“Feng shui is a philosophy of life,” Mr. Dong said. “Good feng shui means being in harmony with nature, or your environment, your mind and your soul. We are all searching for something beyond functionality. I use feng shui to teach art design, painting, drawing and how to live your life.”
For example, he said, if you are stressed, in feng shui terms, you have too much fire in your life, so don’t eat spicy food when you need to calm down. Water puts out fire, so seek out the tranquillity of nature and water. “If you’re stressed out, go jogging in the park,” he said.
M. Carol Assa, a feng shui consultant in Los Angeles, explained that one of the 12 Chinese astrological animals and an element (fire, earth, wind, water or air) were combined annually to determine energies and directions for that year. These animal-element combinations occur in 60-year cycles.
“This means that the energy of 2019 will be comparable to the energy of 1959, a year of transition that led into the cultural revolution of the ‘60s,” Ms. Assa explained. “Right now, everyone’s upset, and things are fomenting. So 2019 is a great year to put ideas together for launching in 2020.”
She said that today, there is chaos in every corner of life — human rights, economics, politics, the emergence of “fake news” — but she predicted that next year would begin a new revolutionary cycle.
Ms. Assa, who has been practicing for 25 years, has studied with Chinese feng shui masters from England, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan and combines elements from three schools of feng shui thought — Flying Stars, Imperial and Da Gua — in her consultations.
In 2019, she said, “afflictions are located in the west, northwest, southwest and southeast.”
Her tips for this year:
■ Don’t dig, cut or renovate in the northwest corner of your home. Try to avoid having your home office in this sector, and don’t sit facing the northwest.