page contents The Little Bonsai: The Harmony of Feng Shui & Bonsai

Growing and Caring for Bonsai Trees

Growing and Caring for Bonsai Trees

The Harmony of Feng Shui & Bonsai

Interior Design - Feng Shui



Bonsai and Feng Shui are two ancient practices that both represent prosperity, harmony and peace. In recent years, people have begun to combine the two practices in an effort to bring balance and beauty to the home. The history of Feng Shui dates back on 12th century and I think that this blog post would be endless writing about the entire history of Feng Shui. There are unlimited tree species that can fit perfectly in a modern style living room. The tree species can be found in following blog post --> Tree species used for Bonsai 






What Is Feng Shui?

Basically Feng Shui isn't rocket science, dont be afraid to ask questions. Any Feng Shui master that studied its principles and understands Feng Shui philosophy will be more than happy to offer guidance. 

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that concentrates on the placement of items and arrangement of space to achieve environmental harmony. Feng, meaning wind, and shui, water, are two elements used in the practice. There is as much talk about feng shui as there is confusion about it. The range of feng shui stereotypes is very wide – from easy tips on how to move your furniture and instantly change your life to complex and often contradicting calculations for every area of your house and every action you take in life.

People turn to feng shui for all sorts of reasons – to find their life mate, attract wealth, improve health
Feng Shui
Famous Feng Shui Book by Lillian Too
or get the winning lottery ticket.

Does all this confusion mean that feng shui is a new age fad with no power? I mean, if feng shui were a serious science and art, why there is so much confusion and contradiction about it?

Starting with 2 baguas (why on earth there are 2 baguas and which one is better?) to very different answers you’ll get to the same question; I understand why feng shui is often equated to new age mumbo jumbo and something a serious person would not even look into.

However, here is the thing – serious people do look into it, and they do get results. I have many clients who are anything but “new age junkies” and they achieved great results by applying feng shui. So what is feng shui and why is it so difficult to understand it?

Well, for one, feng shui is a very, very old art and science. Its history goes back thousands of years. That is really, really old, which means really, really easy to misinterpret.

Because feng shui is such an ancient body of knowledge, it has also been fully “steeped” in cultural stereotypes. This makes it very important to distinguish between the culturally specific expressions of energy and the very essence of any given form of energy.


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For example, when I think of a lifelong love partnership, I can come up with many images, none of them being the Mandarin ducks (the traditional feng shui representation of love & marriage). This is because I have no cultural or emotional connections to this image.



However, for many Chinese people the image of Mandarin ducks will genuinely speak of devoted love because there is strong cultural lore connected to this image. So, approaching feng shui in an intelligent way and with a good dose of healthy discrimination is the cornerstone of successful feng shui work.






Ok, so what is feng shui?

Feng shui is part of the complex Taoist body of knowledge that includes the field of traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncture, use of herbs, etc), energy work such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi; Chinese astrology and other disciplines from the wide field of philosophical knowledge related to the I Ching, Tao Te Ching and other ancient Taoist works.

In itself, feng shui is composed of many schools. It started with the Landscape School (which studies the landforms and their influence on human health and well-being) and then branched out into many different schools – the Flying Star (Xuan Kong), the Eight Mansions (East/West), the Four pillars (Ba Zhi), etc.

Basically, various feng shui schools that deal with either the time or the space dimensions (or both). The youngest feng shui school is the Western school based on the BTB feng shui school brought to US in mid-eighties.

History aside (if you are curious, you can read my articles on how feng shui started) – what is feng shui in a nutshell and why should you care? Let’s stay with this question for a bit.

Feng shui is, first and foremost, energy work. The most accurate definition of feng shui I have ever came across is of feng shui as acupuncture of the space.

Feng shui opens up powerful energy channels in your home to help it get stronger, more harmonious and powerful. This, in turns, nourishes and strengthens your own energy.

Ancient feng shui masters knew what quantum physics is telling us today – that everything around us is composed of endless energy fields connecting everything you see, feel and touch (as well as millions of things we do not see with our physical eyes).

There is really no separation between you and everything that surrounds you (that sure includes your home).

So if you want to stay healthy, happy, enjoy love and success (or whatever your definition of happy life is); your space has to support and nourish you. It has to be well suited for your energy.

Just like being in a company of a happy person makes your own energy happy, the same happens with your living (or working) space. If your space has good feng shui vibes – healthy, uplifting, loving and nourishing, you will feel supported and happy.

Everything will flow easier for you just because this is the energy you are surrounded by and nourished most often.

Compare a good feng shui house to a piece of clothing that is really wonderful in all aspects – beautiful, comfortable, made of exquisite materials, etc.

By the same token, a bad feng shui house is like wearing ill suited clothing day in, day out – imagine how this feels.

It definitely makes you feel restricted, unhappy, angry, and your energy becomes stagnant and blocked. (The reason I use the example with clothing is because houses are often called “your third skin” in feng shui, with clothing being your second skin).

Of course, it is much easier to see this dynamic with clothing than with your living or working spaces! A house can look beautiful and have really awful feng shui; and a house can also look pretty modest but have very harmonious, healthy feng shui energy.



History Of Feng Shui in brief


Evidence shows that the practice dates back to around 4000 BC, when the doors of many Chinese homes were aligned to certain patterns of stars that appeared following the winter solstice. Early practitioners of Feng Shui used astronomy in this manner to identify correlations between the universe and humans. Other ancient sites confirm that the practice was used throughout the country in building construction.

Feng Shui became more popular during the 12th century, when China was ruled by the Song Dynasty. Historians believe the practice surged at the time due to its connections with Confucianism, the era’s dominant philosophy. The practice saw resurgence in the 19th century when the Chinese government published official charts and diagrams to promote Feng Shui.

Some aspects of Feng Shui inspired environment


feng shui apartment
Bonsai is displayed at the right hand corner of the open space room


Interior design livingroom




feng shui meeting room
Modern style meeting room with Bonsai tree in full display



Small living room with Bonsai placed in the middle. Some may like it, some may not.



Bonsai in bathrooms



feng shui bathroom
The kind of bathroom I would love to have



feng shui bedroom



Theories Of Feng Shui


Feng shui theories today mainly work with the goal to arrange the environment made by humans in certain spots known to have good Qi. In order to find this spot, it should be the right location and an axis in time-based on the accepted theories. In order to understand it better, here are some of the theories that feng shui has been known to uphold in its practice.

Qi

The Qi, pronounce as “chi”, is a difficult word to understand and is usually left as it is, without translation. In the most literal sense, the word means “air”. In today’s feng shui, Qi is similar to the word “energy”. A more traditional explanation of Qi as it relates to an understanding of local environments, the orientation of buildings, and the interaction between the land to the vegetation and the soil quality. An instrument that is used to determine the flow of Qi is the luopan.

The theory of Qi stems from the different beliefs from the Axial Age. One such belief holds that the heavens influence life on Earth. This may seem outrageous to some people, but scientists today now know that space weather exists and can affect some technology such as GPS, power grids, communication and navigation systems, etc. and the internal orienting faculties of even birds and other creatures.


Hanok the korean housePolarity

Polarity is another theory used in the practice of feng shui. It is expressed in feng shui as the Yin and Yang Theory. Polarity that is expressed through yin and yang can be compared to a bipolar magnetic field. It is made up of two forces- one creating a force and one receiving it. Yang is the force acting and yin is receiving. This interaction is considered as an early understanding of Qirality. The Yin Yang Theory and connected to another theory called the Five Phase Theory or Five Element Theory.

The so-called “five elements” of feng shui are water, wood, fire, earth or soil, and metal. These elements are said to be composed of yin and yang in precise amounts. The interaction between the two forces became the foundation for the practice of feng shui and how it is said to strive to achieve balance.




Bagua

The two ancient diagrams that are known as the Bagua are common fixtures in the practice in feng shui. They can be compared to the cardinal points of the compass today. The bagua diagrams are also linked with the sifang or “four directions” method of divination that was popularly used during the Shang dynasty although the sifang is considered to be much older.

It was also known to be used at Niuheliang as well as a big fixture in the Hongshan culture’s practice of astronomy. And it is in this area of China that can be connected to Huangdi, who was also known as the Yellow Emperor. It was Huangdi who was known to have invented the south-pointing spoon.

The cardinal directions that contained in the bagua diagram are said to be determined by the marker-stars of the mega-constellations known as the Four Celestial Animals. The East is considered to be the Blue Green Dragon. The South is the Red Bird. The West is also known to be the White Tiger while the North stood for the Dark Turtle.

These feng shui theories also loom large even in today’s practice of trying to achieve a good balance in the environment as well as the lives of people.

An Introduction To Feng Shui’s Guidelines

The following guidelines represent basic foundational aspects of Feng Shui and can be applied to any dwelling, landscape or environment.

Clutter should be eliminated as much as possible.
There should be a clean line of sight from chair positions to door entrances.
Straight lines and sharp corners should be avoided where people rest.
Curved and twisted roads are often used to confuse and eliminate evil spirits.
The power of reflection and redirection can be harnessed by strategically placing crystals, wind chimes and mirrors around the home.


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What Is Bonsai?

Bonsai is an ancient Asian practice that involves creating miniature tree specimens. Both an art and a science, Bonsai combines aesthetic beauty with natural plants. To successfully grow and care for a Bonsai, growers must have patience and appreciate the plant’s essential spirit.
Bonsai in autumn
What Is The Connection Between Bonsai And Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is all about fostering harmony and balance. In a similar manner, Bonsai trees are trained to
grow in shapes that represent natural balance. The trees can be grown in many styles, including cascading, upright, group and forest styles. Each of these styles brings a certain harmony to the tree.

Feng Shui supports the addition of plants in the home, including Bonsai trees. When placed in an office setting, the trees are believed to bring luck. This is especially true of plants placed in the room’s east, south-east or south corners. Bonsai trees can also be used to soften sharp lines and promote air flow through dead spaces.

Bonsai trees also bring the important element of wood into the home in a natural way. According to Feng Shui, wood is one of the five elements of life. As such, wood influences the flow of qi and is believed to have healing properties.

Plants, including Bonsai trees, can be a good indicator of the type of energy present in a certain environment. Plants are far more sensitive than humans when it comes to environmental energy. If your Bonsai tree dies, replace it with another tree in the same space. The death of the second tree usually indicated negative energy in the area.

When the principles of Feng Shui are applied to Bonsai, the result is a balanced natural landscape that in turn can bring balance to the surrounding environment. Bonsai trees are a practical way to bring both nature and the positive energy associated with Feng Shui into the home.







More Bonsai articles can be found here:

Please click here for more information on --> Chinese Penjing Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> The Origins of Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> The Art of Saikei Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> Japanese Tanuki Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> How to Water a Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> Bonsai Healing Methods


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