April 20, 2007 / 9:29 AM / 13 years ago

FACTBOX-Five facts about feng shui

(Reuters) - Asia’s richest woman, Nina Wang, nominated her feng shui master as the sole beneficiary of her multi-billion-dollar fortune, a legal notice revealed on Friday, two days after her lavish funeral in Hong Kong.

Here are five facts about feng shui.

— Practised in Asia for thousands of years, feng shui is the Chinese art of creating harmony in life through balancing five key elements — wood, fire, earth, metal and water — in your surroundings. The basic premise is that your environment profoundly influences your life.

— The name translates as “wind and water”, which are thought to be the two containers of the life force “chi” or “qi”, whose flow must not be obstructed. Wind is thought to make chi move and flow, while water retains it.

— Modern devotees consult feng shui masters before building or buying a new home or business, to assess if it has good or bad feng shui. Attracting wealth, protecting health and improving relationships are among the benefits attributed to good feng shui. Several casinos in Las Vegas reportedly consult feng shui masters, because so many of the clients are Chinese.

— Beijing’s Forbidden City is laid out according to feng shui principles, with a man-made mountain behind it and two rivers dug to its east and west. Today, pairs of Guardian Lions, or Fu Dogs, placed with the male on the left and female on the right of entrances to homes, businesses and temples to protect those inside, are some of the most commonly seen feng shui enhancers.

— The classic Chinese philosophical text the I Ching, or Book of Changes, said to be one of the world’s oldest books, contains the bagua, an octagonal diagram used for feng shui analysis. Other tools for diagnosis include different kinds of compasses and astrological charts.

Sources: Traditional Feng Shui (www.traditionalfengshui.co.za), FengShuiCrazy (www.fengshuicrazy.com), China Daily (www.china.org.cn/english/culture/115890.htm)

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