In Feng Shui, chi is a term for energy or "the vital principle" of the universe, the essential force of all relative phenomena as time and space governing all processes of change and transformation. The circulation of chi regulates natural processes as seasons and weather as well as internal experiences as thought and emotion. Feng Shui brings about a balance or alignment between the internal and external chi to promote harmony and auspicious fortune.
Chi can be described as the breath of the cosmos, understood as an organic being or, in metaphor, a great dragon. Feng Shui experts are sometimes called dragon people or lung jen. They are able to observe chi in three phases in the environment, called shen, si and sha.
Sheng chi is a waxing phase of energy, associated with joy, health and prosperity. Beautiful vistas and positive aspirations are charged with sheng chi, which feels fresh and bright. Si chi is a waning phase of energy found in spaces that are more unkempt or dilapidated. It is associated with illness and depression. Too much si chi brings about weakness and poverty.
Sha chi has to do with danger, conflicted relationships, strangeness and anger. It is a phase of energy that arises from negative conditions, disruptions and financial troubles. In Feng Shui, features of the conditions that produce sha chi are sometimes described as sources of "secret arrows" - these include unpleasant views, obstructed passageways and jutting corners. Secret arrows threaten the balance of your home or office, and must be carefully mitigated to restore balance to the affected space.
Decorative Buddha figures can be considered Feng Shui cures for sha chi and si chi, restoring vital energy to depleted areas of your life and mitigating the effects of secret arrows. One of the most popular placements for a Buddha statue is facing the main entrance of the home. This is an excellent way to deflect entering secret arrows and put visitors at ease.
A laughing Buddha is a particularly powerful cure for sha chi, representing good luck, abundance, happiness and good health. This Buddha is a jolly, big bellied figure often depicted with gold ingots, a gourd representing longevity, or a crowd of children representing relationships.
The blessing Buddha figure can also be especially helpful in parts of the home decor that are affected by weak energy or si chi. This Buddha is depicted with one hand raised and one hand downward, bestowing both compassion and fearlessness. It is a popular figurine for office or study areas.
Rooms troubled by loud noise, violence or glaring lights can benefit from a Buddha statues. Such sources of secret arrows include views of electrical wires, freeways, alleys, neon signs, dilapidated structures, the edge of another building or a high rise, an empty lot, a graveyard, or a loud center of activity as a hospital or police or fire station. Sometimes a nearby mountain also forms a view associated with sha chi, while more distant mountains often do not.
When certain areas of your life are affected by secret arrows or waning energy, a decorative Buddha figure in the corresponding room or compass direction can also help restore harmony and balance. For instance, if your career is troubled or your motivation is waning at work, placing an Earth Buddha in the office or den can help restore commitment to your job.
During a difficult life transition, a reclining Buddha figure that symbolizes the transformations between life and death can also help. Whether you are making a job change or coping with empty nest anxiety, place the reclining Buddha in the appropriate compass direction that represents the part of your life with which you need help adapting to change.
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