Lillian Too, Feng Shui Master Extraordinaire.
Lillian Too, the most prolific Feng Shui writer in the world, has written over 50 books on Feng Shui, the Chinese geomancy that to its detractors is a type of New Age sugar water but to its legion of adherents a sure way to make everything better. She was the first Malaysian woman to head a public-listed company and the first Asian woman CEO of a bank (Hong Kong's Grindlays Dao Heng Bank). This Harvard-educated MBA then took over Hong Kong's Dragon Seed department store and made it profitable before cashing out to become a full-time mother and Feng Shui writer.
Lillian Too, the writer
Too invented the coffee table Feng Shui book, The Complete Illustrated Guide to Feng Shui, which spawned a succession of other books taking on different aspects of Feng Shui and refashioning them for popular consumption. The Complete Illustrated Guide to Feng Shui still holds the record for the highest sales for a color hardcover book, with more than 600,000 copies sold to date. Her other books have made it to best seller lists in the United States, Singapore and Germany, attracting believers from the previously skeptical Western readers. Today, her clients include influential people in Hollywood who consult her before purchasing properties.
Modern Feng Shui
Though traditional masters say that Feng Shui should be kept close to its Chinese roots to keep the discipline 'pure', Too feels the continual changes in the practice of Feng Shui is important to ensure its growth.
"If you want to practice this art, you have to share your knowledge with believers and unbelievers and allow it to be debated openly," she says. Feng Shui has gone global as far as Too is concerned.
"The world has changed, and the practice of Feng Shui should evolve accordingly," she says. ""Ancient masters have this tendency to be very vague in their Feng Shui predictions, I was determined to demystify it. Feng Shui is actually very practical - very scientific in a way. I have done a lot of new research, and I am looking to reposition Feng Shui as a management tool."
Feng Shui: Art or Science?
According to Too, it was important for people to know that Feng Shui is a science and an art. "As a science it must be practiced to perfection. And, as an art it must be aesthetic. There are many people armed with a little knowledge who claim to be Feng Shui experts. But that is not the way it should be. Careful research has to be done before any predictions are given. "It should never be a hit-or-miss thing," she says.
Despite her Western education and ideals, she strongly believes that Feng Shui has made the difference in her life.
"I used it at Harvard, I used it to get a job. I work very hard, but many people work very hard - the world is full of poor geniuses," she says looking at me sympathetically. "We all need a little luck, Feng Shui has been the source of my luck."
"Once upon a time, I was very skeptical as well. At that time, I was trying very hard to conceive. For years, my husband and I consulted doctors and other experts to no avail."
Then, a Feng Shui expert came to her house and told her that the huge tree facing her house was the obstacle to her dreams. Since she was building a new house, she invited him to do the Feng Shui for it. Four months after moving in, she conceived her daughter Jennifer. That was 25 years ago, and Lillian Too has never looked back since.
Today, this bubblish, fifty-seven year old lady is still enjoying good fortune and youthfulness from following Feng Shui principles.
"Feng Shui is not the central thing in my life. It is a tool and additional knowledge that works. It is not a religion nor something spiritual. I use my belief in spirituality to enhance my teaching, writing and practice of Feng Shui. So it has not changed my life. Other things have made an impact on my life more than Feng Shui, one of which is Buddhism," the devout Buddhist says. "Feng Shui is the art of living in harmony with your environment. It is not a mysterious art, so people of all race and religions can follow its principles to achieve greater things in life."
"Remember, Feng Shui does not give us solutions directly, but it equips us with a tool to balance and harmonize our environment to suit our needs, thereby enabling us to take control of our lives."
Good Luck during Bad Times
When asked about the symbols one can use to bring better luck during the economic downturn, she said symbols like the fish, sailing ships and the dragon are good.
"These are powerful wealth generating symbols," she said. "But to attract good vibes, you don't have to use very Chinese symbols like fish, tortoises or three legged toads. Use symbols appropriate to your background and culture. For instance, Santa Claus can be a symbol of abundance too! You can use that."
Attracting Good Vibes: The "Too" Method
Clear Your Clutter
"If you don't know any Feng Shui and want to improve your luck, the first thing you can do is open your windows and doors, let sunshine in, and discard all your junk. Clutters kills energy - it's like rotten food giving off a bad smell," said Lillian Too. And what is clutter? Anything that makes your heart drop just by looking at it. Books you haven't read for ages but can't bear to give away, clothes that no longer fit, things that need fixing, like clogged drains.
Water, Water, Water...Money, Money, Money
Water, especially clean, moving water resembles money flowingly abundantly. Install a small fountain or miniature waterfall. Alternatively, you can use water symbols like a painting of a lake. "Do not have more than one water feature in one room because that's being greedy. And never have water in the bedroom because this creates loss."
Red, Red, Red
Get a red purse or wallet. It attracts money. Fashionable and striking? Maybe, and then maybe not? But if it's attracting money, that's fashionable, right?
"Very auspicious!" said Too, who promptly fished out a scarlet Louis Vuitton wallet from her handbag.
Create a flow. If money comes in, give some to the poor. "The more you give, the more you shall receive," decrees Too.
Mirror the Wealth
Place it at the dining area and whatever is on the table is reflected in the area giving it a double appearance. That generates abundance.
If you wish, you may try this: activate the North corner of your office by placing a small aquarium or fishbowl there. This activates good luck for your career. And if possible, try to locate your room in the North grid of your office.
Predictions for the Year of the Water Horse (February 12, 2002 till January 31, 2003)
The heavenly stem of water clashes with the yang fire of the earthly branch making the coming year one of conflict and disharmonious chi. However, the most auspicious corner for the year is the North West, which symbolizes for the father or for heaven, and North America. This means that the American economy will see some recovery in the Year of the Horse. Also, since the North West of America is where Silicon Valley is, computer companies and dot-coms will see better times.
The conflicting elements (water and fire) means conflict in South countries - India (South Asia) will be affected, so will South Africa and the South American countries.
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Published on 3/2/02