We Gather Together
Now that autumn has arrived and winter is just around the corner, it is time to turn our attention to making our indoor spaces as comfortable and inviting as possible. Feng shui teaches that the more time one spends in a place, the more influence it has on your life.
The bedroom is the place where most folks spend more time at home than anywhere else, making it the most important room from this point of view. The bedroom is the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning.
Past articles in this publication have given tips on how to maximize the good energy in one’s bedroom, so consult those articles online if you missed them or need a refresher. Let’s look at another well used room in the home, the one where many of us spend more of our waking hours than any other. Whether it’s a living room, family room, great room or den, the room where the family gathers is the heart of the home.
These rooms reflect the finances, status and careers of householders. They draw helpful guests, friends and relatives into the house. They collect the energy of/for the entire family, and these rooms should feel active and secure.
It is desirable that the main living room be on the same level as the entryway and easily available from it, not down a long hallway. It should be easily accessible from the entranceway so that the comfort of home greets residents and guests as they arrive.
Feng shui would dictate that it be separate from other rooms with visible partitions. Open floor plans were not popular in ancient China. As is common in most cultures, feng shui values having walls for backing up seating areas for support.
A maxim in the old West was to “Keep your back to the wall and your eye on the door”. It always feels more secure to be able to see what is coming. While it is desirable that the room be well lit by day and by night with no dark corners or areas, a wall of windows is seen as a negative circumstance.
Too many windows allow chi to disperse. If there are many windows in a row, one can use plants or feng shui crystals to circulate the chi back into the room rather than letting it dissipate. Windows or doors in the left back corner (as seen from the doorway) are especially problematic as this is the area of the room having to do with abundance and wealth. None of us want this energy to be allowed to ebb.
In addition to minimizing leaks of chi from too many windows or doors, it is good to be aware of physical leaks of air as well. Make sure that windows and doors seal properly. It is also good to have tight fireplace doors or at least a good damper to eliminate updrafts and chi leaks. Cleaning the chimney of a home should also be part of regular maintenance schedule.
Seating areas should be oriented to facilitate conversation. Seating lined up to face a television or a view makes interaction between people difficult. It is also desirable that seating areas not have exposed beams overhead.
Sitting under a beam exposes the sitter to heaviness and downward pressure from overhead. Some people are particularly sensitive to this and will be very uncomfortable. Beams also define boundaries and may lead to people feeling separated from each other. If the room also serves as a passageway between rooms, try to have seating areas arranged away from that path.
It is best if the main seating area is not located directly across from the doorway into the room. Chi flowing in through the door will bombard those sitting in its pathway. That said, it is desirable that the seat(s) where the householder(s) usually sit have a good view of the door (as well as the previously mentioned wall for support to the rear) in order to be able to see what is entering and be in a secure position.
Now is the time to take a good look at the arrangement of your gathering room(s) to make sure they provide the welcome and comfort you want for your family and guests in the months ahead, a time of the year when we spend more time inside our homes, and a time when families often gather to mark the holiday season.
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