Feng Shui: Seeing Is Believing: Essential Geomancy for Beginners and Skeptics

Feng Shui: Seeing Is Believing: Essential Geomancy for Beginners and Skeptics

by Jampa Ludrup

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In this pithy and practical handbook, Ven. Jampa Ludrup lays out the fundamentals of feng shui without any of the opaque mysticism that sometimes clouds the practice. "The aim of this book," he writes, "is to help you have more happiness in your life." Through his easy-to-understand instructions, diagrams, and photos, Ludrup illustrates how simple alterations to the…  See more details below


In this pithy and practical handbook, Ven. Jampa Ludrup lays out the fundamentals of feng shui without any of the opaque mysticism that sometimes clouds the practice. "The aim of this book," he writes, "is to help you have more happiness in your life." Through his easy-to-understand instructions, diagrams, and photos, Ludrup illustrates how simple alterations to the layout of your home can vastly improve specific areas of your life-romance, prosperity, health, or whatever is troubling you. With nothing more than this book and a good compass, you can rearrange your house, your fortune, and your life.

The book comes with a handy pocket-sized chart that you can carry with you to job interviews or first dates - any important events - so that you can be confident that you will be able to achieve the best possible outcome.

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“Feng shui is an important way for people to improve their lives in the areas that matter most.” —from the foreword by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
From the foreword by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
"Feng shui is an important way for people to improve their lives in the areas that matter most."

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Wisdom Publications MA
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The Effects of the Elements on Your Luck

When you have applied the Lo Shu square to the land, you can then start to enhance each of the nine types of luck in their respective sectors by putting the right elements in the right places. Let me remind you of the four cycles of the elements:

The table of the trigrams in chapter 1 shows the main element that will enhance the luck of each sector. With that information, you can use the cycles of the elements to deduce the productive and supportive elements for each sector, as shown here.

For example, wealth luck is influenced in the southeast of the land. Its main element—the element that enhances it—is “small wood”: flowers and shrubs and so on. It is also produced or helped by water, and it is supported by small amounts of earth element—ceramics, pots, crystals, and so on.

There are also two elements that must be avoided in each sector. These come from the destructive and exhaustive cycles of the elements. The elements that damage the wealth luck of the southeast sector are metal and fire; metal cuts wood in the destructive cycle, and fire uses up wood in the exhaustive cycle.

Now you can see why it is so important to memorize the cycles of the elements. If you do, then when you look at any object on your land or in your house you can tell whether it is helpful or harmful.

Now I will explain in detail the effect of each element on each of the nine types of luck.


The southern sector of the land influences reputation and fame. If you are suffering from unkind gossip or feeling undervalued, or if your business is not becoming well known and respected, then you may have a problem in this sector.

The table of the trigrams in chapter 1 shows that the element associated with the south is fire. That means that the main element to enhance your reputation is fire, so first of all you should have at least one bright light here. Three or four lights would be good because those are the numbers of the wood element, which produces fire in the productive cycle. Put the light or lights on a wooden pole about five feet tall and keep it on at least eight hours a day. The lamp casing should have a triangular-shaped top because the triangle is associated with fire and represents growth and upward movement. The lamppost is better made from wood than concrete because the earth element exhausts fire energy. Metal is a friend to fire in the supportive cycle, so a metal lamppost is also okay.

You can also have a lot of wood in the southern sector, so trees are good. If the land faces south, however, remember to make sure that they are not in front of the front door and are not inhibiting heaven’s breath from entering the land. You can use other objects made from wood such as fencing, flower boxes, garden furniture, and so on. Use green and red colors in this sector; for example you could plant red flowers. Rectangular-shaped objects are good.

You must avoid having water features such as swimming pools in the south because water destroys fire in the destructive cycle of the elements. Do not have blue flowers here or any wavy-shaped objects, as these are associated with water. You should also avoid having the earth element; rocks, concrete, earth colors, square-shaped objects, and so on, because this exhausts fire energy.


During my consultations I usually ask my clients if there are any particular problems that they would like to try to deal with using geomancy. Relationship problems are usually at the top of the list, closely followed by money worries. It seems that at this time in our world we most need to learn how to form stable relationships and maintain them; not just between man and woman but between friends, nations, ideologies, and religions. So much suffering is caused by the attitude that others are here to help us rather than the opposite. Anyway, geomancy has much to offer in the way of improving relationship luck, and as I jokingly tell my clients, “‘I can guarantee interest but not necessarily quality!”

If you or your family members are having marriage problems, problems finding a partner, disharmony in the house or at work, loneliness and lack of friends, or the feeling that people seem to be against you, you must look at the southwest sector and see what elements you have there.

The main element of the southwest is big earth: large rocks and boulders, concrete, gravel or sand, large stone sculptures, and large earthenware pots. The color for this sector is ocher and other earth colors; the shape is square.

Fire is the element that is productive for earth so you can have lights, red colors, and triangle shapes to help relationship luck. It is very effective to have a lamp, but probably better if it is not red! It should be on a post that is about five feet tall and made from concrete, stone, or plastic. The top casing can be triangle shaped, like the lamp for the southern sector. A friend of mine had a lamp like this in the southwest of her garden, which she used humorously to interfere with her daughter’s love life. When her daughter had trouble finding a boyfriend, she would turn on the lamp. When a boy would come to take her daughter out, she would turn the lamp off if she didn’t like him. She repeated the process until her daughter found a partner she approved of and now she is happily married.

It is okay to have a little water in the southwest sector as it has a friend relationship with earth in the supportive cycle. But, as is the case with all the supportive cycle elements, it is better not to overdo the amount. As I mentioned before, if there is too much water in the southwest then relationships can get very muddy and complicated.

You must avoid having the wood element in the southwest. Wood destroys earth in the destructive cycle of elements. This is difficult in a garden, but you should try to keep it to a minimum. There should be no large trees, and flowers should be red or yellow. This makes the southwest the perfect place for a rock garden or a Zen-style garden made primarily of rocks, gravel, and raked sand. You must also avoid having metal here. Metal depletes earth luck in the exhaustive cycle of the elements.


The sector that affects the luck of the children of the house is in the west. If your children are having difficulty with health, school, and so on, or you are experiencing difficulty in having children in the first place, you must check the elements in the west of your land.

The main element here is small metal, so you can have wind chimes and other metal mobiles, small metal sculptures, or metal bowls and bells. I have often found that placing one or more wind chimes with six hollow metal tubes is extremely effective. The best color is white or metallic colors such as gold, silver, or copper. The best shape is the circle. Metal is produced by earth in the productive cycle so you can have pots, stone statues, gravel, square shapes, earth colors, and so on. It is supported by wood so it is okay to have plants here but probably better not to have large trees. You can paint a white tiger on the wall here, but make sure you have a green dragon on the eastern wall first to provide balance.

You should avoid the fire element as this destroys metal in the destructive cycle, so no bright lights or red color. The element that exhausts metal is water so you must avoid having pools and ponds, blue or black colors, or wavy shapes in the western sector.


The northwest sector is associated with the luck of mentors. Everyone needs help from those who are knowledgeable and skilled, but it is not easy to find people who are willing to help us to grow. A mentor could be someone who takes an interest in your career, a school or college teacher, a spiritual guide, a sports coach, or just someone willing to give good advice. If you feel you are not getting enough help and encouragement in your work or study, or feel you are not making spiritual progress, then you need to look at the elements in the northwest of the land.

The main element to enhance mentor luck is big metal; large wind chimes with five or six hollow tubes, metal sculpture, large metal decorative pots, a metal shed and garden tools, and so on. White and metallic colors, and round objects are good.

Metal is produced by earth in the productive cycle so you can have pots, stone statues, gravel, square shapes, earth colors, and so on. Again, metal is supported by wood so white-flowered plants are okay but better not have large trees.

Fire destroys metal in the destructive cycle. You must avoid having the fire element here, so no bright lights, incinerators, or barbeques. Avoid red color and triangular shapes. In the exhaustive cycle, water exhausts metal so no pools, ponds, or other water features. Avoid having blue or black colors, or wavy shapes here.


Career luck is influenced by the northern sector of the land. If you are having trouble getting the job or important promotion that you want or just seem to be stagnating in a particular job, then you must check the elements in the north. Activating this sector should remove blockages to career progress, or may even trigger a move to a completely new career; you have to have a mind that is open to new opportunities when they come.

This is, unfortunately, a complicated sector. The main element of the northern sector is water, but the Form School recommends that the land face south and also says that you should not have water behind the house, in the north. So if your house faces south, it is best to put metal objects in the north because metal produces water in the productive cycle of the elements. You should also keep a turtle here in a metal bowl of water. A turtle made of metal is very good in this location.

If your land faces any of the other directions you can have a water feature such as a pond or swimming pool in the northern sector, but keep it in proportion to the land; it shouldn’t be too overwhelming. A swimming pool should be shaped to embrace the house, not curve toward it. Just one water feature is enough as one is the number associated with the north. Make sure that the water is active and that the general flow is toward the house. Blue and black colors and wavy shapes are good. You can also have metal objects here, as previously mentioned. Fire is a friend to water in the supportive cycle so small lights are okay.

You must avoid the earth element, which destroys water in the destructive cycle. Do not have large pots, areas of concrete, stone sculptures, and so on. Wood depletes water in the exhaustive cycle so minimize the number of trees and large plants. Blue flowers are okay. Avoid square and rectangular shaped objects as well as green and earth colors.


The northeast sector affects knowledge luck. If you or your family members are having trouble with study, acquiring knowledge, passing examinations, and so on, you must check the elements in the northeast of your land.

The main element is small earth, so you should have small pots and ceramics, small decorative rocks, crystals, and small stone sculptures. Earth colors and square shapes are good. In the productive cycle, earth is produced by fire so you can have lamps in this sector as well as red-colored and triangular-shaped objects. Earth is supported by water so you can have a small pond or birdbath here. Be very careful not to overdo the amount of water.

In the destructive cycle, earth is destroyed by wood so it is better not to have trees. As with the southwest sector, this is a good place to have a Zen-style garden made primarily of rocks, gravel, and sand. It is better not to have any plants as even small wood can damage small earth. If you must have some plants, then make sure they are low and small, and have red, yellow, or orange flowers.


It is rather curious that health concerns usually come third after wealth and relationships when I do consultations. When people think about it seriously, though, they realize that their health is really the most important. It is also one of the most difficult types of luck to activate. Bad health, once acquired, is very difficult to deal with, so it is doubly important that you protect and enhance the eastern sector of your land. According to Buddhism, the cause of health is nonviolence, particularly not killing even small animals and insects. It is particularly beneficial to save animals from harm by rescuing those that would otherwise be killed.

The main element for the eastern sector is big wood so it very important to have large trees here. Three are enough as that is the number associated with the east. The eastern side corresponds to the dragon hill, if your house faces the recommended southern direction, so it is okay to have big trees on this side of the house. However, if the east is on the right-hand side of your land, you should place large wooden objects instead: wooden sculpture, heavy wooden garden furniture, a gazebo or pergola, wooden barrels with large plants, and so on. Remember that arrow-shaped trees such as cypress and pine are good as long as they do not face the front door. Green colors and rectangular-shaped objects are good. Wood is produced by water, so this is a good place for a large water feature such as a swimming pool or fountain. As in the example on the previous page, make sure that the fountain flows toward the house. If you have a pond or irregular pool, ensure that it embraces the house.

It is good to have an image of a green dragon in the east of your land where it will attract a very positive energy. You can have lots of plants in this sector, particularly ones with blue flowers. Earth is a friend to wood in the supportive cycle so you can have the same earth-element features as I mentioned for the northeast sector. Avoid metal, which destroys wood in the destructive cycle. Also avoid the fire element, which exhausts wood; do not have lamps in this sector.


Wealth luck is influenced by the southeastern sector of the land. It is rare for people to tell me that they have enough wealth, usually we always can do with more. Please remember that wealth has a cause, which is generosity and altruism; you cannot get something for nothing.

The main element of the southeast is small wood; small plants, shrubs and flowers, wooden wind chimes with four or five tubes, and other small wooden objects. The best shape for this sector is the rectangle and the best color is light green. This plant growth in this area should be luxuriant but not overwhelming: a garden but not a jungle. Keep it free of dead leaves and plants. As with the health sector in the east, water is productive here. A small fountain, pond, or pool can be very effective here. Again, it is very good to have a lot of blue flowers in the southeast sector. Small earth-element features are also good. As with the eastern sector, avoid metal, which cuts wood energy, and fire, which exhausts it.


The central sector is associated with support for the whole house, family, or business enterprise. So if you feel that your overall situation is unstable or not progressing as you would like, then you must check the elements here. The main element for the center is earth and the recommendations for the productive, supportive, destructive, and exhaustive elements are the same as for the southwest and the northeast sectors.

Do not have a large empty area in the center of the land. Make sure that the earth element is present, or at least that there are strongly defined square shapes. Five squares are good because five is the number associated with the central sector. Do not have large amounts of the wood element here or you will destroy support luck. Similarly, metal will exhaust it. Bright lamps are good in this sector because they produce earth-element energy. I do not recommend having any water here as it is a fluid, changeable element and may reduce the stability that we are trying to achieve.

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Meet the Author

In 1996 Ven. Jampa Ludrup was an attendant to Ven. Lama Zopa Rinpoche during his tour of Nepal, India, Singapore, and Malaysia. At this time Lama Zopa made his first contact with feng shui Grand Master Yap Cheng Hai and world-renowned expert and prolific author Lillian Too. With Lama Zopa's encouragement, Ven. Jampa made a study of their system of feng shui and after personal experiment he started to give advice and consultations. From 1998 he has been resident at Sera Je Monastic University in South India where he has studied Buddhism as well as serving as English language studies tutor to Ven. Lama Osel Rinpoche from 1998 to 2003. Since 2003 he has been much in demand, and has given feng shui courses and consultancy to many businesses, institutions, and individuals all across the globe. In 2012 he made his tenth world tour. You may contact him at www.jlgeomancy.com.

Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche is the Spiritual Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a worldwide network of Buddhist centers, monasteries, and affiliated projects, including Wisdom Publications. Rinpoche was born in 1946 in the village of Thami in the Solo Khumbu region of Nepal near Mount Everest. His books include Transforming Problems into Happiness, How to Be Happy, and Ultimate Healing. He lives in Aptos, California.

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