Feng Shui for happiness in the modern world

As Indians, we already have access to ancient wisdom & a brilliant architectural system of our own. Why then should we look towards a Chinese practice or even consider Feng-Shui? Here’s my own personal experience of how Feng Shui transformed my life. As well as top tips by globally renowned master practitioner Sherry Merchant for greater health, wealth & love in your home. Sit back & enjoy….

Sherry Merchant’s 5 tips to make an Indian home Feng-Shui-friendly


In it’s truest form, Feng Shui is a personalised solution but in a conversation with Sherry last week, I asked if she could share a few thumb rules for a Feng Shui friendly home especially in context of Indian lifestyle. Listed below are her 5 must-dos – quoted verbatim- to bring universal energy into your home. Amen.

1. Keep the home clutter-free

This has to be the most salient tip I can ever give you. The state of your house reflects the state of your mind. If it is messy, it reflects a dis-organised mind and generates nervous and confused energy. You have to strive to keep the home calm, clean and clutter-free to achieve a peaceful environment.


2. Pay great attention to the Entrance

Ensure that your entrance is open, well lit & free of shoes. This may be a challenge for Indian families who tend to leave their footwear outside. That’s fine as long as you are able to keep them neatly stacked in a rack which is not open to view. Entrances require to be a large open space to be able to receive Qi, or beneficial energy from the environment, have it collect there and then gently percolate into the house. If you have congestion in this area you will not have this benefit.


3. No mirrors in the bedroom, Period.

Mirrors are Yang, which is feng shui speak for active, as they reflect and make energy bounce back and forth. This invisible but hyper-active energy will not allow you to sleep. Mirrors are good to have in public spaces, commercial areas like shops etc where they are actually beneficial.


4. Place water carefully – Any aquarium or fish tank is not “feng shui”

There are very specific rules for placing water bodies in Feng Shui. Broadly speaking it’s okay to have water in the North, East, South East and South west. Check the direction from the center of your property, water anywhere else will cause some kind of distress.


5. No cut corners

Placing beds or stoves diagonally for effect, which create empty triangular spaces behind is a bad idea as these spaces create subconscious-Qi or negative energy. Place beds and stoves against a wall, and yes, a cooking island is committing Feng Shui harakiri.


I also asked her about some usual Feng Shui hacks such as three-legged toads, bird-couples, turtles, crystals and other such. “Where on Earth do intelligent people like you hear such BS. I am so tired of these superstitions and commercial dogma”. Obviously I’d managed to trigger the ‘Fiery Sherry’ mode. A moment and a deep breath later she added “Feng Shui is not a quick fix. It’s a perspective — an individual’s desire to create balance and ability to harness universe’s beneficial energy”


My Personal & Powerful Experiences with Feng Shui

Until ten years ago I neither knew nor was interested in Feng Shui. My personal journey with Feng Shui began when I met Scheherazade (Sherry) Merchant in 2007. A Mumbai based former Interior Decorator – Sherry – is a scholar, qualified master and a hugely coveted practitioner of several disciplines of Chinese Metaphysics including Feng Shui & BaZi (Chinese astrology).

The first time I (read : sceptical) met Sherry (read : wise) was by sheer coincidence. She, on account of a completely unconnected business, happened to be in my office. When I was walking her out she, in a rather matter of fact way, made a comment about sensing a static energy. She suggested that I should change the direction of my desk to help mobilise long-pending proposals into work orders.

Just then the lift doors opened, she stepped in, turned and gave me a knowing smile. I stood there searching for words, wondering how did she even know.

feng-shui-to-enhance-happiness-personal-encounter-with-feng-shuiCynicism aside, the truth was that business was slow that year and the change she’d asked me to make was not difficult to do.  So I decided to take a leap of faith and I could not believe the way orders started to roll. When this happy new pattern didn’t change for a few months, I decided to pick up the phone and make the belated thank you call.

During our conversation she spoke to me about the psychological principles of Feng Shui. It’s not just decorating she said. Its about creating balance and managing Qi (pronounced chi and Chinese for ‘flow of positive energy’). “Its both a science and an art of creating a responsive environment which enhances our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well being.”

Its been ten years since that fateful day and through several rented homes and three countries, I’ve held on to Feng Shui (and Sherry) to help me navigate a particularly difficult personal patch and emerge from it happy and successful. Touch wood! There is no doubt in my mind that Feng Shui works. It has for me, and it has for several friends who’ve joined my love for this wonderful (and easy) ancient system.

So what’s my verdict?

Feng shui is neither a life hack nor some magic portion. It is rooted in Daosim – an ancient Chinese philosophy which sees Human and Nature as one whole. Feng Shui is an outlook which allows us to yield the energies of our environment and universal force to improve areas of our lives which we most value. Start with the simple tips which Sherry has laid out and add positivity and balance to your life. May peace and prosperity reign in your home this year of the Fire Rooster. Happy Chinese New Year!

About Scheherazade (Sherry) Merchant


Sherry Merchant is a world renowned scholar and master practitioner of several disciplines of Chinese Metaphysics including Chinese Astrology method of BaZi, Feng Shui, Yi Jing and the more sophisticated Xuan Kong Da Gua & Qi Men Dun Jia. Sherry is best known for her ability to provide holistic solutions by using her extensive knowledge of interconnected sciences. Her knowledge combined with a remarkable photographic memory, a deeply intuitive judgement and a strong trajectory of result-oriented consulting has helped her build a loyal following of discerning clientele in both India and abroad. Sherry Merchant lives and works in Mumbai.

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Chanda Chaudhary

Aesthete. Storyteller. Wanderer. Chanda is a lover of design, craftsmanship and individualistic style. She’s best known for hosting long champagne lunches filled with stories and tales of adventure, living life on her own terms and making the ordinary, extraordinary. She lives and works in Goa, India.

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