By Grand Master Sheng -yen Lu translated by Janny Chow
In my younger days, I performed numerous Feng Shui consultations for others. The one rule I always maintained was treating everyone equally, whether they were rich or poor. When rich people came to seek my service, I gladly helped them when poor families came to ask for my help, I gladly accepted their invitation.
While I did Feng Shui readings for both the rich and the poor, I stuck to one important principle: never ask for a service fee, but let the other party pay whatever they wished. Since the motive for studying my geomancy was purely to help people, I have done readings for very poor families. One family, whose head of household made a living by selling vegetables, lived in a very low area, right at the foot of a broken precipice that rose in a sheer wall to the sky.
The area around the house was planted with bamboo. After looking at the house and it’s surrounding geographical features, I came to the conclusion that the house fitted the pattern of that of a “low and overshadowed” house, as written in The Secrets of Earth Magic:
The lowest site – will meet suicide.
The overshadowed site – will encounter unexpected hardships.
My analysis turned out to be an accurate one. After a fight that had been caused by their worsening financial situation, the owner’s wife drank insecticide and killed herself. The grandmother of the house was half paralysed from a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis. One child was afflicted with polio, while another had asthma. The owner himself, though working as hard as he could selling vegetables, was suffering a crushing defeat.
Why are houses built in low and hollow sites tied to the fate of suicide? This is because such houses are always in an inferior position. People living in such houses develop emotional blockages and have trouble seeing their own ideals being fulfiled.
Due to their frustrated emotional states, they often fail to find safe ways out when they become upset or provoked. Also, a low and hollow site is a site of “yin” energy, where disembodied spirits or ghosts like to converge, “yin spirits” can play mischievous tricks and cause the thought of suicide to surface.
The close proximity of the tall and broken cliff to the house had created a feeling of being “pressured and overshadowed.” Such a geomancy is one of the “suppression” type, and it predisposes one to strange illnesses. The closeness of the tall and broken cliff also provoked a sense of desolation and misery. Living in such a house, one would never have an opportunity to become rich. There is a more realistic problem which houses built in the hollows at the feet of mountains have to face. When it rains, water accumulates and does not drain quickly. When earthquakes strike, an avalanche can bury the whole house. How can one not be wary of the inherent problems of such sites? I asked the owner of the house “Are there seven inhabitants in your house now?” he gave me a puzzled look. “There are only five.”
I smiled and said, “There are indeed seven , although two of the seven may be considered to be frequent visitors.”
He said, “we practically have no visitors.” I asked him to check with the grandmother to find out if there were, indeed two visitors at their house. To his surprise the grandmother confirmed my words. She described seeing two visitors at their house, a man in black and a woman in red, in Ching Dynasty attire, who frequently went in and out of their house. This reply brought great shock to the owner.
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” he asked the grandmother. The grandmother replied “I was worried that you might get frightened. Besides, I didn’t think you would believe me. You would accuse me of being senile and seeing things.”
I told the owner that the low and overshadowed site was not suitable as a residence because of the convergence of yin spirits there. A healthy person living there would become ill and encounter numerous difficulties and hardships. Oftentimes, due to the influence of disembodied spirits, one succumbs to their calling and wants to commit suicide.
Why was the grandmother able to see the yin spirits? This was because she was at the end of her years. The yang energy in her body was dispersing while the yin energy was manifesting more and more-this had led to an opening of her psychic vision.
There are some Feng Shui practitioners who are of the opinion that a low and hollow site accumulates the chi of the water element. Since the water is considered money, such a site is a wealthy spot. However, to ensure the best movement of the “water chi” in such a site requires proper handling by a skillful Feng Shui master. This involves setting up an inflow of “major water chi” and an outflow of “minor water chi.” Otherwise, if there is only the inflow of major water chi and no outlet, everyone living in the house will be swallowed up by the water.
A house built in a site that is too low and too hollow is inauspicious. It is also inauspicious to have a tall and broken cliff right behind (or to either side of)the house as this overshadows the house. I remember afterwards that I received a red envelope with fifty Taiwan dollars[approximately U.S. $1.25 then] from the owner. I did not mind the amount because I knew they were poor, and I was not a Feng Shui master who wanted to make huge profits. The main purpose for my studying of The secrets of Earth Magic was to help people derive benefits from their houses. Feng shui’s a worldly dharma, is just a skillful means. The most important purpose is to move and inspire people to practise the “transcendental” Buddhadharma.
I feel that, before selecting a building site, one should first inspect the terrain. This is just too important a factor for one to ignore. Too high a terrain invites “feng sha” (noxious wind energy), too low a terrain invites “shui sha” (noxious water energy), The most suitable site is one that is neither too high nor too low. The study of the Feng shui of homes is actually a study of balance and harmony. To learn Feng shui, one must first master the art of “balance and harmony.”