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Feng Shui Interest Grows
by Ann-Marie Holmes

Feng Shui is gaining more and more in popularity now. Here in Oregon we are witnessing the growth of many more practitioners and consultants with many different approaches. There is a Feng Shui Guild beginning in Northern Oregon; a regular TV show just on Feng Shui is being developed in Portland. Our first Feng Shui shop opened in Portland. An incredible opportunity is coming together with the promise of an authentic Chinese Garden being slotted to open next summer, again in Portland -- the largest garden of its kind in North America. In the Ashland area, there is a builder constructing homes with attention to Feng Shui, as well as many professional architects, realtors, healers and landscapers incorporating Feng Shui into their work. People want to hear more and more about this Art of Placement.

Ten years ago my interest with this art prompted me to begin a Feng Shui Study Group, as a regular bi-monthly small class. At the time I was studying with Master Lin Yun in weekly classes in the San Francisco bay area. It had been three years of study so far with him and I decided to ask him what would be my appropriate next step in Feng Shui. I knew I had found my next profession but I also knew this had been an oral tradition passed on from master to student and it was a way of life. Should I keep studying or should I begin to teach and consult? There was no certification process in place and Professor Lin seemed to lean towards individual empowerment. He would always say it is a very personal process, and certification has a lot to do with the sensitivity and spiritual power of the individua, not just what they have learned in class.

Asking a question meant finding a moment when he was open to personal questions in a busy night of teaching. I needed to use my intuition and sincerity to sense the right moment. It also meant finding someone to translate my English question to his Chinese. And I had to risk asking a very personal question in front of a translator and the Chinese witnesses who are always there to support Master Lin. I had become aware of his spiritual power that could penetrate to the truth in the midst of busy circumstances and so I had to trust that the truth would be shared even with my unease. It also meant I was asking myself this same question and asking myself to make a deeper commitment and was willing to hear what a Chinese Master would say to this westerner.

Without a pause to reflect my question, he answered, "start having classes in your home." It was a direct, intense, brief answer and yet a flood of insight came with it. And so I began.

We -- my husband and I -- have been in Oregon now for 5 years, and I have watched the study group grow to a three-year voluntary program for students. This approach fosters cycles and layers of becoming. Two sets of three-year students have "graduated." Each has developed or is developing their niche. I issued a certificate for students stating they have participated in an on-going program for three years as a way to honor their commitment. The debate for certification still goes on. At the latest Feng Shui Conference, a session for 200 persons came together to discuss the issue. Lots of opinions but tune in for the next conference to see any real results.

This will begin our 6th year on this land and the third year with our wooden yurt. All of the classes are in the yurt, and throughout the years I have watched students open to huge movement in their lives as their commitment deepens. Fir Haven, the name for our land, as an ongoing research project on living in balance, is a demonstration and example for students coming for classes.

My work with Feng Shui and applying those principles in the building process of the yurt and the students who have come and contributed so much in their undertaking seem to be generating a beacon of sorts ...a beacon of harmony and beauty. The beacon seems to come partly from nature in response to our hard work. There seem to be gateways opening to cooperation. Master Lin has stated that Feng Shui is looking for the manifestation of balance between heaven and earth. We, as humans, are meant to be mediators. Fir Haven is responding to our role of mediating. Nature is reaching out and pulling in more ways to link and create patterns of inspiration and clarity for all that come here. This place is attracting more and more support to teach us, as allies and cousins, how to proceed in these times. And I use the system of Feng Shui and its principles to open doors.

This place provides safety to open doors but it does require hard work too. It is time to commit to keep a balance with the outside changes that are happening. There are gateways to step through the fears and obstacles. So many students are starting over as beginners in this art and are putting aside already successful careers. This takes great courage and determination.

Time is speeding up and this intensity can keep us feeling out-of step at times. It is very important to take care of your self -- your inner self. Take time to get away and get a perspective. The work at this place allows you to do this. Nature can surround you and nurture you and give a sense of space that's needed to go and engage with grace in your everyday lives.

Hopefully, the acceleration of the changes presenting themselves will allow the movement to open us all to our truest selves and not allow our self-doubts and uncertainty to hold us back.

We need a strong point of reference to come from ...and strong patterns of harmony in our environments to support us to regenerate and strengthen. This time we live in is perhaps the most powerful and yet in challenging times; we can also get more easily distracted. Discover and deepen your sacred space inside, and you can use the Feng Shui instructions to augment your endeavors.

I come from a deep place when I say come and share this work with me. Nature is readily agreeing to help in this effort. Trust the possibility.

For more information about the Study group beginning March 2000, please contact Ann-Marie at 541/937-4237 or

Ann-Marie Holmes has been conducting Feng Shui Study Groups for 10 years in the western states. These groups are small in size and are a result of 12 years of study with master Lin Yun, a renowned master of the Black Sect Tantric Feng Shui. At the suggestion of Master Lin, she uses the study group format to provide an in-depth, in-nature environment for students interested in Feng Shui. She is also a student of Ho Lynn, a long-time Chinese student of Master Lin. Ann-Marie has been a practicing consultant for 10 years, incorporating her experience as a Findhorn member, a community devoted to co-creation with nature as well as incorporating her work with a Tibetan Buddhist teacher for 10 years. She has also mentored with a shaman earth energy healer and has opened up a means of communication with the nature energies around us. She has done many Feng Shui consultations, both in residential and commercial applications. Other work experience has included owning and operating a gardening business for 5 years; a cleaning business for 8 years, as well as some interior design work applications. She has taught at the New Renaissance Bookshop for the past three years; been featured on KOIN TV in Portland; appeared on AM Northwest; featured as a presenter at the second Annual Feng Shui Conference-1997, in Palm Springs Calif.; taught and consulted at the retreat center, Hollyhock, in Canada; taught at the Portland Community College and consulted at JFK University in Orinda , California.