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Feng Shui Q&A

by Aaron Lee Koch


Dear Practitioner,

Being of Indian background, we chose to have our present home built in accordance with the principles of Vaastu Shastra. The Vaastu practitioner worked with the architect and laid down specific rules which were followed in the design of the house. The goal of this, of course, was to have a good life in our dream home. Now, nearly two years after moving in, I must admit that things have not gone well. My daughter is doing poorly in school, my son has developed allergies to a large number of different foods, both kids have respiratory problems, my relationship with my husband has deteriorated, finances have gone sharply downhill, and to make matters worse, family members seem to be jealous of us. Things did not go particularly well in our previous house either, but here everything has gotten worse. The only area that I feel good about is that the house feels very comfortable and our guests love it. Is it possible that Feng Shui could help us further now? Would using Feng Shui mean undoing the Vaastu efforts that we have already made?

Troubled Mother, Arlington, VA

Dear Troubled,

Vaastu Shastra is the traditional Indian system of building design. The words are Sanskrit and, roughly translated, mean the science of buildings. Like Feng Shui, Vaastu has the goal of aligning a home or business with the life energy in the environment. There is a degree of overlap between Vaastu and Feng Shui, and there are also major differences. Both Vaastu and Feng Shui work with general principles of design and energy flow. Vaastu is mainly focused on the design of a home is relationship to compass directions and to rules dealing with proportion. Authentic Feng Shui focuses more on the specific energy flow in a specific structure and the effect of that energy flow on the specific occupants. In other words, Vaastu works more with generalities while Feng Shui works more with the specifics of your own home and its precise energy flow, as well as that energy’s impact on your particular family members.

Having had your house designed in accordance with Vaastu, you can now use Feng Shui to take things a step further. Feng Shui can be used to analyze the precise energy layout of your home so that any areas of negativity can be neutralized so they cannot harm or block you and your family. This is called a “flying star” analysis and is based on the precise positioning of your home on the earth, as well as certain events in the history of the house. Furthermore, Feng Shui can be used to determine the best positions for sleep, study, work, etc., so that each family member is supported in their major activities and so that success in all areas is achieved as easily as possible.

A skilled practitioner of Feng Shui who is also familiar with the principles of Vaastu Shastra can usually work the two systems in together so that they support each other rather than cancelling each other out.


Dear Practitioner,

I really love your responses to Feng Shui questions. Here's mine:

I rent the main floor of a bungalow with my fiance. We are very happy here and have a wonderful life and a puppy. However, the tenants in the basement are unbelievably horrible people. They are drug addicts who are constantly screaming and swearing violently.

Today I spent an hour cleaning up disgusting trash in the backyard so my puppy could play back there, since we are paying for the space. I am very spiritual and keep the energy in our apartment bright and happy, but we hear these people's yukkiness all the time. Whenever I go into the basement to do laundry a swarm of flies from the garbage they leave in the hall follows me upstairs. The other night they started partying (right under our bedroom) at 3AM! We had to wake up at 5! Not partying until 3, but starting at 3 and going until noon!

We could call the police, but these neighbours brag about their records for breaking into homes and even about 2 people mysteriously dying the night before they go to court for charging them (apparently they used witchcraft to kill these people). This sounds ridiculous, but calling the police might bring physical retribution which we do not want to risk with such dangerous people. We really love our apartment and don't want to make enemies who may leave and still know where we live. They have not paid rent in months and should have been kicked out long ago, however they manipulate "the system". In such a drastic situation, have you any suggestions for protection/help? Might we have to move?

Toronto, Ontario

Dear Sara,

This really is a drastic situation! There are usually many things you can do, using Feng Shui and using the law, to calm down a troublesome neighbor or even to have them evicted. However, in a situation that is so extreme, where you actually believe your neighbors have committed murder using witchcraft and you fear that you would be in physical danger if you confronted the situation, then perhaps moving would be a better answer.

While you are still there, here is a technique that often helps with rowdy neighbors. Place a large bowl of still water between you and them. In this case, place it on the floor over their basement apartment. Change the water at least once every 7 days.

If you lived in a large apartment building, a good technique to avoid direct confrontation is to leave anonymous signs on the disturbing neighbor’s door or in the hallway, calling attention to their behavior – “MR. SMITH, PLEASE END YOUR PARTYING BY 10 PM. LAST NIGHT YOU WOKE UP THE WHOLE BUILDING!” Even the worst neighbors may get embarrassed into quieting down, at least temporarily.

As a tenant, you are entitled to “quiet enjoyment” of your home. Since you are not experiencing “quiet enjoyment”, you could withhold rent and hold your landlord responsible until the situation is corrected. Contact the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board to determine your exact rights in this matter.

Or, you could move. Sometimes it’s better to just steer clear of people who bring stress into your life.


Aaron Lee Koch is a Master Feng Shui Practitioner, and Director of The American School of Classical Feng Shui. He is available for home and business consultations throughout our area, and may be reached at 607-722-8988 or 718-288-1058, e-mail: FengShui@AmeriChi.com , web site: www.AmeriChi.com . As many questions as space permits will be answered through this column. Questions may be e-mailed or mailed to AmeriChi Feng Shui, PO Box 983, Vestal, NY 13851-0983.

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