Note: The following was written around 2002- 2003.

If the descriptions here match someone you know, it is unintentional and please accept my apology.

The Feng Shui training industry is getting more competitive as new teachers join the fray, offering more “secrets” and lower fees.

Competition is good for consumers. This will hopefully eliminate sub-standard and inadequate teachers and overcharges.

More Feng Shui knowledge for the buck- the day of charging US$2-900 per day of training probably won’t last long, as more “teachers” are chasing the shrinking Feng Shui pie.

As competition gets intense, so is back-stabbing among teachers, or “masters” (their preferred title). Masters are also human beings. Feng Shui training is a business, just like any other business.

These “masters” will get creative in their marketing by making myths about themselves.

The followings are common tricks used by con-artists in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. I list it here for reference only.

1. Claiming lineage with a famous Feng Shui or 4P master, who was deceased– for example, my last name is Lai, and there was a famous Feng Shui Master by the name of Po Yi Lai (960 AD), then I can claim myself as the 30th generation descendent of Master Lai and has inherited tons of top secret handwritten manuscripts.

What happens if my last name does not match any great masters’? No sweat, damn easy to fix.

2. Claiming my si-fu (teacher) is the “Nth” generation “in-house” student of Master XYZ. This works well most of the time.

How about someone with a big ego and claiming he has learned Feng Shui by himself (bookworm)? There are a few ways to handle it:

3a. I found a top secret “lost manuscript” in a used bookstore. It will change the world.
3b. I ran into an old man or helped an old man, he gave me a never been published Feng Shui manuscript to me before his death. You’ll kick asses with that manuscript.

All these claims are hard to prove or disprove. So I would suggest people to ignore all these lineage and “secret manuscript” claims in choosing your Feng Shui teacher. Also check if you will be taught by the “master” himself/ herself or by his/her students working for peanuts, but still charging you big bucks.

Another important criterion in choosing a Feng Shui teacher is, especially for advanced levels, does the guy read classical Chinese? If he cannot, he just relies on translated Feng Shui materials just like you. A Bible scholar cannot be a real Bible scholar without knowing Hebrew. A Chinese Feng Shui teacher not knowing Chinese is OK for beginner level Feng Shui classes, but not the advanced levels.

Ken Lai