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Feng Shui for Apartment Dwellers

Avoid turning your apartment into a vortex of bad energy by practicing the ancient art of Feng Shui.


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There seems to be much internal dissent in the field of Feng Shui these days, and one need only attempt to find a definitive online resource to realize the extent of the feud. There are, by my fuzzy calculations, hundreds of millions of sites dedicated to the proper application of the 5,000 year-old Chinese art/philosophy of (among other things) furniture arranging. And each one, while claiming to be The Authority, also squanders no opportunity to malign every other Feng Shui society, dismissing them as shameless snake-oil salesmen with, at best, a shallow knowledge of the art. Suffice it to say, my task was a daunting one from the very start.

After several hundred leads led nowhere, I began to seriously consider starting my own rival faction, in which I would establish myself as "Master Joe Keohane: Purveyor of Good Ch'i at Even Better Prices." Hell, there's apparently a lot of money to be made here. But alas, it was not to be.

But with unflagging diligence, I finally found what I needed: some resources that pertain directly to plying the art of Feng Shui in your own apartment.

So whether you buy into it or not, read on, and keep in mind that there are literally millions of devotees out there, all of whom claim to have improved their lives by rearranging the furniture in their living spaces.Here then, is the best way to maximize good ch'i (good energy) in your apartment.

Shui What?

Feng Shui (pronounced FUNG-shway) is the 5,000 year-old art of attracting and retaining good ch'i, with the intention of striking the optimum harmony between one and one's environment. This can apply to all areas of human life, from personal relationships, to the ideal placement of graves, to the best way to position a chest of drawers in the bedroom. We, of course, are concerned with the latter.

How to Avoid Turning Your Apartment into a Vortex of Bad Energy

The first thing to do is clear out the clutter. If you can't move smoothly through the apartment, neither can the ch'i. The ch'i will then respond by promptly leaving, and bad ch'i will gladly fill the vacuum, rendering you fraught with corrosive self-doubt and anxiety. So clear the place out, clean it up, and make sure you aren't tripping over furniture. Flow's the word.

On that note, fix any annoyances (leaky faucet, squeaky door, broken toilet). They may seem insignificant, but even minor problems like these can send good ch'i scampering off like a rat from a flaming oil tanker.

When arranging furniture in any room, be sure the entrance to the room is visible from each seat. (Which, incidentally, should be facing east or south). That way, you are always aware of the comings and goings of others, and need not be anxious about whom, or what, is lurking in the doorway behind you. The same holds true for the bedroom. The bed should be positioned so that the supine can easily see whoever is entering. Anxiety and skittishness are hell on good ch'i.

Also, keep the bed away from the window, as ch'i tends to escape through windows. Cover the windows with curtains or blinds to trick the ch'i into staying. You might think the ch'i, which has existed since the dawn of time, would be hip to this stratagem, but apparently it isn't. Also, the head of the bed should face north.

Ch'i likes potted plants -- very, very much.

If you work from home, it's best to separate your workspace from your living space. If you must have your computer in your bedroom, cover it up after use, preferably with a pleasant looking cloth or cover. A computer and the stresses associated with it are like damn ch'i vacuums.

So, in other words, the ch'i wants out, bad. It's up to you to dupe it into staying inside your 100-square-foot apartment. Be accommodating. Keep in mind that the enemy of good ch'i is clutter (be it emotional, physical or metaphysical) and windows. Ch'i is notoriously fickle and flighty, and while readily escaping through closed windows, it usually mistakes solid doors, walls and curtains as things through which it cannot pass. Use this against it. Trap it! Conquer the ch'i. Your inner-tranquility depends on it.

Also of interest: The Space Race, How to Pick and ISP, Home Repairs for Hovel Dwellers, Affordable Furniture, Feng Shui for Apartment Dwellers.

Good ch'i knows better than to come anywhere near Joe Keohane's apartment.

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