines the quality of life force or Sheng Qi (Chi) in a determined area or dwelling. It is important to have flow (Feng) and it is important to have containment (Shui).

As Qi appears in a more obvious way in the material world we look at the Form or gross Qi: what is there apparent to the eye, the mountains, rivers, forests, shape or design of dwelling. However, also important is the unseen or Formless Qi: Heaven Qi, which is determined by the Compass: how time and directions combine to determine the hidden potentials of a property.

Human Qi is both form and formless and sits there between Heaven and Earth, interacting with both. Human Qi in its material form is our body, while in formless nature is represented by our thoughts, emotions and our karma.

Although all three, Time, Shape and People, will affect the Feng Shui of a place, we tend to take the Form or Shape first.

In an ideal situation, after careful choice of location (gathering positive Earth energies), the whole design of a home (Form or Shape) would be created under the knowledge of the Time-based Luck of the Place (Formless) for a powerful coupling of Heaven and Earth energies that will fully support the Human element.

Heaven (Formless) Luck is determined using a Lo Pan Compass. There are two useful Feng Shui Formulas or processes that I personally like using. The first is the Eight Mansion Formula, and the second is the Flying Star Formula. The first is totally depending on the location and directions, while the latter is more complex and uses time, location and directions for its calculation.

Although learning the formulas is not that difficult for anyone with good mathematics skill, learning how to interpret them is an art that takes years of practice to perfect.

One of my passions is to help clients with their renovation plans, so they make the most of it, creating an environment that supports health, wealth and relationships equally.

Although in most cases in Sydney I will be working with an already constructed home, there is still room for improvement when we have the scope of possibilities offered by a home renovation.

From the basic steps of avoiding doors facing each other, or designing a bedroom with a protected position for the bed, to selecting an auspicious area for the master bedroom and the kitchen, there is a lot we can do.

I am a truly believer that once people live in a home with a good Feng Shui design, where both Form and Formless Qi combine beautifully, the human element progresses both physically and spiritually. And from that we create a better society and a better world.


What will 2012 the Year of the Water Dragon bring us?

This is Theodora Lau’s introduction to the Dragon (The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes):

I am an unquenchable fire,
the centre of all energy, the stout heroic heart.
I am truth and light,
I hold power and glory in my sway.
My presence
disperses dark clouds.
I have been chosen
to tame the Fates.

The Dragon is known for being direct, energetic, enthusiastic and for having an attraction for great causes. So 2012 will have some of this qualities, including a love for justice and fairness. On the negative side the energy of the Dragon can stir things up leaving nothing undone. I believe it will a great year for spiritual growth and personal development, like the earth cracking up and letting whatever is underneath come to the surface. It is also this great earth energy coming this year that may bring earth quakes. 
The Yang Water sitting on top of the Dragon this year, however, is the main element of 2012. Yang Water represents the oceans, or ‘big water’. Yang Water brings creative force, intelligence, adaptability, connection, courage and strength. On the negative side its power can bring floods, heavy rains and the emotion of fear, bringing pessimism. All these qualities will be present in 2012.
Strong metal people (born in a metal day in a metal season) and weak water people (born in water day not in a water season) are the main beneficiaries of the strong water this year. Weak wood people (born in a wood day not in wood season) also benefit as water is their support. 
According to Master Raymond Lo the main businesses benefitting this year will be Earth based businesses, because water means wealth or profits for them. These are real estate, natural therapies, teaching, medicine, mining

On the personal side, strong metal people (born in a metal day in a metal month) and weak water people (born in water day not in a water month) are the main beneficiaries of the strong water this year. Weak wood people (born in a wood day not in wood month) also benefit as water is their support. People born in the year of the Dog and Dragon can use a pendant of the Rooster as a protection, while people born in the year of the Rooster, Monkey, Rat and Pig will have very lucky years in 2012.

According to Master Raymond Lo the main businesses benefitting this year will be Earth based industries, because water means wealth or profits for them. These are real estate, natural therapies, teaching, medicine, mining. Wood based industries will also benefit even more than Earth based ones. This is because, wood will have resources (water) and wealth (earth) coming together in 2012. Wood industries are books, paper, media, environmental businesses, food, carpentry, printing, and textiles.

So compared to 2011, where we had metal on wood (rabbit), represented by a dagger on wood, 2012 will be much more positive year. It will be a great year for personal growth and learning, where we will all be called to be more corageous, more giving, to work harder and to be more honest with ourselves and others around us. It will also be a great year for creating connection and community, for better and fairer laws and for greater creative expression in general. The environment will also benefit this year. So it looks like a very exciting and promising year ahead!

Enjoy 2012!




If someone asks you how well you know your partner, or your child, it might sound like a rude question. We believe that we know the people close to us very well, but do we really?

Our relationship with our home is another very important and intimate relationship in our lives that we often take for granted.

How deep is your relationship with your home? Do you know the feel of every part of your home – all the nooks and crannies?

When I run space clearing sessions with my clients we go around each wall of the home, mindfully, rethreading the energy of the home, reuniting and moving that energy so it can flow again. Sometimes this is the most powerful aspect of the session: reconnecting with each part of the home again, in mindfulness.

Here is an exercise for you to check how connected you are with your home.

Take your time to go around the home along each wall of each room being present to what is there, being very mindful: open and non-judgmental. Notice when an unpleasant feeling arises in your body when you arrive in a certain corner, maybe tightness in the throat or stomach. And notice the pleasant feelings also when you see an inspiring picture or photograph or a perfectly arranged corner. Be also mindful of the emotions that appear with those primary feelings in the body: grief, sorrow, regret, maybe frustration, or happiness, joy. The more open and honest you allow yourself to be, the more clarity you will receive from this exercise.

Now think of a room or corner that you felt uncomfortable in. Walk to that uncomfortable place, take a seat there and be fully aware, fully mindful of the physical feelings in the body and the emotions arising from it.

What are the memories that come associated with those feelings and emotions? Write them down. Then you repeat to yourself gently for a few minutes: I accept these feelings and emotions in my body; I accept this part of my home. Do it for a few minutes. Then let unconditional love arise in your heart: think of a young child or animal and allow that love to arise in your heart. Become aware of your heart softening and opening, allow the love to fill your entire body. Now share that love with the space around you: visualise the love from your heart pouring from your body and filling the space around you. Continue for a few more minutes. Now write down what this experience has brought to you: any thoughts and emotions, clarity or insight.

Now think of a room or corner that you felt happy or joyful in. Walk to that part of the home, take another seat there. Again become aware of the feelings arising in the body. What are the emotions associated with these feelings? What are the memories that arise with those? Just be mindful of the feelings, emotions and memories that arise for a few minutes, then write those down.

Now notice the contrast between the first part and the second part of the home. Why did they make you feel quite different?

In mindfulness practice we say that we can only change that which we understand and know really well. The things we push away and deny cannot be changed. In the same way it is only by being fully present and open to our negative habits that we are able to change them, it is only by being fully open and accepting the problems in our home that we will be able to change them.

Awareness is always the best gift we can give ourselves: it frees us from our established and fixed ways of looking at the world and allows us the freshness and clarity to find new and exciting solutions for our old problems.



Your personal space can become your main support in connecting with true happiness.

Are you living a life with purpose? Or is there a dullness to your life – working 9 to 5, sleeping in on Saturday, and spending most of your spare time planning or dreaming about your next holiday?

We all say we want to be happy, but how long can external gratifications keep us happy? A minute, an hour, a day? Six months, 12 months?

We all say we want to be happy, but how often we choose to let negative feelings take over our minds, sometimes for hours, or even days. Throughout a single day we may engage in anger, envy, worry, doubt, sometimes I dare say, even ill-will. We don’t realise that we are choosing these states. Without awareness, these negativities control us. With awareness, we can control and then transform them.

True happiness, the wise people have said many times, arrives when we cultivate our good qualities in each moment. If we want to harvest mangoes we need to plant mango trees. If we want to be happy we need to bring loving awareness to our moments.

Is it possible to create a space that promotes mindfulness?

Imagine being able to live and work in an environment that raises your awareness. To live in an environment that supports mindfulness, that really allows you to reconnect with love, compassion, gratitude, acceptance, generosity, and friendship.  An environment that promotes fun, creativity, joy, inspiration and clarity.

Is your environment supporting you to be more aware, more peaceful, more loving – happier?

Sometimes a very cluttered, messy or noisy environment will create so much agitation in the mind, that we are unable to find solutions even to the smallest problem.

Letting go is always a good place to start. Once that stagnant energy has moved out, some fresh ideas will naturally arise to what to do next.

Bringing nature in will start the magic happening, with the sound of water running in the background, plants and pictures of wild landscapes.

Positive imagery surrounding us will support us choosing to engage with more positive states of mind, as will beautiful works of art in any medium.

Small details well placed can remind us of the power of a smile, the beauty of a flower, the joy of brilliant music, our connection with others, or just a good laugh.

Celebrating our connection with the source of all creation will bring us back to our true purpose. An altar with candles and beautiful images of inspiring people will support us in starting each day by setting a fresh new intention and by being grateful for all we have and all that is coming our way.





A few times I have come across some people that, although they present themselves well, their home is in a state of war: dirty dishes piled up in the kitchen, rubbish hasn’t been thrown out in days, every room is not only cluttered but messy beyond belief. And some of those were well-off families and not teens!

I believe we would all agree that self-neglect is not a positive thing. Most people I know make an effort to tidy their hair when they leave the house, or to simply wear clean clothes to work. But sometimes we only understand someone suffers from deep self-neglect when we walk into their home.

From the psychological point of view walking into a home that looks like a war zone it’s like sliding straight into someone’s subconscious mind: the self neglect, lack of discipline, lack of self-esteem, and lack of gratitude are yelling out on your face. So it’s quite distressing and I need a lot of compassion to deal with clients like that.

One of the things I am most passionate about in life is to bring awareness to everyone about a very simple, yet powerful fact: our homes represent ourselves. The same way a very messy and dirty home reinforces someone’s low self-esteem, having a negative effect in their health also, a home that is well looked after, de-cluttered and tidy will have a positive effect on their physical and mental wellbeing.

For a disempowered person, having a home that looks and feels good may appear an impossible task at first. However taking care of one’s home can be learned and will slowly help people with low-self esteem, or even depression, to start feeling more positive about themselves and the world around them. It will also help to unblock their creativity, so they can find easy solutions for what appeared to be a difficult task before, and they will feel more vibrant as the life force in their bodies will start to flow again as well.

I have had clients that six months after starting to take good care of their small flat, improved their relationship, lost weight, and started feeling more vibrant about life. So much so, that their landlord asked the flat back and they ended up moving from a mouldy, dark and below-the-street apartment to a water front, full-ocean-view one, that they could have never dreamed of affording before their consultation.

Feng Shui is a very simple and yet profound way of bringing lasting positive changes into people’s lives. And that’s what I love about it!



Young children are some of the most sensitive to the energies present in the bedroom. First thing to look at in any bedroom is the bed position. If the bed is in a high-energy area (for instance, between the window and the door or facing a mirror), kids will not sleep very well, and may be tired or grumpy during the day. Others may show signs of stress.

It is always recommended to have the children’s single bed against a wall, away from the door, so they feel more protected. This also leaves the centre of the room open, so they can have enough room to play, read, and the energy flows much better. If you have two kids or more in the bedroom and one bed needs to be opposite to the door, add a small bookshelf or chest of drawers to the foot of the bed to reduce the flow of energy while the child is asleep.

Sometimes I visit homes where a young child refuses to spend time in his/her room, including at night time. My advice is always for the parent, often mum, to play with the child in the bedroom, so he/she starts to feel that the bedroom is a good place to spend time in, and his/her energy starts to permeate the space.

Kid’s bedrooms, more than adult’s bedrooms, need plenty of light because they also play in their rooms. They like a personal space surrounded by things that they like. Having an area to hang their paintings/art work, their books, and their toys is important. It is important to renew those frequently. De-cluttering supports kids as they grow up, by letting go of the things they no longer need from when they were younger. De-cluttering together with your child is very important, throwing out things that they are ready to let go off, reminding them that what they no longer like or use can be a treasure to other kids. For older kids, selling their old toys/books/clothes in a garage sale or market stall maybe more appealing.

Pictures are also important. Having some happy pictures or photos that they really like is very important. A picture of a pod of dolphins is very auspicious, symbolising friendship and playfulness. Avoid pictures with only one animal or person in them.

It is often also good to remind parents that what the kids infuse themselves in, will become part of them. So talk to your child about who are the pictures of their ‘heroes’ and what the subliminal message that is being sent daily into the child’s subconscious. A good example is pictures of Bart Simpson in the bedroom. It may appear to be funny at first, but the underlying message that gets across is that they are aspiring to become just like the character.

For a good night of sleep, especially in winter, beds with solid bed heads are recommended, and so are curtains. Small children in large bedrooms enjoy having mosquito nets over their beds to create a cosy nest where they feel safe and secure, so they can sleep like little angels all through the night.