Have you heard of the practice of feng shui (pronounced fuhng shwey)? The words translate to “wind water” in English. If you live in the Bay Area, chances are you have heard of this ancient Chinese practice of harmonizing your surroundings by organizing a space in a way that balances its “chi” or energy. The Chinese believe even objects have energy, and feng shui helps to guide the energy’s flow throughout a space. Many people use it to design gardens (Prince Charles is one such person), design office space, and build and decorate residences. There is archaeological evidence the Chinese were practicing feng shui as early as 4000 B.C. During this time, it was used primarily in building position and construction, especially structures that were spiritually important, like tombs.
On a very practical level, Chinese families wanted to make sure the burial location was sheltered from storms, floods, and heat. The mathematics, geology, and astronomy elements of feng shui helped them do that.
On another level, the Chinese believed the location of the grave was important in order to create a positive energy flow that would impact the surviving family members. For a political leader, the consequences of an improper burial could impact the fate of the whole country.
Feng shui was not just used in the design of the tomb, but also in determining the time, place, and orientation of the burial of the deceased. For instance, the higher the grave, the better. In China, the deceased is also usually carried out of the room they passed away in feet first.
Some Chinese families who live in the Bay Area – and even some westerners – choose to incorporate principles of feng shui into their daily life, as well as in the funerals they plan for their loved ones. It’s one more way to communicate in that final farewell how special their friend or family member was – unique with their own beliefs, practices, and traditions.
Funerals are so important to helping a family find closure after a death. This is why it’s so important to us here at Cypress Lawn to familiarize ourselves with the traditions and practices of all the people who call the Bay Area home. We are experts in providing the personal touches your loved one deserves.
If you’d like to learn more about feng shui, keep an eye on our Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation’s lecture schedule, as we sometimes offer classes on the practice.
What are your thoughts on feng shui? If you don’t practice it, would you be willing to try it to see if it had an impact on your day-day-day life?