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“If you want to be commercial, you need to keep it simple…I refuse to keep it simple”, Mr.Ip says about his own approach to Feng Shui. “There are many ‘masters’ who are good talkers and persuaders but nothing more. That’s not the idea of Feng Shui that I wish to promote.” Ip talks about the inner conflict he feels when he thinks about how he would charge for his services: charging too little would compromise his expertise, and charging too much would challenge his integrity. So he doesn’t charge his clients that he meets through personal referral at all – they give them what they want and it helps that most of them are wealthy Hong Kongese who know what their good Feng Shui is worth to them. “Of course I could easily walk into a client’s home or office with the Luo Pan in my hand, speak some magic words, make a diagnosis and hand over the bill…but I would not be true to myself ”, he summarizes. Mr. Ip already looks back on an eventful life that went through many transitions but was always deeply connected with his passion, Feng Shui. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Ip developed a strong fascination for the Yi Jing as a teenager and he studied it avidly. At the age of 18, he left for Taiwan to study Chinese Language and Literature. His life then took him to London, where he furthered his studies in Chinese Philosophy but also had time to pursue other interests and act as an informal ambassador of Chinese thought and culture to the Western community. In 1989, he set up an “I Ching Service Center” to promote the Book of Changes as well as Astrology and Feng Shui. It was during his five years in the real estate business when his Feng Shui knowledge became a practical asset; he began advising and consulting clients from Hong Kong on the Feng Shui of their future real estate purchases. After twelve years in the UK, he returned to Hong Kong and finally ended up in Macao, where aside from earning an income he once again found himself with enough time and freedom to pursue his interests. He began teaching and practicing FengShui.
He separates between what he does for a living and what he lives for and his greatest professional rewards he finds as an instructor and lecturer onFeng Shui, Daoist divination rituals and Ba Zi. He holds seminars and classes, and some of his first students are now practicing themselves. His love for what he does and his passion for passing on his knowledge is evident when he speaks; he can easily go on talking about Feng Shui for a day without stopping. This is the role in which he likes himself best; that as a teacher. “One day, I will write a book about all that I have learned”,he muses, “…when it’s time.”
Ancient Art, Modern Ways
Mr. Ip has his very own approach to Feng Shui: just as modern Feng Shui fuses different schools, Mr. Ip fuses modern Feng Shui with modernity– with science. He follows the ‘Flying Star’ school that uses both the Luo Pan as well as the‘9 Stars’ chart for its calculations, but he takes his Feng Shui a step further and enhances the accuracy of the conventional tools with an additional element. “Just as the Yi Jing outlines, the world is changing every day, and we simply cannot apply classical Feng Shui in its original form to the modern environment…if Feng Shui remains static while everything else is in transition,it cannot be applied and will remain pure theory”, he explains, “so my approach is to modernize it using technology and scientific knowledge and make it work for us without it losing its original spirit.” As an example, he mentions the traditional Chinese way of building a home – in contrast to the multi-storey buildings that modern-day living has evolved. “The layout of a traditional Chinese home, the direct alignment of the center of the home to the entrance door for example was simple, and the application of the Luo Shu to the home was straight-forward, with the entrance door – automatically the area that emits most of the energy – as point of reference. In a modern home, the layouts are so different and the entrance door not always a good reference point. In terms of Feng Shui, the location of the main door is still a very important matter but it’s not always the area that emits the most Qi so I might adjust the chart to face a big window, for example.”