academic Feng Shui

In 2011, I wrote about the 1000+ years mystery of “middle-heaven bagua” that is supposedly the human level of bagua.

A German reader wrote me about this middle-heaven bagua.  But I have a policy of not answering emails from people that I do not know (except placing course orders).  But he is so persistent, so I post his questions here for anyone interested to answer.  Other than correcting some minor misspellings, the following is taken verbatim from his email.

Dear Master Lai,

I am a private researcher of yjing the last 20 years. Because of studying a variety of books with contrary views and theories – I am lost and frustrated over the years.

When I read your blog and statements on the web, I got the impression, that you really have the fundamental plain true basics.

I would be pleased and thankful  for your help.

My main questions are:

1.  Is the houtian superpositioned on the xiantian bagua or the other way round to generate the 64 hexagrams?

2. How come the sixiang into being ? Through the middle line of a trigram, combined from earlier and later bagua, or through luoshu / hetu number grid.  Is sixiang a combination from both arrangements? You spoke of a middle gua?! Or is sixiang build from the other /uppermost bagua?

Does young yang stand in the east with lower line yin and upper yang or is it the other way round. Same for young yin in the west?

3. How does the nine palaces (eight houses) are connected in generating the 64 hexagrams?

I would be so happy to get your reply and support.

Best regards from Germany,


PS:  Ken’s comment:  These are profound questions good enough for a few PhD dissertations.

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Disclaimer: Ken Lai is neither a lineage-hugger nor a “no-lineage independent”.  He is a “whatever works” opportunist regardless of the origin.

A common criticism of the lineage system is the practice of “keeping a hand” (留一手  liú yī shǒu; witholding some secrets) by the Sifu (teacher) from his disciples.  This practice is probably as popular if not more common today than ancient times.

In the old days, choosing an “indoor student” was like picking a life-long partner. The master checked everything and especially the moral character of the potential student.  The student will serve the master  from cleaning his toilet to carry his luopan for many years before getting some “real knowledge”.   Today, this type of fellowship is replaced by commodity economy — paying a huge sum of money to the master.  There are cases of “guaranteed indoorship” without even looking at the incoming student provided US$5000 or more is paid.  It is like selling a franchise to the student who will in turn market the same thing as soon as he “graduates”.  The master has more incentive to “keep a hand” to maintain his “upperhand”  because people are more materialistic than those in the old days.

Some critics frequently use a simple math formula to discredit the lineage system.  The logic is simple:  if every generation keeps 10% secrets from the next generation, a lineage will have nothing left after 10 to 12 generations.

This argument is mathematically and even logically sound.  It is an example of simplistic or deceptive reasoning using numbers.  It assumes:

1.  the lineage’s knowledge-base does not grow over generations
2.  “keeping a hand” always happens, even between father and son situation
3.  the junior generation will always be satisfied with whatever craps that previous generation gave them
4.  the junior generation will not THINK and develop their own solution when critical info is witheld

If you do not believe my arguments, just look at how many different “varieties” of Flying Star Feng Shui out there— at least 10+ with variations from funny ways of flying the stars, counting yang-yin, tai-ji, periods to mixing concepts with other schools.  Most come with their own re-interpretations of Feng Shui classics like the “Green Satchel Classic“.   All claim to be “authentic”. Same scenario with Bazhai Feng Shui.

Therefore, this “keeping a hand” practice actually simulates creativity and explorations instead of killing or diluting the lineage system.  People are always curious and trying to “figure out” if something are missing or witheld. Whether the end results are positive or negative will be another long discussion.  Everything comes in a package of both good and not so good.

Ken Lai

“Practical Date-Selection Methods (incl. XKDG) w/ 12 hr. video
“Practical Imperial Qi-men-Dun-Jia” w/ 10 hr. video
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“Practical Door Feng Shui for Wealth” w/ 3 hr. video
“4-Pillars Forecasting Bootcamp” with 12 hr. video

Is it possible for someone to be a Feng Shui genius AND Feng Shui idiot at the same time?

A case in point would be Nina Wang’s $13 billion estate legal case in Hong Kong.

Tony Chan, Nina Wang’s “secret lover”, claims that Nina had paid him US$30M in cash and eventually willed her whole estate to him because of “love”.

Nina’s original heir, Chinachem Charity foundation claims that Nina paid US$30M to Tony for his “Feng Shui services” and NOT out of “love”.

Each side of the litigating party has found their own “expert Feng Shui witness” to testify about the “prowness” or “lack of prowness” of Tony Chan’s Feng Shui knowledge.

Tony Chan has hired the world famous traditional/ classical Feng Shui master Mr. YYZ. Based on Tony’s Feng Shui practices of burning real paper money, digging of “Feng Shui holes“, burying of ritualistic objects and Tony’s secret Feng Shui manuscript, MR. YYZ concludes that Tony is “a Feng Shui master who does not know Feng Shui”.

This conclusion is exactly what Tony’s lawyer wants— that Tony Chan does not know much about Feng Shui and hence, it is his charm or Nina’s love that the latter willed her estate to Tony.

Incidentially, Mr. YYZ is also the co-author of “The complete idiot guide to Feng Shui” book.

Chinachem Charity has solicited the service of a Daoist Feng Shui master Mr. Szeto. 80% of the Macau casino Feng Shui jobs were done by him. He also hosts a few occult and supernatural cable TV shows in Hong Kong. So Mr. Szeto has the “home field advantage” and name-recognition here.

Mr. Szeto did not talk low about Tony Chan’s Feng Shui practices. Instead, he explains the hidden meanings and rationale of each ritual objects used by Tony. Obviously, Tony does not do traditional but ritualistic Feng Shui.

Mr. Szeto has stopped short of saying Tony is a Feng Shui genius. After all, who in Feng Shui history has made more money than Tony Chan? Even Mr. Szeto has made a lot less than him!

So, did these two Feng Shui expert witnesses tell the truth?

In my opinion, both did tell the truth BASED on their own special perspective or bias. A traditional-trained Feng Shui master will definitely testify that someone who practice ritualistic Feng Shui is NOT real (or traditional) Feng Shui. It is just weird that Tony Chan’s lawyers had hired a traditional Feng Shui master instead of a ritualistic one.

This case illustrates the diversity of Feng Shui practices and problems in defining what is “real Feng Shui”. I think the business of “expert Feng Shui witness” will be a short-lived one.

Ken Lai

“Practical Date-Selection Methods (incl. XKDG)” w/ 12 hr. video
“Practical Imperial Qi-men-Dun-Jia” w/ 10 hr. video
“Daoist Talismans for Feng Shui & Blessing” v.2 w/ 24 hr video
“Practical Door Feng Shui for Wealth” w/ 3 hr. video
“4-Pillars Forecasting Bootcamp” with 12 hr. video

There is a Feng Shui war going on between the “netizens” of China and South Korea on the worldwide web.

Here is the Chinese link with English text (page-down to see the English)

The message accuses South Korea trying to hijack “Feng Shui” as its own “Intangible Cultural Heritage” (ICH, of UNESCO). At the beginning of the message, the writer claims that South Korea had already “stolen” China’s “Dragon Boat Festival” as its own ICH from UNESCO.

However, when I search UNESCO website, I could not find proof of the “Dragon Boat” claim.

Anyway, regardless of the authenticity of the message, it provokes the indignation of other netizens. They run a “poll” to ask members to “vote” for the country which they think “Feng Shui” should belong to. Then they will send the result to UNESCO to “counter” South Korea’s claim.

The irony is that the Chinese government (PRC) considers Feng Shui superstitution and does not really care. Chinese Feng Shui enthusiasts are very unhappy about the “news”.

The original message may even be a hoax too.

Incidentally, the 8-mansion Feng Shui system (Bazhai) was originally written for the Koreans! The legend was: During the Tang Dynasty (618- 906 AD), a Korean King, seeing the prosperous Tang empire, had requested China to teach his scholars Feng Shui. Tang emperor did not want his neighbor become powerful using Feng Shui. He had summoned Monk Yi-xing (一行僧)to write up a Feng Shui system that works sometimes but not all the time– hence the birth of 8-Mansion system. Problem was, the system is so good and appealing, it was re-exported back to China!

In practical uses, 8-Mansion system has its strength and weakness. It also takes longer to have effect than Flying Star system.

Ken Lai

“Practical Imperial Qi-men-Dun-Jia” w/ 10 hr. video
“Daoist Talismans for Feng Shui & Blessing” w/ 12 hr video
“Practical Door Feng Shui for Wealth” w/ 3 hr. video
“4-Pillars Forecasting Bootcamp” with 12 hr. video
http://kenlaifengshui.blogspot. com/ My Blog site

Note:  The following blog was written on Sept. 10, 2005

Last week I drove my 16-years old son to the
University of Minnesota to register for classes there.
The state pays for his tuition fee and even books
(except parking fee, which is almost US$400 per
month!) But I have saved US$15,000, so I cannot

U. of Minnesota is a huge university with 800,00
students. I had taught at the same university during
the late 70's and throughout 80's. So it stirred up
old memories when strolling around the campus with my

"Hey Ken! Are you trying to sell another FS course,
something like academic FS?"

Not a bad idea! Academic FS class should sell like
hotcakes in Asia. People there will sacrifice
anything to get their kids into good schools.

"Do you use any FS trick to get your kids doing well
in school?"

No, other than fixing 5-yellow and 2-black and some
common sha, I do nothing FS-wise to enhance academic
luck. I do not tutor them nor tell them to study.
They do it on their own. They all turn on the TV, log
into internet, doing IM and do homework at the same
time. I got two A+ kids and one B- kid. The one with
low grade is the smartest one.

"Ken, why don't you max out their grades using FS

There are some FS techniques that can raise the
academic performance of your kids somehow. Using
Qi-Men-Dun-Jia to boost exam-luck probably is the
easiest to do (and without beating up your kid).
Qi-Men-Dun-Jia works best when your kid is in-between
the borderline of passing or failing.

But I have not used any FS techniques on my own kids--
why monkey around with FS when things work out OK?
Let nature take its course as much as possible.

But I have tested some FS techniques on myself (yes,
sacrifice myself to humanity :.)). I now sit on a
specific palace of my house and it makes me write like
a machine. Because of the possibility of physical
sickness if not done right, I do not disclose the
method here.

However, I think 4P has more influence on academic
performance than FS, especially for people of lower
socio-economic status. Some kids are born like
reading, some don't want to touch a book. Parents
with the means can force their kids with tutors and
incentives to study. For poor kids, they are either
born to study on their own or will not study-- we are
talking about 4P or even heredity here.

Have a good day!

Ken Lai

Note: The following blog was written on April 22, 2005

I've received the following spam email and have lots
of fun with it. So I hope it will start your day with
some laughs.

All the names have been changed except the guilty one
(Ken). I've make some comments in the text. I do not
dispute or endorse the FS method discussed in the

However, we can learn a lot from this spam as it
covers lots of classic marketing skills, applicable to
other fields besides FS.




Dear Ken,

That's right - you can earn a million dollars! You
won't have to leave your house or apartment. You
don't even have to make a phone call. All you need to
do is rearrange your furniture. Clean a special area
of your kitchen. Or hang a mirror on the correct
wall. It's easy - once you know the secret!

Yes, Ken! Feng Shui Master XXX, wants to reveal to
you an ancient Chinese secret that will show you how
to turn your home into a powerful magnet for wealth
and good fortune.

XXX's rags-to-riches story is so incredible, I
simply have to let him tell it to you directly, in his
own words.

First, I want to thank (spammer's name) for
giving me this chance to speak to you.

My name is XXX. I was born to a poor family in
China in 1935, and began my education with the very
selective XXX FENG SHUI School of Buddhist monks when
I was a child of eight. There I was taught the
closely guarded secrets of FENG SHUI that can provide
the "3 Great Blessings" of Health, Happiness and
Prosperity to those who understand its mysteries.
(Ken: GM Lin should be flattered by this sincere

Years later, after we'd escaped the Communist
regime in China, I used the wisdom I had attained as a
master of FENG SHUI to help my parents make a fortune!

Knowing that I had given riches and security to
my parents filled me with pride. Despite my
schooling, I am a devout Christian and I vowed that I
would use my mastery of FENG SHUI not for my own
profit, but to help other people like you, Ken - good,
honest people who struggle every day to make ends

To me, FENG SHUI was the key to making the
American dream come true - the promise that anyone,
with enough luck and the right help, can become
magnificently wealthy!
(Ken: this is a real pro! He knows we need money and enough

Successful businessmen around the world have
already cashed in on this ancient miracle of wealth
and power. Major magazines and newspapers have
reported how Michael Ovitz and Donald Trump, two of
America's most dynamic tycoons, have consulted
traditional masters of this powerful art to help
design and bless their offices. It is said you can
see its principles in the design of the Trump Tower!
(Ken: Donald Trump has filed bankruptcy a few months
ago. Fortunately, he did not admit using FS in his
book "How to Get Rich¡¨, so his problems has nothing
to do with FS.)

Citibank, Chase Asia, PaineWebber, the Asian Wall
Street Journal
-- all respected, conservative
financial institutions -- as well as the firm of
renowned architect I.M. Pei are a few of the more
prominent businesses that have paid thousands of
dollars to have this secret of gaining and preserving
their staggering fortunes. But YOU don't have to!
(Ken: This is great copy-writing¡ no need to pay big
bucks to use FS! I'd have save tons of tuition fees if
I've bought this guide years ago.)

I want YOU to use the power of FENG SHUI
to attract money, good luck and happiness.
I'm going to give you the key to a new life of
luxury and freedom, because I think that anyone who
wants to be rich should have a chance to make that
dream come true. That's why I've put all of these
remarkable secrets into one clear and simple guide
I've called
(Ken: Master XXX must be inspired by instant noodles)

Here's what FENG SHUI did for one client of mine,
J.G. of Oakland, CA:
"I had a table and a mirror in my front hallway.
According to you, it was blocking the flow of positive
energy into my home. I moved the table and changed
the mirror to the other wall. Two days later I got a
call from a lawyer. A distant relative I had never
heard of had just died. He left me $500,000.00 in his
will. How's that for positive energy!?"
(Ken: President Bush probably will ban this guide or
our relatives will die like flies.)

FENG SHUI could work for you as it did for J.G.
and hundreds of my clients. And you won't have to
spend years learning mystical secrets like I did. You
won't have to pay the outrageous fees that
millionaires pay to other FENG SHUI masters.
(Ken: Again, this is very convincing. FS masters will
be out of business.)

I'm offering all the secrets of Asia's most
closely guarded mystery at an amazingly low price
because I want to see good people like you -
hard-working citizens - enjoy the fun and freedom of
being incredibly rich!
(Ken: Hope it is also for hardly-working folks like me

These are some of the amazing discoveries you'll
find in my secret guide, FENG SHUI: xxx INSTANT WEALTH

What your front door opens up to - how it can bring in
good luck.

The arrangement of furniture in your living room -
creates a whirlwind of positive energy that delivers
money through telephone or mail.
(Ken: This is a new invention¡ wealth through phone
and mail.... is it phone sex?)

That special part of your kitchen - clean it once a
day and increase your chances of winning the lottery.
(Ken: Smart copy-writing; just increase your chance,
no guarantee)

The ceiling in your bedroom - it can energize your sex
life, attracting rich lovers.
(Ken: Wow! Great sex and money, who can refuse this

The direction of your bed - allows dreams to reveal
lucky numbers.
(Ken: Also works on dreams!)

Do you have a mirror? I'll tell you exactly
where to hang it so it turns your home into a beacon
of light that attracts money energy. I'm sure you
love the sound of wind chimes. So do the prosperity
spirits you'll draw to your home. I'll show you how
to hang your chimes and create the special music that
brings the sound of money into your life!
(Ken: I think it is more to Master xxx's life.)

There's one special corner in your living room.
Put a red object there and your money doubles within
two weeks! That's right - DOUBLES! Find out where
that corner is in my secret guide, FENG SHUI: xxx
(Ken: I make sure my wife will not sit there or my
pain will be doubled.)

Did you know that a small aquarium, if placed
correctly, cleans your room of all negative energy?
Or that a plant, growing in the right spot, makes that
area a fertile ground for spirits of abundance? With
FENG SHUI, these spirits establish themselves in your
home and become powerful money-making forces!
(Ken: I don't know spirits like fertilizers)

I'm saving the best for last. Here's an amazing

there for 10 minutes a day and you'll be able to
predict winning lottery numbers, sports teams and
(Ken: The pot gets sweeter and sweeter, winning lotto,
sports and stock!)

I'll show you how to find your home's MAGNETIC
MONEY POWER POINT in your secret guide FENG SHUI: XXX

So many of my overjoyed clients have sent me
letters telling me how they have benefited from the
power of FENG SHUI to attract money. It is my most
sincere wish that you too could someday send me a
letter like this:
"I set up the mirrors, fans and plants like you said.
I'd been unemployed and was down to the end of my
savings. I sat down in the MAGNETIC MONEY POWER POINT
and waited for a miracle. Five different people
called in the next hour, all asking for the same wrong
number. I played the number five plus that 'wrong'
number in the lottery, and guess what? I won 3
million dollars!"
(Ken: From now on, I won't swear at my wrong number

Good luck, incredible fortune and astonishing
amounts of money are out there. Direct them into your
home, work space and bank account with FENG SHUI!
(Ken: I'm drooling. Stop the BS and give me the

I've mentioned there's a MAGNETIC MONEY POWER POINT in
every home -- including yours! -- where money forces
converge and cross-energize. I want to make sure that
you know how to find this spot with one quick glance.
Along with your Feng Shui secret guide, I'll send you
a great gift - a visual diagram that reveals exactly
which part of your home is your MAGNETIC MONEY POWER
POINT. This diagram is called the Ba-gua. It's
beautifully printed in two colors. Use your Ba-gua to
find the exact location of your MAGNETIC MONEY POWER
POINT, then follow the instructions in your secret
guide to absorb that energy and become a money-making
(Ken: Me becoming a money-making magnet and you spend
my money?)

Yes, I'm completely certain FENG SHUI will turn
your home into a powerhouse of good fortune and help
you become a multi-millionaire. I'll back that claim
with an absolute guarantee. Order FENG SHUI: XXX
INSTANT WEALTH totally at my risk. I'll give you as
much time as you need to read it, follow the simple
instructions and make a million dollars.

This is your chance to become a member of the
FENG SHUI Millionaires Club.

You have nothing to lose, Ken. It's that simple.
Nothing to lose and millions to gain. And because
you are a friend of (Spammer name), I would be
delighted to offer you this invaluable guide for only
$9.95. That is 60 percent off the regular price,
which comes to a savings of over $15.00 for you
(Ken: Master XXX, please aim higher. This great
copy-writing deserves more than 10 bucks!)

and then, if you haven't made ONE MILLION DOLLARS
during your lifetime -- or if at any time, for any
reason, you are not completely satisfied -- just
return your secret guide and I'll immediately send you
a complete refund, including the shipping and handling
charge,...with no explanation necessary.
(Ken: This part is great! He does not lie at all.
Assuming an average American works 40 years for his
life time and makes as little as $25000 a year, he
will make his million.)

So you see, you don't have to take any chances to
begin a life filled with riches and good fortune! All
you have to do to get started is click the button

Don't let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
slip by. Accept your Invitation to the FENG SHUI
Millionaires Club today!
(Ken: Cool, putting FSM next to my name on my biz card


Just click the button below and order FENG SHUI: XXX
INSTANT WEALTH, and you will receive as your second
FREE gift, your certificate for membership in the FENG

(Ken: Standard procedure for offer like this, offer
numerous "premium¨ to close the deal, but this is a
flimsy premium, Master XXX should offer something like
"how to grow your anatomy or boobs to any size you
want" etc. )

Ken: FS can't help you much in getting rich--- it is
your 4P that counts most! To learn more, go to "4P
Bootcamp" :.))

Ken Lai

Note:  The original blog was written on June 14, 2006

My "Daoist Talisman for FS and Blessing" class was
held in Mexico City last weekend. The date has
clashed the Mexican National Soccer Team's World Cup
appearance in Munich.

Soccer is the national religion of Mexico, even their
on-going presidential election has to avoid clashing
these soccer match dates.

Then I've some "concerned" or "worry-some" individuals
on different lists expressing some "nice" and "not so
nice" comments about me and the class.

I thank all of these concerned people--- my class is a
sold out and have to add another class in September or

To alleviate the fear sown intentionally or
unintentionally by some "concerned" individuals, I've
taught the class two non-daoist techniques of
cleansing and securing a building and also setting up
protection shield for the practitioner. These
techniques are also applicable for FS audits.

We have done a class meditation. Two psychics in the
class can "see" Daoist and Buddhist deities in the
classroom filled with golden light.

But this class is not about religion or focus on just
one religion. It is more than just doodling. It is
about building up strong will-power, sincerity, good
intention and living a righteous life-- if you want
your talismans to be powerful.

I've stressed that Daoist talisman is only ONE of the
ways to draw talismans and there are over 5+ different
Daoist schools that have different ways of drawing.
If anyone claims his way is the best way or only way
to draw, the person is a nut.

In fact, there are more similarities than differences
when comparing Eastern and Western ways of drawing
talisman. Both involving pretty much the same
processes... purification of materilas, meditate,
invocation of deities or natural power, charging or

Students are required to design and draw a talisman to
get the class certificate.

Even to my surprise, this class has generated the most
laughs compare to ALL of my classes. It is rare to
see a class laughs at least one third of the time.

But I guess just the Feng Shui section on how to
handle Grand Duke alone worths the price of the

The next Talisman class will be in Mexico City again
(in English and Spanish) and then in Poland (Wroclaw,
in English and Polish).

Ken Lai