Attract a Teacher Using Feng Shui

featured this week on Over The Moon

image credit: Versta/shutterstock via  Over the Moon

image credit: Versta/shutterstock via Over the Moon

Growing up in a somewhat traditional Korean household, I was always taught to respect my elders and teachers. In Eastern cultures, one bows to those with experience and age, as they are held with high regard. I still agree with this point of view, however, it was not until I met my spiritual mentors and teachers that I really felt akin to this Asian custom.

Plato says learning is remembrance. The teacher acts like a midwife, and by close communion with the student, passes a spark (of resonance) lighting a flame, resulting in the birth of the innate idea.
— Scott Olson

I am beyond fortunate to have a handful of wonderful teachers in my life, including my flowers teacher and four feng shui mentors, one of whom even officiated my wedding! They have become spiritual friends and guides who have taught me much more than just the “curriculum.” Each of them also has her own teachers and mentors who have passed on knowledge from the lineage. I believe that study and craft come first, then comes the knowledge. Just like one practices piano scales over and over, before he can start to truly play music.

My current favorite book is Zen in the Art of Flower Arrangement by Gustie L. Herrigel. When speaking about her teacher here, Herrigel shares that it is the sensei “who gradually imparts to the pupil his most secret and deepest knowledge of the ultimate things, and thus transfers to him his spirit... A teacher is not just an instructor. Everything that, by his conduct, serves to strengthen the pupil’s human dignity, uprightness, tact and responsibility is as important and meaningful as the learning he imparts.”

Interestingly, when working with my clients, I’ve found that many would like a teacher or mentor but have not yet found one. Even Sheryl Sandberg speaks to the importance of a mentor in her book Lean In. Since I nd teachers invaluable, helping my clients call on mentors is close to my heart. Luckily, there are some feng shui adjustments we can make to attract teachers in our lives, and I’d like to share one here! 

Activate Benefactors Area

There is an area of the feng shui bagua map that relates to benefactors and helpful people. This area is called qian in Chinese and also relates to heaven. You can think of heaven in the sense that you want help from above, from something beyond you, to support you. This concept also requires humility and understanding that there is more beyond you. To receive a teacher is to accept we are always students.

This benefactors area is related to the element of metal, so an effective way to attract a teacher is to place a metal wind chime or bell in this area of your bedroom. In a typical rectangular shaped room, locating the benefactors area is simple. Standing in your doorway, looking into the bedroom, the closest corner to your right is the benefactors area.

Be sure the chime or bell you add here is metal, as the sound can let teachers in the universe know that you’re here and ready for them! With a humble and open heart, ring your feng shui adjustment talisman nine times per day for nine days. Visualize your teacher(s), and they will present themselves to you.

The role of teachers and mentors in our lives is one that will never be obsolete. It is so important to our self-development and our impact in the world that we learn from those who were here before us and listen to their wisdom. If you are seeking a teacher, (whether you realized it before now or not!) try this feng shui adjustment to let the universe know you are ready for a mentor to guide your path. Then get ready to listen! 

by Anjie Cho

Using Feng Shui to Create Sacred Space

featured this week on Over the Moon

image credit: M  aria Timofeeva/shutterstock via  Over the Moon

image credit: Maria Timofeeva/shutterstock via Over the Moon

You know what the issue is with this world? Everyone wants a magical solution to their problem, and everyone refuses to believe in magic.
— Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

I saw this quote recently and I just love it. Sadly, though, this is often the case in our modern, fast-paced world. We’ve really lost touch with nature and the magic in our everyday lives.

Many of us (myself included) hope for an easy fix, a magic potion of sorts. But even magical solutions take some work. First, there must be belief and trust in the process. Belief in the magic! Second, a seed (even of the magic sort) can be planted, but it needs fertile soil, sunlight, love, and cultivation to come to fruition.

I believe that feng shui and other spiritual philosophies and disciplines really are magic! Read on to learn how you can do your part to bring some magic into your everyday life and make your home a sacred space.

Create an Altar or Shrine

This doesn’t have to be religious, but it can be if you’d like. For instance, I am Buddhist, so I have a shrine with a Buddha, incense, a candle, and offerings of flowers, rice, and water. But you can also create a special place for some selected sacred objects, honoring a teacher in your life with a candle for light and a flower for life.

In feng shui, I’ve also prescribed altars for nature spirits. This would include a special, designated area inside or outside your home, with some water, liquor, rice, and a rock or small statue. The intent is to dedicate a small area to invite some magic to dwell in and enhance your home. You can literally ask the universe, or nature, to come visit your home. Thank them and offer this special space for them to enjoy.


I first heard this term in architecture school when learning about the stupas, cathedrals, and temples of the ancient world. Almost all religions incorporated this ritual of circumambulation as a devotional practice by walking around the interior perimeter of a space. In my Buddhist practices, we also circumambulate during walking meditation.

Starting at your front door, walk clockwise around the interior perimeter of your home. While circumambulating, you can chant mantra, ring bells, burn incense, etc. In BTB feng shui, we circumambulate while chanting “Om Mani Padme Hum” during the orange peel space clearing, using orange essence or peels to clear the space. You can also do sage or palo santo space clearings in this manner to further sanctify the space.

Add Sound Vibration

Sounds, such as cymbals, bells, and even singing, create vibrations that create magic and transformation in your environment. Even the sound from the trickle of a water fountain can create this magic. It’s especially effective to use sound to expand into the dark, forgotten areas of your home, like the back corners of closets, above cabinets, behind the sofa, etc. Create some sound vibration magic and see what happens.

While the magic in our universe may not quite mirror the incredible events of Alice’s story, it is possible to bring a little wonder and magic into your life, if you’re willing to believe and do your part. If you’re seeking a change or life enhancement, or maybe even just a little magic, try one or more of these tips in your space to create an environment where that magic can flourish. Once you do, share your story with us! 

by Anjie Cho

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I'm beyond excited to be part of the upcoming and all-new Moon Circles from  @overthemoonmag . If 2016 is your year for improving, creating your ideal life and building a community of supportive and creative women, there's a Moon Circle for you! Visit the website below for more information and to submit an application before February!

I'm beyond excited to be part of the upcoming and all-new Moon Circles from @overthemoonmag. If 2016 is your year for improving, creating your ideal life and building a community of supportive and creative women, there's a Moon Circle for you! Visit the website below for more information and to submit an application before February!

Having fun with curves  #floorplans   #curvedwall   #tracepaper   #interiors

Having fun with curves #floorplans #curvedwall #tracepaper #interiors

Lobby selfie!  #sitevisit   #interiors

Lobby selfie! #sitevisit #interiors

Feng Shui + Embracing the Year of the Fire Monkey

featured this week on Over the Moon

image credit: Alexannabuts/shutterstock via  Over the Moon

image credit: Alexannabuts/shutterstock via Over the Moon

On the lunar calendar, we welcome the 2016 Fire Monkey year on Monday, February 8th. This is also referred to as Chinese New Year. In feng shui, we celebrate Chinese New Year with much joy, as it represents the shift in energies and marks the start of spring on the lunar calendar.

In 2016, we are leaving the Wood Sheep year, which was more about growth and community, and heading into the Fire Monkey year, which has more of a theme of heart-focused passion and playfulness. As we welcome the new year, there are a few feng shui-specific ways of celebrating and preparing for the year ahead.

Space Clearing with Intention

One of the most important things to do for Chinese New Year is clear the space of your home and fill it with positive intention. In feng shui, one preferred method for space clearing uses the scent of oranges. You can scatter fresh orange peels around your home or use an orange essential oil mist to uplift your space. Oranges represent and create life-affirming, bright, yang energy.

I like to start at the front door and go around the whole home in a clockwise fashion. Visualize sunlight filling every corner of your home and the new intention filling your space and every cell in your body. It’s especially effective to do this on Chinese New Year’s Eve or day.

Declutter Nine Items

Removing nine pieces of clutter on Chinese New Year’s Day or on the eve of Chinese New Year will create movement and activity on a physical and energetic level in your environment. This activity works in two ways. First, you’ll be moving the qi (or life energy) around by moving the objects in your home. Sometimes we get stuck, and we can see that manifesting as clutter around our homes. By moving these nine items around, we’ll be “unsticking” that qi.

On a second level, when we remove those nine items from our homes, we essentially create a vacuum for the universe to fill with something better! A new opportunity, inspiration or insight. When the environment is static, our inner lives also become stagnant, so shake things up in your life by removing nine items!

Carry a Chinese Zodiac Charm

Many people might read this and think it would be beneficial to carry around a monkey charm in the monkey year. But in my feng shui lineage, we have been taught that it’s especially auspicious to carry around the current year animal’s best friend! The idea is that the year god (animal) will see its best friend and be so enamored that it will do you no harm.

In the Chinese zodiac system, the monkey’s best friend is the snake. A snake charm acts as a protective talisman and provides support as well. So find yourself a little snake figurine to carry around with you at all times in this Fire Monkey year. As a note, the snake must be three- dimensional and realistic looking. 

In the Western world, we don’t often celebrate the Chinese New Year as much as the beginning of our own calendar, but in the world of feng shui, the beginning of the lunar year is a very important time for starting anew and taking control of the energy in our lives. Even if you don’t want to celebrate this occasion, clearing and refreshing your space can be a start to making positive and much-needed changes! 

by Anjie Cho

Sarasvati & The Art of Attracting Abundance

featured this month in Over the Moon

image credit: Wtamas/Shutterstock via  Over the Moon

image credit: Wtamas/Shutterstock via Over the Moon

Deepak Chopra shares a fascinating story in the introduction to his book, Creating Affluence, about how to attract abundance. The story begins with a young person asking his teacher how he can create wealth in order to “help and heal the world.”

The teacher shares with the student a secret: there are two Goddesses within each of us—Sarasvati, Goddess of Knowledge, and Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth. In the story, the secret is that if you seek out the Goddess of Knowledge, the Goddess of Wealth will become jealous and follow you, creating unlimited wealth.

Inspired, I began my pursuit of Sarasvati (and knowledge) by painting her images and symbols. They now reside in the Benefactors area of my home (according to the feng shui Bagua map, this is the front right corner of your floor plan). There is also an area related to self-knowledge and wisdom on the feng shui Bagua map. Besides painting the image of Sarasvati, you can activate this knowledge area of your home and/or workspace to attract wisdom.

It’s easiest to lay the bagua map on your bedroom, so let's start there. If you stand in the doorway of your bedroom facing inside the room, the corner just to your left is the knowledge area. Similarly if you want to activate this area of your desk, you can sit at your desk, divide your desk up into a 3x3 grid, and it’s the bottom, left corner, closest to you. If you activate the bedroom knowledge area, this will improve your personal self-knowledge and cultivation. If you do this on your desk, the activation is related more to your work or career.

Three great ways to activate the feng shui knowledge area are with plants, Sarasvati and the element of fire. Living green plants represent growth and life, and when added to the knowledge area, they can expand your self-knowledge and provide support and freshness to this part of your life or work. Locating an image or representation of Sarasvati in this area would also support more wisdom. Finally, the addition of something triangular or red is beneficial in this area because, according to the five element theory, they represent fire energy. The fire energy supports knowledge, because the knowledge gua is an earth area. Fire also provides brightness, clarity and passion. A new light bulb or light fixture would also do the trick!

One of the most popular requests I get with feng shui consultations is for more wealth, but many people don't realize you can welcome more abundance into your life in an indirect way as well. If you're seeking wealth or knowledge, take a look at your space and the recommendations above, and see if you can make an adjustment in your knowledge area(s) to attract wealth and knowledge. 

by Anjie Cho