Natural Building Colloquium


The Context:
Natural Building
The Building Codes
Societal Impact Matrix
Return of The Village
Habitat For Humanity
Earthmother Dwelling
Intuitive Design
Curves of Breath & Clay
Feng Shui

The Art:
Overview of Techniques
Nature, Earth & Magic
Hybrid House
Barefoot Architecture
History of Cob
Cob Q & A
Natural Composites
Compressed Earth Blocks
Adobe Oven
Earthen Floor
Honey House
German Clay Building
Straw-bale Dome
Earthen Plaster & Aliz
Natural Paints

Solar Distiller
Solar Water Heater
Composting Toilets
Watson Wick
Solar Ovens



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Feng Shui

We are intimately connected with everything in our world, including and especially the land and living spaces in which we conduct our daily lives. Our surroundings influence us continuously, and, whether we realize it or not, we experience the effects and power of place, all the time. When we walk into an unfamiliar space and feel welcome or at ease, we are responding to what is known as auspicious or positive power of place.

On the other hand, when we are in a less auspicious or unfortunate place, we may find ourselves feeling uncomfortable, disturbed or even looking to make a quick exit. If we are in a position of staying for any period of time in a less auspicious space, we may find ourselves going to sleep, getting angry, or looking for the coffee/candy machine, to numb out. Clearly, our living and working environments are extensions and mirrors of our lives.

In The Old Days

Most significant cultures throughout recorded time have recognized and honored a sense of "right place" and have developed and practiced systems of "placement and design art." These practices all work to bring our personal spaces into harmony with nature and to create living environments that support, nurture and empower, rather than disturb and undermine the effectiveness of our lives. They seek to help us experience being fully at home on earth. In Europe the "art of placement and design" is called Geomancy. Many other highly-developed systems of "placement and design art" exist throughout the world in such areas as Asia, Africa, India, Japan and Australasia. The Oriental form of "placement and design art" is called Feng Shui (pronounced "fung schway") and is perhaps the most rich and multilayered system of its kind used around the world. Feng Shui has been practiced in the Orient for about 5,000 years. It originated in India and Tibet, and many centuries ago merged with the Taoist and Confucianist philosophies of China. The universal principles upon which Feng Shui is based make it applicable and adaptable to all people, wherever they are.

What Is Feng Shui?

The direct translation of Feng Shui is "Wind and Water," the core elements of nature that shape our very existence. All of life depends on air and water; in fact nothing much lives for long without them. The natural tendency of wind (or air) is to be active, to expand and to be light (yang), while that of water is to be passive, fill spaces, contract and be dark (yin). This combination and synergy of two apparently opposing forces produces movement or energy. This energy is called "chi'" (other names for this energy include "vital life force," "universal energy," "prahna," "qi," "the breath or fire of life," "spirit" and "God"). Joseph Campbell called this chi' flow "the one living tide that moves within all of us."

Feng Shui is the natural partnership of the wind and water that we call life. Learning to observe, visualize, intuit, read, neutralize, balance, adjust and enhance the flow of chi' is the practice of Feng Shui. It recognizes the holographic nature of chi' and life and includes everything from the macrocosmos to the microcosmos. From tornados and hurricanes, through gentle breezes and streams, through the flow of our breath and blood, to the migration of oxygen and electrolytes across cell membranes; all is chi' vitalizing form.

Feng Shui recognizes that life is the experience of chi' moving through form and that intention is everything, because it is what assigns meaning and value to our experience of spirit. Intention is the pathway or "homing" mechanism that focuses chi' into form. It is seen as the way we humans do our part in creation, as chi' manifests in physical reality. Feng Shui is really about observing and directing our intentions. Just as the acupuncturist observes and adjusts the flow of chi' through the human body to keep it well, the Feng Shui practitioner observes and adjusts the home or workplace to create a healthy flow of chi'. Its applications are far-reaching, as it can be used on any scale, from city design and layout, through homes, offices and gardens, to wall color, art placement and desktop layout.

The Bottom Line

In simple terms, Feng Shui is the art of arranging sites, homes and workplaces in such a way that occupants feel at ease, at home and in harmony with the world around them. Much like air passing through a flute, or water flowing in a winding stream, optimal flow and resonance (like music to our ears) is created when we:
·  Reduce or eliminate energy leaks
·  Remove obstacles to the flow of energy
·  Clear stagnant and blocked energy
·  Optimize flexibility and permeability
·  Enhance energy in desired areas
·  Attune our space to our inner nature and to Nature

Popularity of Feng Shui

The nine major schools of Feng Shui in existence have as their common goal to create harmonious, healthy living spaces which are aligned with both human nature and the natural environment around us. Modern Feng Shui is firmly geared to the needs of today's business and domestic life and is rapidly being hailed as one of the environmental sciences of the 21st century. There are very compelling reasons for the resurgence of this ancient "art of placement and design."
·  There is a strong movement to "re-member"... to embrace older, time-tested, earth-centered, vernacular practices and wisdoms, because they make sense.
·  We have become acutely aware of the consequences of living in the dull, toxic spaces of our modern suburban landscapes, out of balance with and disconnected from nature. We are also becoming aware of the non-sustainability of our current building practices and living places and are learning about the long-term environmental costs.
·  There is an increasing desire to be healthy, free, and successful and to reconnect and live in harmony with ourselves, our planet and all of life.
·  "Spirit of Place" awareness is growing rapidly. People all over the world are recognizing the primary connections they have with their living spaces and seeking to have healthy relationships with the world around them.

How We Work

Having studied with all the major schools of Feng Shui, we predominantly use three main schools in our work. Combining the Form School, Intuitive School and Black Sect Schools, we begin by gathering data, observing, sensing, intuiting and listening to a client's life stories. We spend time with them to find out what is happening in their life and what they would like to work on and have more success with. We read the stories reflected in the surrounding areas, neighborhood, the approaches, site characteristics, entrances and the building's design and condition. We utilize the "four pillars" approach, which places emphasis on four important areas: entrances, bedrooms, stoves and desks. We also evaluate the general interior condition and design.

We use two powerful analysis techniques to understand homes and offices from a Feng Shui perspective:
·  The Black Sect Tibetan Tantric Buddhist "Ba-Gua." "Ba" means eight and "Gua" means aspect or issue. The Ba-Gua is a map that we overlay on the plan of your site, buildings and specific rooms. It is based upon the I-Ching and aligns various aspects of the client's life with specific areas in their living spaces. We look at each individual Gua as well as the "four pairs" relationships, to offer appropriate adjustments. In addition, we leave the client with a basic understanding of the Ba-Gua, so they can continue to make adjustments and enhance specific life aspects for years to come.
·  The Chinese five elements of Earth, Metal, Water, Wood and Fire. This system is based upon the same one used by Oriental Medical Doctors and Acupuncturists. Each of these elements takes into account design, shapes, colors, seasons, specific life issues and much more. We look at the balance of these elements and their relationship to the client's personal five-element type. Along with utilizing our many years of Feng Shui experience and intuition, we also take into account size, proportions, flow, basic compass directions, color implications, numerology, astrology, specific local conditions and many other modalities as appropriate.

As we summarize the Feng Shui of the home or workplace, we work with the client to determine the highest priorities for cures and adjustments. Then we co-create a plan of simple, affordable, doable cures and adjustments based upon what most wants to happen, taking into account resources available and abilities to complete the cures.

At the end of our consultation, if we have left the client with specific Black Sect cures, meditations and rituals, we will ask them for a number of red envelopes, containing money, as well as anything else that could symbolize the intentions and desires for the consultation. This red envelope exchange honors a very old tradition and empowers the Feng Shui adjustments by aligning them with those done by thousands of people and practitioners over time. Later that day, we conduct a ritual with the envelopes to empower the consultation and to complete the exchange, so that we are all free to go about our lives and to be available for what is next.

The intention of Feng Shui is to create beneficial enhancement of all areas of life. Inhabitants of "good Feng Shui" spaces are more likely to experience the flow, well-being and success they desire. For example, issues like health, career, self-worth, wealth, family and relational ease are readily and commonly enhanced. As people encounter Feng Shui, they will often say things like: "I knew that all along," or "It all just seems like common sense." It is our very nature, to be at home.

At Home On Earth
PO Box 185, Niwot, CO 80544
888-240-8402 (tollfree voicemail) and 303-516-9116

Panther Wilde is a certified Bau-Biologie (Building Biology) Environmental Inspector. Skilled in naturopathy, permaculture, renewable energies and sustainable building, he is also qualified to inspect for radon, lead and asbestos, and has twenty years of corporate experience with air and water quality pollution control programs.

Tricia McKenzie has practiced intuitive reading, shamanism and healthy building. In the 1980s she served as a Personnel and Community Relations Director, working to create healthy, sustainable community. She has also built a healthy home in an affordable housing project.


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