Los Angeles Whole Life Times Magazine – Feng Shui Clinic: July 2002
The Ba-gua Template is one of the most popularized feng shui techniques. Many people have become familiar with this approach when they refer to their Wealth Corner, their Relationship Corner, or one of the other remaining six areas of the Ba-gua Template. The eight areas represented by the Ba-gua are also known as the Eight Aspirations. The Eight Aspiration are those things in life that we all aspire to have and to enjoy. They are: Abundance, Reputation, Partnership, Creativity, Helpful People, Career, Knowledge, and Family. The template used to determine where these Eight Aspirations are to be found in a home is called the Ba-Gua (Mandarin) or Pa-Kua (Cantonese). Ba-gua or Pa-Kua whichever dialect you use, they both mean “eight sides”.
Ba-Gua or Pa-Kua
As the many systems of feng shui continue to grow in popularity, understandably so does the confusion and misconceptions. The use of the Ba-gua/Pa-kua is perhaps the most controversial with two approaches to its proper application. The traditional Compass School approach, using the designation Pa-Kua, determines the location of each of the Eight Aspirations according to the eight directions of the compass. In this approach for example, the Abundance Area of the home is in the Southeast and the Relationship Area is in the Southwest.
The other approach, known as Black Sect Tantric Buddhist Feng Shui, uses the designation Ba-gua and orientates the Eight Aspirations according to the position of the front door of the home. Black Sect practitioners called this the Compass of the Heart approach. As the front door can be either left, right or center, this Ba-gua is often referred to as the Three-Door Ba-Gua. Using the Three-Door Ba-Gua, the Abundance Area of the home is the sector to the far left from the front of the home while the Relationship Area is in the far right sector.
From my experience and research both systems have their merit. Each approach represents a particular mind-set or way of organizing the space around us. This mind-set is based on archetypal patterning reflective of our deep subconscious processes. Each method is based on how we project our consciousness upon a space. Either system can be used with great efficacy as long as you stay consistent with the system you have chosen.
Determining the Locations of the Eight Aspirations
To use the Ba-gua/Pa-Kua you need to have a fairly accurate floorplan of your home and property. On your floorplan divide the roofed and enclosed areas of the home into nine equal sections. Like a tic-tac-toe board as mentioned above. ‘Enclosed’ means walls or windows and not screened in porches or carports. Enclosed areas also includes the garage if it is connected with an inside doorway. Once you have drawn the nine sector grid on your floorplan, write in each of the Eight Aspirations according to the accompanying illustration.
Remember, if you choose to use the Compass School Pa-Kua match each Aspiration with the corresponding compass direction. If you use the Compass of the Heart Ba-Gua, align the Eight Aspirations with the front door of the home.
If the house is irregular in shape, first superimpose a rectangle or square onto the structure determining if protrusions are extensions of a particular area (less that 50% of a side of the home) or if there are missing areas as a result of one side being more than 50% but less than a 100%. (See illustrations.) If you are missing a corner or side of the home, do not panic. There are usually solutions or other things that can be done. Though a missing corner may be indicative of a theme that runs throughout the home and throughout your life.
Activating the Ba-gua/Pa-Kua
The most basic way to activate any of the eight sectors is by placing items that have some symbolic meaning to you in the appropriate area. For example, a treasure box in the Abundance Area or a picture of you and your mate in the relationship area. In this way all the items in your home can be used effectively and with purpose. How about a potted plant in the Abundance Area so you can grow your money. How about placing your child’s desk in the Knowledge/Academics Area. Or consider a curtain with bright colors in the Fame Area. Hanging pretty objects such as a faceted lead-glass crystal sphere from a nine inch red ribbon in any area of the Ba-Gua/Pa-kua will energize the corresponding Aspiration. And so forth.
It is also important to assess the existing conditions of each of the eight areas. If a corner is missing, perhaps it could be filled in with landscaping. How about a bird bath with two love birds in a missing Partnership Area, or a gold gazing ball on a pedestal or fruiting tree in a missing Abundance Area.
Of course it would be wise to remove any negative symbols (such as a cat-litter box or dirty laundry) from the Abundance or Partnership Areas. Whatever is in the Partnership Area symbolically communicates what or with whom you have your most important relationship.
If you are single, you can also use the Partnership Area to attract a mate. Or you can use the Partnership Area to stabilize a relationship that you are already in. In your Partnership Area you can put two angels sitting next to each other, two candle sticks, two flowers, or two mandarin ducks which mate for life. One friend tried a black and white kitty-cat with a black and white cow. He saw himself as the kitty-cat and wasn’t pleased with the ‘cow’ he attracted. Next he tried a pink bunny who turned out to be too bouncy for him, and finally settled for another cuddly kitty. Yes, feng shui can be quite literal.
The Bathroom Problem
Perhaps the hardest problem to deal with is the position of the bathroom with its toilet and drains. as toilets and drains are associated in the subconscious with waste and its removal. In accordance with the metaphysical principle, ‘where our thoughts go; so goes our energy,’ the bathroom door should be closed and the toilet seat kept down to keep the thoughts and good ch’i of the home from being ‘flushed down’ the toilet or ‘going down’ the drain.
Some people have huge en suite bathrooms that can completely occupy one of the eight areas. If you do have a home with a bathroom in the Relationship or Abundance Areas, remember to keep the bathroom clean, don’t use dark colors, consider hanging a 40mm lead-glass crystal prism to disperse the incoming ch’i and don’t forget to strengthen the weakened Aspiration in other rooms of the home.
Macro Ba-Guas & Mini Ba-Guas
To compensate an area otherwise weakened by the location of a bathroom, or if that area is missing in the floorplan of the home, you can overlay the eight sectors on each of the rooms of the house.
Remember to be consistent. If you are using the Compass Pa-Kua for example, the Southeast sector of each room will be the Abundance Area while in the Three-Door Ba-Gua, the far left sector from the wall the door of the room is located on will be the Abundance Area. (See illustration.)
Just as you evaluated what symbolically was in each of the eight areas of the home so too you can evaluate each of the eight areas of a room. You can also extend this template over the whole property and even onto a smaller surface such as a desk. The more ways you can stimulate the areas of the Eight Aspirations the greater the results.
Three Secret Reinforcements
After removing any negative images and installing positive images, the third thing to do is the Three Secret Reinforcements. This technique also comes to us from Tibetan Buddhist practice via Prof. Lin Yun, the Grand Master of the Black Sect Tantric Buddhist School of Feng Shui. The Three Secret Reinforcements are called “secrets” because if no one told you about them you wouldn’t know about it. They are also ‘secret’ because if you didn’t understand sacred matters (metaphysics), this information would go right past you.
The Three Secret Reinforcements refer to Body, Mind and Spirit, or Mudra, Mantra and Visualization. Mudra is a hand or body position. Placing your hands together in prayer would be typical. Mantra is repetition of sound such as repeating a prayer or affirmation over and over to create a strong vortex. Nine repetitions is sufficient as nine is a strong yang number. And then in the quiet of the vortex visualize your results whether it is a horn of plenty over your home pouring forth all manner of great abundance, academic success for your kid, or a happy, harmonious intimate relationship with the one you love.
Prof. Lin Yun says that putting a feng shui cure without the Three Secret Reinforcements is like turning a three-way light bulb on once. You get 20% of the capability. However, if you do the Three Secret Reinforcements, you turn the lamp high and get 100% capability. By adding the power of prayer, all your Eight Aspirations activation, will be dynamically energized and you will enjoy great good fortune.