October 2007

I had no intention of writing a Part II. But someone makes a big fuss out of “lineage sucks”. So here is Part II…

In Part I, I did not choose a position on whether “lineage rocks” or “lineage sucks”.

In real life, most of us belong to both camps at one time or another– when we learn from more than one teacher, we are on the “lineage sucks” side of the lineage-rocks/ lineage-sucks continuum. When we stick with only one or two teachers, we lean towards the “lineage rocks” side.

I did state that it is hazardous (to your wallet) to “shop” a school based on its lineage claims because it is difficult to prove or disprove the claims.

I have also pointed out the Modius Operandi (M.O., modes of operation) of lineage claims from mainland China.

Like everywhere else, there are real lineages and “not-so-real” lineages in China. However, the “not-so-real” lineage claims from mainland China are easier to detect than the ones from Hong Kong, Taiwan and southeast Asia because of their “unique” approaches in building up a lineage. Here are some red flags or patterns:

title-piling: they are likely to pile PhD, PhD advisor, PhD Post-doc, Professor, Yi-Jing Society Chairman… titles on the same line (you may laugh your head off if you know the how these titles are ranked). These titles are often from non-existent foreign universities or paper-mill OR counterfeit certificates of famous Chinese universities. If the “master” is a real PhD, he is better off chasing the IPO gold-rush in China now than working as a Feng Shui master with low social status.

— elevating an old man as grandmaster of the lineage: If you do some Math, even an 80 years old man was only 22 when the Chinese Communists took over China in 1949! Where did he learn and practice his Feng Shui skills, not to mention that he might be killed during the Cultural Revolution of the ’60s?

— claiming their Feng Shui will work 100% (even God cannot promise that!)

— using famous old tombs and temples to prove their Feng shui work

— claiming only selected few will be accepted as their “in-house students” (but with certain amount, like US$5000, you are automatically chosen without interviewing and seeing you in advance).

Someone is unhappy about my pointing out of this M.O.. He thinks I wrote “lineage sucks” to make myself look better.

This someone has no reason to be unhappy IF his/ her lineage does not match the descriptions above.

I have also received private emails thanking me for this info.

I think consumers will make better decision if given more information.

So, is there any compromise between this lineage-rocks/ lineage-sucks continuum?

If you were an extreme “lineage sucks” person, you will have problem learning the innermost secrets of real lineages. Most masters are no idiots. They will not show you the real thing when they know you are a “bar-hopping” student with little or no loyalty.

If you were an extreme “lineage rocks” person, your vision will be limited by one or two perspectives or schools.

One common alternative is “lineage-hopping” for a while to sample different schools. Then stick with one or two teachers that you have affinity to.

Yes, I know. It is getting darn expensive.

A few young masters of the “lineage sucks” camp use the “Tony Robbins template” to promote their schools. Tony Robbins is the motivational king (speaker) in USA.

These young masters simply substitute Tony’s motivation or NLP stuff with “Feng Shui” for power, relationship and wealth….. Some even imitate Tony’s mannerisms, gestures, vocabularies, website design and even the name of Tony’s “Mastery University”.

With Tony’s template, you don’t need to be a genius to act like one.


Fortunately or unfortunately, these young masters do not copy the fire-walking trick in their syllabus.

When one subscribes to “lineage sucks”, one is less likely to extol his teachers or old masters. He may keep all the glory and goodwill to himself. He may tell people that they can also “be all they can be”, just like him (the genius) by taking his courses and buying his books.

Think and act BIG” is the mantra. Tony Robbins’ M.O. fits this philosophy perfectly.

Amazingly the “Tony Robbin template” seems to work for some young masters. I hope Tony does not read this message or it may “awaken the Feng Shui giant within” him and push his own version of Feng Shui (he probably will call it “associative environmental conditioning”).

Tony has already “invaded” the health and nutrition territories with his motivational talks. Feng Shui may well be the next target.

It does not matter whether lineage rocks or sucks— as long as it works. It still sucks if the lineage is real but the contents do not work. However, it seems difficult to get the “real thing” without joining a real lineage.

“Real thing”, most of the time, refers to the “execution” of a high level FS technique, like where to do your luopan measurement and how to operationalize the “mountains”, “dragons”, “water”…..

Many “lineage-graded” secrets are amazingly simple, but they are the critical links or “buttons” for the whole model or system to work. These “secrets” normally cost big bucks (US$20,000 or more) to buy or nothing (if you have good relationship with your master). One cannot expect to learn these secrets in a US$2- 3000 class.

So, do you need these “secrets”? Not really, unless you want to push the “wealth” envelop to the max. For most practitioners, what you learn from reputable teachers out there should be suffice for common situations.

Now you should be able to decide if “lineage rocks” or “lineage sucks” or simply put, “Is lineage relevant?”

It all boils down to your pocket book– if you just want to be a “general practitioner“, then lineage is not that important. You can learn from a variety of teachers or schools. If you want to be a “specialist“, then lineage becomes important (and expensive!).

Joining a “real” lineage is just the beginning of a long journey. There is no guarantee that you will get the “real thing”. You may also be susceptible to internal lineage politics and the “in-house discipleship” bait that turns you into a slave of the master. But if you are in good luck or have good karma with the lineage, you may get the “real thing” goodies.

I deliberately avoid the question of age or experience here. I guess you can figure it out yourself.

Like any professions, there are good FS masters and not-so-good FS masters— you need to find the good one yourself.

Ken Lai

“Practical Imperial QMDJ” with 9 hr. video
“4-Pillars Bootcamp” with 8 hr. video now available
“Daoist Talisman for FS and Blessing” w/ 13 hr video
“Practical Door FS for wealth” w/ 3 hr. video

The following case is a real Feng Shui war happened in Taiwan. This is taken from a newspaper report.

The office building of a government department looks like the mouth of a tiger. It is called “Tiger Snooping” (老虎探頭 ) formation.

Around 1980, the residents lived across the street of this office had a family member died accidentally. They hired a Feng Shui master to find out the cause.

The master said the government office across the street looks like a tiger opening its mouth to bite potential prey. The mouth pointed at this resident’s (Mr. Wu) house. So accident happen to them.

This family was advised to put two 30 cm long wooden arrows on the external wall facing the government office. Life become peaceful again for many years.

Five years ago, the government promotes energy-efficient designs and put sun-blocking steel mesh around the office building.

Mr. Wu did not feel comfortable with this steel mesh, so he consulted the Feng Shui master again.

The master said the Feng Shui formation becomes “tiger wears armor”. The steel mesh has boosted the power of the tiger mouth.

Mr. Wu replaced the wooden arrows with stainless steel arrows and increase the bow and arrow sets from two to three.

Strange things happened after this Feng Shui battle has started. The wife of the dept. head of this government office and multiple employees were died of accidents or cancer. Low morale and fear rule this government office.

The government office invited Mr. Wu for negotiation and compromise. But so far nothing is done yet.

Ken Lai

“Practical Imperial QMDJ” with 9 hr. video
“4-Pillars Bootcamp” with 8 hr. video now available
“Daoist Talisman for FS and Blessing” w/ 13 hr video
“Practical Door FS for wealth” w/ 3 hr. video


Dear Friend,

Thank you very much for purchasing this video-correspondence course.

The original course plan was much smaller in scale than the current size. You can see the current retail price (US$699 and then $999 in a few months) reflects the amount of work involved and comparable market price of similar products.

There are still quite a few rough edges in the video. It will take forever to ship if I try to correct it all. If the same video is done by professional video company, it will cost US$100- 150k. The street price of each copy will be over US$3000.

The course is not perfect. But I found video is probably better than live-class instruction in that the process is a lot smoother. Same amount of information can be shown in about 1/3 of the time used in live class. So you can learn more efficiently and at your own leisure or pace. Slow learners can also learn easier with video. Combining an online discussion group with a video course may outshine live class instructions.

However, it takes 3- 4 times more time to prepare for video than live class. The danger of piracy and lost revenue are also much higher than live class. The video was made in a 2- 3 month period and you can see I have “aged” through the process.

If after taking the course, you feel that the price tag is too high for something this simple, then I have done my job.

In 2005 when I first taught Imperial QMDJ, a Chinese teacher also announced that he will have a QMDJ class, but it will be six months later. Another Chinese teacher also made a similar announcement, but the course will be available two years later (he will teach it in early 2008).

So you know it takes a master-level Chinese teacher 6 months to 2 years to learn or prepare for QMDJ. Now my course can show you how to use QMDJ in as little as an hour. It takes me a long time to develop this course to make it simple and easy to learn.

This is a “practical” course in that I minimize theory and items that will confuse you rather than helping you to use QMDJ. Specifically, the process of calculating ju numbers, seasons and chart construction is briefly covered. This part still takes 3-months to learn in Taiwan.

You may ask, does this omission hurt your QMDJ applications?

Even assume you have gone through learning all these “nuts and bolts” process (and spent 2- 3 days and US$800- 1200), you STILL need to check the Qi-Men 10k Calendar. If you check the calendar, why not just flip a few more pages to look for the QMDJ chart at the same time?

Yes, you may manually construct the QMDJ chart—it takes 15- 30 minutes and it is very error-prone with over 50 data points!

The worse thing is, after you have paid and learned these theories, you are likely to forget it in less than a month, especially if you don’t use it often enough.

You don’t need to be a mechanic to drive a car. Same logic applies to QMDJ.

Now with course manuals Mini-Qi-Men 10K calendar and 1080 Tables, you can locate a QMDJ chart and make interpretation in one to five minutes. The theory people cannot even figure out the ju # in 5 minutes!

In my 5-days class that covers both theory and usages, I found most students are likely to get frustrated in the theory and calculations parts that killed most of the class time, leaving very little time for practical examples and demonstrations.

This practical video class covers more grounds (except theory) than my 5-days class. It has more graphics and examples. You will be more confident in applying QMDJ after this class.

Even assuming you have learned nothing from this course, you can still use the “Optimized QMDJ charts” as long as you can read 1-2-3!

Finally, thanks again for your patience and feel free to ask questions in the online discussion group. I cannot possibly put everything into the manual and video. If you like the course, please refer it to your friends or write some comments (can be anonymous) for me or in public lists. If you don’t like it, you can use the DVD with my picture as target practice (Sorry, Chinese does not have a refund custom).

Best Wishes!


Ken Lai

“Practical Imperial QMDJ” with 9 hr. video
“4-Pillars Bootcamp” with 8 hr. video now available
“Daoist Talisman for FS and Blessing” w/ 13 hr video
“Practical Door FS for wealth” w/ 3 hr. video

This DVD is menu-driven. All the videos can be activated using only one menu. But you need to click the “up-arrow or down- arrow” to scroll the menu. In order to return to the menu, always exit the video player or PDF reader after you are done reading or viewing.


– Knowledge of “stems and branches” (read the main manual)
– Know how to find the binomial of a date and specific hour (read the main manual or use the 4P Calculator program enclosed)
– Know how to distinguish the 4 cardinal directions (N, S, E, W) and the sub-cardinal directions (NW, SW, NE, SE) using a simple compass
If you have taken Feng Shui class or Bazi (4-Pillars) class before, then you should have no problem with these pre-requisites. If not, simply read the main manual a few times.

1. You should go to the “SUPPORTING FILES AND PROGRAMS” menu page, click on “Chinese For QMDJ: learn how to read and write” entry and print out a copy of the file. It helps you greatly if you can at least recognize the 100 or so Chinese characters used in QMDJ. We also have provided you with an “instant translation ruler” to help you with this task. If you have Feng Shui or 4P background, you already knew the stems/ branches and 24 mountains characters. The most frequently used characters in Imperial QMDJ are less than 35.
2. You read the manual once quickly to get an idea of what QMDJ is about.
3. Watch the “Overview” video.
4. Before you watch any other video segment, always read the related chapter once first.

This DVD contains over 9 hours of compressed video. It is equivalent to 9 DVDs or the equivalent of over 3 days of live class. It has more case materials than the 5-days live QMDJ class.

If you have purchased the “Advanced Case Studies” CD, then you have more case materials than a 5-days live class student!

With this DVD, you can learn QMDJ in a day because there will be no time-killers like interruptions, coffee breaks, lunch breaks or unrelated stupid questions or teacher’s jokes.

With the learning schedules below, everyone can learn at his/ her own pace. People who have Chinese metaphysics background do not need to “learn” what are stems/branches for the 10th time and can jump chapters whereas beginners can learn at his/her own pace without dragging down the advanced students!

You can take as many notes as you want or not take any. You don’t need to choose between taking notes or listening to the teacher. You can also play or replay a chapter until you understand it. You will not miss a thing!

If you have questions, you can send it to the private discussion group for this course.


This schedule is for the super impatient or people who just want to use QMDJ in the shortest possible time. You may take this route first and then try another schedule.
Prerequisites: knowledge of stems and branches, how to calculate the binomials of a date and hour.
* Overview (17:34 min.)
* What are included in this course (11:12 min.)
* Learn QMDJ in 5-minutes? (26:50 min.)
* How to read QMDJ charts (52:07 min.)

This schedule is for people who just want to use QMDJ in the shortest possible time but with more background knowledge.
Prerequisites: knowledge of stems and branches, how to calculate the binomials of a date and hour.
* Overview (17:34 min.)
* What are included in this course (11:12 min.)
* Learn QMDJ in 5-minutes? (26:50 min.)
* Ch. 2: Basic & related concepts (20:42 min.)
* Ch. 6: Ba-Men (8-Gates) (15:31 min)
* Putting all dimensions together (32:51 min.)
* How to read QMDJ charts (52:07 min.)
* Restricted Manual: Ch.1 to 3 (30:54 min.)
* Restricted Manual: Ch.4 (17:55 min.)
* FAQ1 (39:18 min.)
* FAQ2 (39:00 min.)

This schedule is for people who want to learn QMDJ from the very beginning. Simply follow the order listed in the DVD menu for this schedule.
Prerequisites: knowledge of stems and branches, how to calculate the binomials of a date and hour (study main manual before watching video).

Ken Lai

“Practical Imperial QMDJ” with 9 hr. video
“4-Pillars Bootcamp” with 8 hr. video now available
“Daoist Talisman for FS and Blessing” w/ 13 hr video
“Practical Door FS for wealth” w/ 3 hr. video

The Chinese character for “exorcism” is voted as the “hardest Chinese ever” by a website.


This character has 60 strokes with 11 “components” (prefixes and suffixes). Here is a break down of these components:

sun : stands for yang
moon: stands for yin
rope: stands for relationship, tangling, connected
speech/word: stands for communication
stem: stands for weapon, conflict, fight
senior/ length: power, elder, authority
horse: action, speed
spear: stands for weapon, conflict, fight
heart: motivation, mental, belief

When rope + word + rope + heart come together, it means clinging, relationship and/or love.

When stem + spear come together, it means conflict and war.

With all these components, you can have a mental picture of yin-yang clashes involving mental images and conflict.

According to Chinese experts, there are 60,000- 80,000 individual Chinese characters. Most are rarely used in daily life. One needs to master 3000 common Chinese characters to have the literacy of a Chinese high school graduate.

Many characters used in Daoist talismans are similar to the “exorcism” word above. For example, the word that means “the death of a ghost” has the power of driving ghost away if it is written according to Daoist rituals and activation. So the “exorcism” word above is likely be usable as a talisman if properly activated by a Daoist priest.

Ken Lai

“4-Pillars Bootcamp” with 8 hr. video now available
“Daoist Talisman for FS and Blessing” w/ 13 hr video
“Practical Door FS for wealth” w/ 3 hr. video

In late 1990’s, a young entrepreneur had teamed up with a well-known old master to form a Feng Shui school. The young man had picked the biggest asset of the partnership– lineage and experience to promote the school.

At that time, almost every graduate of that school would point out “lineage rocks!”

The young man had marketed this “lineage” thing so well that his competitions had to somehow coming up with lineage of some sort to stay competitive.

So suddenly, some Feng Shui teachers come up with their lineage overnight– you have dim-sum teahouse lineage, window-watching lineage and other off-the-shelve lineages.

“No lineage left behind”– almost everyone got one at that time.

Around 2003, something strange had happened. The young man no longer sang “lineage rocks”. His partnership with the old master had dissolved.

He can no longer piggyback on the old master’s 50+ years experience or lineage. Now he hopes people will forget his old preaching about “lineage and experience”.

So he preaches “lineage sucks” and pushes the “genius” card. His metaphysics knowledge is somehow “born” with him or fallen from sky to him. He rarely mentions where he got his knowledge from.

Lately there are new competitions coming from mainland China vying for a piece of the English-speaking Feng Shui market. These “newcomers” are likely dressed up with advanced degrees and titles like PhD, professor, chairman of obscure Yi-Jing club and the like and of course, a well-written up “lineage”.

When they market themselves inside China, their PhD will be likely from fake or paper-mill universities from the west. When marketing outside China, their Phd will be likely from prestigious Chinese Universities (you can get a fake PhD certificate with prestige Chinese university imprinted for around RMB$400 or US$50 in China).

So the relevance or irrelevance of “lineage’ pops up again.

One’s position is pretty much based on party line– people who think they have “real lineage” are likely to say lineage rocks. Those who have no lineage are likely to say lineage sucks.

Hey Ken, what is your position on lineage?

Well, I have quite a few lineages on my belt though I do not emphasize them.

It is difficult even for the Chinese to prove or disprove most lineage claims. The problem is that after someone had said or written about certain existent or non-existent “lineage” frequent enough (like 10 times), people begin to believe the lineage is real.

I treat lineage like SAT scores– just for reference only and will not pay for it solely based on lineage claims.

You need to observe the school or master yourself to see if s/he is credible or not. A simple rule of thumb is that if someone is very flashy and loaded with titles– the probability that the guy is a fake is pretty high.

Well, don’t dump your lineage yet (if you got any), as it may be fashionable again to have a lineage.

Ken Lai

“4P Bootcamp” with 8 hr. video now available
“Daoist Talisman for FS and Blessing” w/ 13 hr video
“Practical Door FS for wealth” w/ 3 hr. video
http://kenlaifengshui.blogspot. com/ MY BLOG SITE

Earlier this year, I went to Houston to do a site-selection for a client.

The clients want to buy a property for retirement. We had checked five to six farm properties.

One of the farms gave us deep impression. Here is the summary of the farm:
— a 10 acres fruit farm with positive cash flow (big attraction)
— relatively new buildings
— we can feel the house has warm and happy memories (yes, clients and me can feel “qi“)

BUT, the main building is almost next to the neighbor. The fence separating the property line is only a few feet from the left side of the house. All the fruit trees and land are at the right or tiger side of the house.

So the dragon side is almost not there!

There is a 400 feet long dirt road pointing straight at the front door of the house. This is a heart-piercing sha or “road-clash” (lu-chong). Someone may die or suffer serious injury with this type of form sha (negative energy). It usually happens within 3- 6 years after moving-in.

We all like the house except the dragon problem. The “road-clash” sha is easy to fix, just re-route the dirt road to encircle the house and transform it into an “embracing water” (good for wealth).

However, the missing dragon is hard to fix. Client talked about moving the whole building (2 storeys, about 5000 sq. feet area) a few hundred meters from the original foundation.

This is an expensive proposition!

Upon further investigation into the history of the house, the real estate agent told us that the original male owner died after moved into the house for about 3 years. The family was a happy family.

When we left the farm, both my client and the real estate agent saw a ghostly male image on a second floor window gazing at us.

Property like this one can be audited without using a luopan. By looking at the form you can tell that the males of the house are weak, having no power, does not like to stay home, family members are isolated or hard to get “helpful people” or mentor (instead, running into mean people), strong/ successful (may be bossy) females and high incidence of widowhood.

There is a formula to calculate when misfortune happens and who will suffer with T-junctions or road-clash (taught in my “Advanced Form Feng Shui” class).

There is similar situation in our bedroom FS– tiger side or dragon side of the bed is too big or too narrow. The effects are taught at my “Sha Avoidance Feng Shui” (don’t worry, no one will die).

We can learn a lot from the tiger.

Ken Lai

“4P Bootcamp” with 8 hr. video now available
“Daoist Talisman for FS and Blessing” w/ 13 hr video
“Practical Door FS for wealth” w/ 3 hr. video
http://kenlaifengshui.blogspot. com/ MY BLOG SITE

“Cat murderer? You mean …”

No, it is not what you think. It is a real cat murder case.”

“How do 4P has something to do with it?”

Well, at least the cat will not die in vain. Here is a news report from a Hong Kong Chinese newspaper:


The report is in Chinese, here is the heading and summary:

“Cook got a 3-week jail sentence for sadistic killing of a kitten”

“A school cook had thrown a 10-week old kitten to the ground thrice, causing the blood-vomiting death of the cat. He was sentenced to jail for 21 days and HK$5000 fine (US$650).”

I do not want to bombard you with minor details, here are the data that we are interested if you want to find something related to 4-Pillars and date-selection.

1. The cat-murderer is 50 years old.
2. He is a cook.
3. The “murder” happened in April 14, 2007

The followings are 4P deductions from above info:

The killer is 50, so he was born in 1957
* ding-you year pillar

The killer is a cook, so he either
* has a lot of fire in his 4P,
* or fire is his favorable element
* or fire is his unfavorable element

The 4P chart of the day when the cat was killed:

Year: ding-hai
Month: jia-chen
Day: wu-yin
Hour: don’t know

The cook killed a cat in a strong tiger day!

Since the cat (yin-wood or tiger) got him into legal trouble (guan-sha or power), so we may deduce the killer is likely to be a weak earth day-master.

Weak earth likes fire, so he becomes a cook.

Wood (yin-tiger) is unfavorable to weak earth DM. Wood is the guan-sha of an earth DM. It creates health and/or legal problems to a weak DM.

“So what do you learn from this case? Grasshopper?”

“If you want to stay out of jail, do not kill a horse in horse-day, a cat in tiger-day, a rooster in rooster day, a mouse in rat-day, a dog in dog-day, an ox in ox-day, ……”

Ain’t our governments glad that there is no “human-day” or they cannot hang, shoot, electrocute, or lethal-inject their citizens in “human day”?

You can have so much fun with 4-Pillars, especially if you get my “4P Boot-camp” homestudy video course.

Ken Lai

“4P Bootcamp” with 8 hr. video now available
“Daoist Talisman for FS and Blessing” w/ 13 hr video
“Practical Door FS for wealth” w/ 3 hr. video
http://kenlaifengshui.blogspot. com/ MY BLOG SITE