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Making Work Meaningful:
The Ancient Practice of Feng Shui

"If you want to change your life, move 27 things into your house," goes an old Chinese proverb.

The roots of Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) are embedded deeply in the wisdom of the I Ching, or as it is translated into English, the Book of Changes. The I Ching predates both Taoism and Confucianism and forms the basis for most of Chinese thought and philosophy, stressing the importance of one's natural surroundings and the impact it has on one's fate. Another central tenet of the I Ching is the constant state of flux that runs throughout the course of our lives. Expressed by the Chinese in the words yin and yang, this perpetual state of change is caused by the fundamentally opposing forces of the universe. Yin and yang, though they are opposites, are neither good nor bad; they are complementary. The universe, according to the I Ching, requires a balance between them.

While there may not be much we can do about the influence of yin and yang in the world at large, it is the ancient practice of Feng Shui (translated literally as wind and water) that says we can manipulate our own physical environment to enhance the quality of our lives and give fate a favorable nudge in our direction. As Terah Kathyrn Collins puts it in Body & Soul, "It's a study of the seen, which is water, and the unseen, which is wind, and the relationship between the two. That relationship is what we address because what's going on inside of people's minds--their thoughts, emotions, and attitudes--is being stimulated by the seen, or what's in their environment."

Feng Shui focuses on the concept of ch'i (pronounced chee). Ch'i is the vital energy that connects all things--living and inanimate--in the physical world and moves them through the cycles of life. Terah Collins defines it this way, "There are three ways to look at ch'i. One is that everything on our planet is alive with vital energy. Secondly, this vital energy is connecting all of us. The philosophy of ch'i says we are never alone, we are always connected to one another, and so relationship becomes very important. Ch'i is connecting every single thing in our lives. If I am in a career that I hate, it's going to affect my entire life. If I have a career that I love, that accentuates and empowers the rest of my life. So ch'i is alive in everything, ch'i connects everything, and thirdly, the ch'i in everything is always changing."

Terah Collins is a consultant, speaker, and teacher of Feng Shui who lives in San Diego, Calif. She has trained with Feng Shui Master Lin Yun, founder of the Black Hat Sect Tantric Tibetan Buddhist method of Feng Shui in Berkeley, Calif. She can reached through the Western School of Feng Shui, 437 South Highway 101, Suite 752, Solana Beach, CA 92075, or by telephone at the school at 800-300-6785 or through the school's Website at

Program Description
Feng Shui
A CEO Walks His Talk
Soul-based Workplace
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Body & Soul is currently airing Monday-Friday at 7:00pm and 8:30pm on PBS YOU.

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