For improvement in everything from relationships and health to money and career, more and more people in the West are turning to the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui—not simply as a style of interior design, but as a life-transforming practice with profound, dynamic, and often immediate results. In this interview with David Daniel Kennedy, author of the new program The Feng Shui Home Study Course, we discussed some of the keys to this powerful system for finding greater comfort, abundance, and peace—both within and without.
Sounds True: On your new program the Feng Shui Home Study Course you discuss both the outer work of Feng Shui—making visible changes to the environment around us—and the inner work, what you describe as the “transcendental” or the “invisible” aspects of Feng Shui. Can you say a little about this twofold perspective?
David Daniel Kennedy: Feng Shui, like everything in the world, has both a yang aspect and a yin aspect. The yang aspect of Feng Shui refers to that which is tangible and material, such as the placement of the house or the color of the rooms—things easily apprehended by the senses. But there is also the yin side to Feng Shui—the things that we can't really see with our eyes, but are indeed there—such as the health or harmony of the family. So when we practice Feng Shui we consider both the yang and the yin aspects and make changes intended to improve our lives.
We call these changes “cures.” Cures are designed to create a better flow of qi (life energy) in the environment. The yang aspect of a cure refers to whatever physical alteration we make—for example, moving a desk to a better position. But that is only a portion of the cure. There are yin or “invisible” aspects as well—key factors that are incredibly important.
The first of these is intention: why we wanted to move the desk. The second is called “spiritual reinforcement,” a three-step process using mantra, mudra, and visualization to spiritually empower the cure we have implemented. This is something unique to the school of Feng Shui I teach, Black Sect Tibetan Buddhist or BTB Feng Shui. Of course, you don't have to be Buddhist to practice Feng Shui. But the spiritual reinforcement used in Feng Shui provides the juice, so to speak, or what makes it all come alive.
Sounds True: Understanding vital life energy or qi is also very important in Feng Shui.
David Daniel Kennedy: It is the central tenet. The premise is that what makes you “you” is your qi—or “You are your qi; your qi is you.” Qi is not something separate from you. Qi is your life energy.
Qi has a changing aspect and an unchanging aspect. The unchanging aspect is its nature, a nature that you acquired when you were conceived. However, the condition of your qi is changeable. For instance, at this point in your life you may be calm and balanced in general, whereas ten years ago you might have been very agitated. That shows a change in the condition of your qi. The question then becomes: what can I do consciously to improve the condition of my qi? The answer is qi cultivation—the path of self-improvement.
One of the ways we can cultivate our qi is through meditation. I share several meditations and internal exercises on the program, for example the Heart Sutra Meditation and the Astral Body Meditation. We can also cultivate qi through study, physical exercise, receiving energy healing from qualified teachers or masters, and adjusting our environment—Feng Shui.
The best results come if we work on multiple areas of qi cultivation. This is because we are dealing with an enormous, multifaceted reality called the human being. The environment that you find yourself in has an incredible impact on your qi, but it is not the only influence. There is also your diet, the people that you associate with, and your actions, to name a few. The environment is something that we improve with Feng Shui efforts—but if we cultivate our qi through multiple avenues we stand a better chance to reach our goals.
Sounds True: What do you say to people who are skeptical about the existence of qi energy?
David Daniel Kennedy: You are not required to believe in a tangible reality called “qi” in order to get tremendous benefits from Feng Shui. Qi can be perceived as something that is really there, or if you prefer you can use it as a symbolic organizing principle that underlies the art of Feng Shui. From that approach, it is a metaphor to describe why it is we do what we do.
But the ultimate answer to the skeptic is “try it.” If you try it with an open mind and something positive happens, you don't need a theory about whether or not qi exists. Instead you say, “You know what? I tried this and I got this result. Great! Let's try it again!”
Sounds True: There certainly is a lot of material to try on the Feng Shui Home Study Course. How do you recommend starting?
David Daniel Kennedy: Start where you are right now. Feng Shui is like a buffet: you should take the right amount for you. It is not necessary to envelop your whole life in Feng Shui to receive benefits. You can just make changes in the environment if you want. Or to go further you can work on cultivating your qi through meditation.
If you feel you need special help, you can use some of the transcendental or “secret” cures in the program to change particular aspects of your life. The real key to cutting through any confusion for beginners is to set an intention for an area of life that you would like to improve. Just choose one and keep working on that until you see a tangible improvement.
If you focus and take calculated steps to bring about a desired result, soon enough you start to see the result, and everything shifts.
Sounds True: Can you offer one or two simple Feng Shui tips for the person reading this interview?
David Daniel Kennedy: For one, improve the lighting in your house. Replacing any burned-out light bulbs will immediately bring in energy. Secondly, put life energy—a plant, for example—in any space where you'd like to see improvement. This is simple and direct but it has a real effect. Just remember to hold the intention that there is new life flowing and see that working for you.