Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Review: Feng Shui for the Soul by Denise Linn

Author website: Denise Linn

I had been aware of feng shui in a very basic way for years. The concept is a fascinating one. Although I am hardly qualified to actually explain it, I can attempt to summarize feng shui by saying that it is the employment of purposeful methods to assess, enhance, mitigate, and/or harness the natural forces acting upon us in our environments. Mostly it is used to design, arrange, and decorate interior spaces but it is not limited to them. Gardens and landscapes can be designed with principles of feng shui. Also feng shui is about understanding the forces of the whole world and considering their interaction and our place in this dynamic flow.

Because I am slowly trying to revitalize my older home and make it a place of positive energy, I picked up with interest Feng Shui for the Soul by Denise Linn. This book is a treasure. I've already made a couple minor additions to my home based on Linn's advice and could feel the immediate and positive uplift in energy.

This book covers a lot of ground as Linn shares her extensive research and experience as a student and practicioner of feng shui. She has studied philosophies and ancient traditions all over the world, including her own Native American roots. In her own practice she blends traditional Chinese feng shui principles with her Native American spirituality to create what she calls Medicine Wheel Feng Shui.

Feng Shui for the Soul is packed with scientific and philosophical research. It teaches that much of the wisdom of ancient people is not just superstitious mumbo-jumbo. Earlier humans were aware of their intimate connection with the Earth and her forces. They studied their environment and worked to position themselves in beneficial harmony with the forces of Earth, water, air, and fire.

Linn explains how the majority of modern people are disconnected from the Earth and this has very negative influences on their health and happiness. She notes that many people go days and even weeks without even touching the Earth. They wear shoes and walk on pavement and get in cars and go in buildings. They never physically touch the natural parts of the all encompassing environment that gives us life. As a person who frequently runs about barefoot, I was struck by this true observation. Just Friday morning I patted the huge oak tree by my mailbox and told the tree how good it looked. But I realize most people aren't like me. I guess this is why people have consistently remarked over the years how "down to Earth" I am. This comment always puzzled me because where the heck else would I be? But now I understand better.

Because it cannot be good to structure your life counter to the forces of the living cosmos, applying feng shui principles to your living and working environments is exceedingly beneficial. The advice offered so convincingly by Linn can be used by anyone anywhere. The author is keenly aware that not everyone lives in ideal circumstances, and she always provides advice for connecting with Nature even if you live in a high rise apartment.

Feng shui is a huge subject and this book overflows with concepts and advice. The biggest takeaway from the guide is that feng shui must be used in conjunction with your intuition. You must apply feng shui principles in a way that supports you. Everybody is different and a color or symbol that uplifts your mood might be neutral or even annoying to another person.

Linn's book provides numerous instructions for meditations meant to help you seek visions from your intuition or invite beneficial energies into your home or workplace.

This book also contains extensive information about the energies that radiate from the Earth. Flowing water creates a subtle electrical field. Water flowing underground can effect the people in the buildings above it. For example, if your bed is positioned in one of these electrical fields, you will have trouble sleeping. Fortunately, the problem can likely be fixed by moving the bed a few feet. Also the electromagnetic fields radiating throughout the world from the poles impact people. Our highly technological society with artificial electrical fields radiating all over the place, scramble us somewhat, but feng shui can sometimes mitigate the effect.

I put Feng Shui for the Soul by Denis Linn in the mind-blower category. Having just read it, I plan on going through it and taking notes so I can better integrate myself into the world. Reading a book that embraced the fact that we are part of a living Earth was so refreshing. Too many people are unhappily oblivious to this truth.