Property is prime: Feng shui expert Dato Joey Yap covers the basics
At the turn of the decade, we caught up with Dato Joey Yap, a renowned Chinese metaphysics consultant and the founder of the world’s biggest feng shui institution. If you’ve got feng shui on your mind, consider Joey Yap’s effective recommendations for everything from indoor plants to the ideal property. Here’s what he had to say.
In a nutshell, feng shui is…
“As a metaphysical science, feng shui is invested in the alignment of qi that is in the natural environment. It is about how the unseen energies in our surroundings affect and interact with the environment, buildings and residences over a period of time. Feng shui can be used for corrective or constructive purposes due to its forecasting nature. Whether someone is aware of it or not, qi will still exert some influence over you.
“You have to keep in mind that feng shui is practical and that there is no reason to be paranoid or fearful of these sorts of details. It is all about finding ways to improve the quality of a person’s life and not dictate what their personal tastes should be.”
The property really matters
“People commonly misunderstand feng shui as a ‘cure-all’ practice. Not every situation needs a cure and classical feng shui is not about implementing said cures to fix an already poor location. Look at the big picture first. Focus on finding a property that is surrounded by good landforms, then see what can be done for the interior. Books from my Homebuyers Series would offer more insights about feng shui properties. A small issue can be easily rectified and the impact of it can be softened. Otherwise, it is probably a good idea to move onto the next property.”
“A house built on square land usually has the best qi flow. If the land surrounding your house is oddly shaped, then employing a landscape architect to help make the land square would be a good idea.”
“Sleeping is a yin activity so the bed which we sleep in should be positioned against a yin feature. Having your headboard against a window, which is yang, will cause interrupted sleep. Sleeping with the headboard against a wall, which is yin, would be the best arrangement to prevent disrupted sleep and health problems.”
“Avoid having your feet pointing at the room’s door while sleeping. The qi entering your room will crash into the bed which results in disrupted sleep. To prevent this, move the bed so it is no longer directly in line with the bedroom door.”
“Another way to maintain good feng shui is to avoid cluttering your bedroom. Clutter means qi is becoming stagnant and invites illnesses and health problems, so keep your room clean and tidy! Common sense also suggests that clutter is unhygienic and psychologically demotivating, which is not something we would want in one of the main spaces.”
The deal with decor
“The way I see it, decor does not play a big role in improving feng shui. It’s all about using energy, or qi, from the environment around us to create a harmonious, pleasant home. Focusing on the bigger picture before scrutinising the little details. But there are certain actions that can be taken to improve qi flow in your house and it’s important to maintain a peaceful home.”
Kitchen: “Ensure that your stove is not on an island table because it will be exposed to qi on all sides. It would be better to have it against the wall for stability. If you have a stove and sink on the same countertop, keep at least one to two feet of space in between to prevent a clash between fire and water elements.”
It is all about finding ways to improve the quality of a person’s life and not dictate what their personal tastes should be.Dato Joey Yap
Bedroom: “Water is something best kept out of the bedroom – therefore, so should waterbeds. If you feel comfortable sleeping on one, that is acceptable, but this might not be conducive to a good night’s sleep or for long-term prosperity and harmony with your significant other.”
Home office/study: “Position your study or work desk with the back of your chair facing the wall. Having the stability of a yin feature at your back represents support in your work or studies. Utilising a similar concept as with your bed, avoid having your back to the window or directly facing a door.”
Minimalism vs maximalism
“Something that would influence your Wealth Luck would be the direction and location of your home and your personal good direction. What ensures prosperity and success is present in your life, is you. No amount of feng shui can magically usher wealth into your life.
“Yes, amplifying the feng shui of your surroundings and within your house will help you, but these energies will only affect you to a certain extent. How you maximise their benefits is entirely based on your mentality and how you approach things. You reap what you sow is a good way to think of things and if no effort is put in, your results will probably be lacklustre.”
What ensures prosperity and success is present in your life, is you. No amount of feng shui can magically usher wealth into your life.Dato Joey Yap
“You might want to reconsider placing too many items in your house as this would clutter your home resulting in stagnant qi, which should be avoided! Keep in mind that grandeur or Chinese themed items will not attract more prosperity.”
“Your house facing direction and the location of landforms will have a larger role in influencing that. A minimalistic house will be just as prosperous if the house is facing in the good direction, good landforms and a diligent homeowner.”
Colours aren’t critical
“Certain colours being auspicious is a myth. Painting your rooms a particular colour will not invite better feng shui, nor will it incite a loss of auspiciousness. It will only have a minor impact on the occupants. If the whole house is painted red or black, then that would be inviting excessive amounts of water qi and fire qi respectively. This should be avoided.
“Having sections of your home or certain rooms in that colour will not have a substantial impact especially if the rooms are ones you will not be spending a lot of time in.”
And it’s not a numbers game
“Classical feng shui is not about the placement of objects or interior designing. Placing accessories and decorations in certain formations, groups or numbers is new age feng shui.”
“There is no magical way to fix all your feng shui issues by using man-made good luck charms as they do not create their own qi or cosmic energy. So place accessories according to your preference. The numbers and way they are grouped do not matter.”
Plants and placements
“Indoor plants are only a concern when they are large, numerous and blocking light from entering your home. This would impede qi flow and should be avoided. Plants are living things vibrant with growth energy, which is not advisable in places of rest and relaxation, like the bedroom.”
“Keeping the larger varieties on the balcony might be best for all, including the plant. Using one to soften sha qi from a sharp corner is perfectly acceptable as long as sunlight is not prevented from entering the room.”
“One or two small varieties in your room is acceptable, even if they are cacti. More often than not a potted cactus is proportionally smaller than the average human. This means, once again, it does not matter if it’s anywhere in your house or room as there is only a very small effect. It will not direct sha qi at you or the house for all that it has pointy needles. Focus on whether the plant is toxic to any pets you may own.
“A similar sentiment can be expressed about Chinese plants as their names often are romantic in nature and should not be taken literally. By all means, if you are inclined to a Chinese inspired collection, go for it! You won’t be losing out on qi regardless.”
Where to now?