The growth of an ancient Chinese mixture of religion, philosophy, astrology and architecture is taking root in North America, especially Canada, reports the Canadian news weekly MacLean’s (April 28).
The phenomenon is known as feng shui, the Chinese “art of placement,” which teaches that the arrangement of space and furniture can bring either good or bad “energy” and fortunes. “Over the past few years, feng shui has taken on a life force of its own, circuiting the globe via thousands of Web sites, sparking a string of TV shows, videos, workshops and the publication of a dozen books . . . Venerable feng shui masters, long ignored outside the Chinese community, and even neophyte consultants are in demand, earning up to $500 an hour for boosting the ch’i (vital energy) of high rise condos, suburban houses and airless office cubicles.”‘
Sharon Doylee Dreidger continues that “Across Canada, the Roots clothing chain, [and] the Toronto-Dominion bank…are among the hundreds of businesses that have become newly attuned to feng shui, along with restaurants, legal offices, hospitals and at least one church congregation.”
Making such feng shui-inspired changes as keeping the front door away from the bedroom doors (thus preventing energy and good fortune from flowing out) promises clients an “easy offer of health, wealth and inner peace. “Feng shui packs the major trends of a decade — from cocooning and a concern for the environment, to a fascination with Eastern medicine and spirituality, and a yearning for a simpler stress-free life — into one neat package.”