By Samantha Pak
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Contrary to popular belief, feng shui is more than mere guidance to redecorate a home or office, and it’s not a religion based on superstitions.
It’s an entire philosophy based on improving one’s environment and creating the harmony needed to lead a rich, healthy, and peaceful life.
And for Sherman Tai, feng shui has been a way of life. For 50 years, he’s been learning all there is to know about the ancient Chinese system of aesthetics. The 57-year-old currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, and works full-time as a feng shui master.
During his career, which has spanned nearly two decades, he has consulted organizations around the world on how they can use feng shui in their businesses and offices. Tai is even working with the planning committee for the 2010 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Vancouver, to design one of the stadiums for the games.
“This is my duty and my mission to educate people,” he said.
A lot of feng shui is dependent on the individual.
Tai said factors such as a person’s birthday, astrological sign, and geographical location are heavily considered in figuring out the best approach.
What might work for one person probably won’t work for another person.
“Different individuals have different results,” Tia said. “Feng shui is not a fixed philosophy.”
In feng shui, there are five elements: metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. The elements are not the tangible substances that you would normally think of. Rather, they are different forms of qi, or life energy.
Each element has generative and destructive qualities that affect the other elements. These qualities reveal the relationships between people and things. Feng shui examines how the elements can be arranged to best benefit the individual. This is why something considered lucky for one person might be considered unlucky for someone else.
The four directions (east, west, north, and south) play a role in feng shui as well, Tai said. A house facing east could bring great luck and prosperity to one person but could bring great misfortune to another.
Tai visited Seattle for a weekend as a consultant for the Ching Ming Festival, a day to remember and honor one’s ancestors at gravesites, which will be held at Sunset Hills Memorial Park.
“I don’t just do feng shui for living people,” he said. “I do feng shui for the people that have passed away.”
When choosing a final resting place for someone who has passed on, Tai factors in the four directions, five elements, and geographical location. Tai said feng shui in this type of situation benefits a deceased individual’s living relatives.
The art of feng shui, Tai said, is not an exclusive one. Anybody can benefit from it. Feng shui is all about living a good life.
“You need to have the balance. You need to have the peace,” Tai said. “Feng shui can give you this.” ♦
To learn more about Tai or about feng shui, visit www.shermantai.com.