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Plant Your Bedroom with Feng Shui

by Sonya Oppenheimer

Wake up to verdant plants and chase away the winter blues. Start the day by scrunching your gardener's fingers through potting soil to make spring seem just a little closer.

There are a myriad reasons to add plants to your bedroom decor including, according to Feng Shui, the opportunity to bring peace, harmony, desired relationships, enhanced creativity, even health and wealth into your life through proper placement. Originating in China over 5,000 years ago, Feng Shui is the art of placement to draw in life force--“chi."

Enter the master bedroom of Ellen Denuto's circa 1850 house in Denville, New Jersey, and you see the principles of Feng Shui at work. Denuto, a freelance photographer, wants an environment that was not only aesthetically pleasing but also life enhancing. With the guidance of interior and sacred space designer, Deanna Trust of Deanna Trust Feng Shui, also of Denville, Denuto places plants, furniture and other decorative objects in positions calculated to do exactly that.

At the far wall, opposite the bedroom door in a kitty-corner position, sits Denuto's sleigh bed with a Ficus tree and lamp behind the headboard. “The bed placement is called "command position," Trust explains. “Chi flows; so, this allows chi to flow through the door and to Ellen as she sleeps, gathering energy and getting ready for greater opportunities."

The solid headboard meets Feng Shui requirements. “A toothpick headboard would allow chi to pass through, defeating the life-energy gathering of command position. The bed's footboard, lower than the top of the mattress, is also ideal since it doesn't interfere with energy flow."

This positioning, however, creates a sharp, empty area, known in Feng Shui as a poison arrow - an area of vulnerability. Placing the Ficus tree and lamp in that area alleviates the problem and even enhances the benefits of bed position. “Ficus have a nurturing element. And green means hope, growth and new life."

Luckily, plant benefit is not exclusively from live ones. Unable to get a natural Ficus to thrive in that location, an artificial tree has been substituted. Trust explains that a living plant is most desirable and a flowering plant brings even more chi, but a good reproduction will work. “A dying plant is a symbol of poorness. Dying leaves must be clipped and a dieing plant must be immediately replaced with a more expensive one to nurture wealth options."

The historic house is loaded with charm. And special problems. “We had to stop chi from entering the bedroom and running down and out the sloping floor,"¯ says Trust. Dowsing with a pendulum, the energy-losing area to the right of the bed was located and corrected with the placement of an Anthurium.

To the left of the bed is a TV, creating another problem area. A Chinese evergreen, or Aglaonema, is placed on the floor in front of the TV to absorb the negative, immune-system-lowering, electro magnetic field. A diaphanous scarf, draped over the TV top, adds further protection. Although Feng Shui is an ancient practice, the Black Sect tradition in which Trust trained has been refined by Grand Master Lin Yun to take into account modern technology.

Placement of the three plants in the master bedroom underscores another Feng Shui tenant. One or three plants plus light is the desired balance. The three plants placed here create a pathway to new life, career and personal growth.

Denuto is as much a slave to time as most of us. On a dresser, facing her bed is a vintage, wooden case clock. The swag of dried flowers draped across the clock's top looks like a charming, purely decorative embellishment but is actually meant to soften appearance and time's demanding concept. Trust points out that bedrooms should be yin - soft, feminine - ¯to encourage good sleep. Although Feng Shui promotes a harmony of yin (female) and yang (male), the bedroom is one place where aggressive yang forces don't belong.

Bathrooms, with outward drainage, are considered strong siphons of chi. To stem the draining of life-energy from the master bedroom, an Aralia sits on the floor of the adjoining bathroom.

Typical of colonial architecture, the master bedroom is on the second floor, down a hallway from the stairway. From a Feng Shui point of view, this is far from ideal. Life energy would enter Denuto's home through the front door, proceed up the stairs and flow through the facing wall without benefit. A mirror on the wall at the top of the stairs does encourage chi to flow upward but an artificial Dieffenbachia in front of it acts as turnstile, aiming the flow toward her bedroom.

And are there advantages to Feng Shuing outdoor plants? “Absolutely," says Trust. But that's a summer story.

Deanna Trust: http://www.bloomington.in.us/~9harmony/deanna.htm

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published February 05, 2004

Photos to enlarge

softening the poison arrow

Denuto places Anthurium

blocking electro-magnetic waves

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