Stories from Ancient China: A Mean Feng Shui Master

Once upon a time, there was a very skillful but mean-spirited Feng Shui1 master, who devoted his whole life searching for the legendary "Dragon Vein"2 as mentioned in ancient books.

One day he decided that he would go for a trip to a remote place. After climbing many hills in the scorching Sun without coming across any water, he was totally exhausted and very thirsty. Finally he saw a run-down courtyard in the distance, so he hurriedly ran over and knocked on the door.

After what seemed like a long time, an old woman opened the door. He immediately asked, as he wiped the sweat off his forehead which was pouring down profusely having baked in the sun all this time, "Granny, can you please give me some water to drink?" The old woman took a look at the geomancer whose face was flushed, and whose neck veins were engorged from the heat. she said, "Wait", and slowly turned and walked away without inviting the geomancer in.

Seemingly half a day had passed, and just before the geomancer totally lost his patience, the old woman returned with a bowl of water in her hands. He quickly took the bowl from her, and just about to gulp down the whole bowl of water all at once, he discovered that there was rice bran floating on top of the water. He became very angry, but since he was so thirsty, he grudgingly blew away the rice bran as he slowly drank the water.

He thought to himself: "This old woman really isn't very kind, and is so stingy; she didn't even give me a clean bowl of water. I'm going to teach her a lesson..." The geomancer made up his mind, and said to the old woman: "Granny, thank you for the water, but I don't have anything to pay you back. How about this, since I am a Feng Shui master, let me pick out an ideal burial site for you where you can rest in peace when the time comes."

The old woman followed him to a nearby hill, and the geomancer pulled out a Feng Shui compass. He spent a long time making measurements and observations. Finally, he drew a cross on the ground and said to the old woman: "This is an auspicious site, you can rest here when the time comes". "Good", the old woman accepted the geomancer's suggestion, and said to him: "You'd better get going as a typhoon is on its way."

Ten years later, the geomancer once again found himself passing by this place. He thought of the old woman, and the burial site he had purposely chosen for her, which was actually a forbidding and ominous site. In other words, once the old woman was buried there, her surviving family would be doomed. The geomancer arrived at the location, and immediately noticed a tombstone erected on the very site he had chosen for the old woman's burial.

The geomancer turned around and saw that the once dilapidated courtyard was no longer there, and down the hill, the once desolate place had now become a bustling little town. He came down the hill, and knocked on the door of the most opulent compound in town, a young man opened the door and warmly received him. The geomancer inquired about the run-down courtyard and the old woman's whereabouts. The young man responded excitedly: "Were you that Feng Shui master? Granny passed away soon after you left, and she spoke about you before she died. She insisted on being buried at the spot you selected, because she said the location was painstakingly chosen by you specially for her."

The young man brought in a bowl of water as he talked. "Please drink it slowly, you mustn't drink water too hurriedly after you just had a long walk in the heat. That was what granny always said. I hope you didn't get upset 10 years ago when she gave you the water to drink. She always put some rice bran on the water every time a traveler came to ask for water, just so he wouldn't drink too fast and injure himself." Upon hearing this, the geomancer almost passed out. It was lamentable but too late to do anything about it.

However, seeing how prosperous this family had become, the geomancer just couldn't figure it out. He thought to himself: "Did I make a mistake in my observations? Surely this can't be the case."

Accompanied by the young man, the geomancer revisited the old woman's burial site. He took out his Feng Shui compass, and carefully measured everything over and over again. "Impossible, impossible..." the geomancer became more worked up the more he looked at it. Could this be the "Dragon Vein" he had been dreaming about over the years? At this time, the young man went on to explain what happened 10 years ago: "Not long after you left, this place was hit by a typhoon, and it rained cats and dogs for 3 days and nights non-stop. Then flash floods washed away everything including our dilapidated courtyard.

When the flood subsided, our family had to start all over and rebuild. As you can see, our originally decrepit place is now the most prominent household in the neighborhood. 10 years ago, there were only a few households here, now this place has turned into a nice little town, thanks to you..."

Before long my grandmother passed away. Prior to her death, it took some doing to find the burial site you selected for her. She told us that our family would become prosperous if she were buried at this location.

As it turned out, the geomancer's original divination was correct, the location where he drew the cross was indeed an inauspicious site. However, it was the flood that completely changed the topography of its surroundings, and turned it into a "Dragon Vein."

As the saying goes, "The blessed inhabit the land that is blessed, and vice versa." As long as one does what one should do, he will eventually reap what he deserves.

Source: This is a traditional story compiled and translated by Epoch Times staff.

1. Feng Shui—Feng Shui literally means "wind and water", and refers to the topography of the earth, its mountains, valleys, and waterways whose shape and size, direction and levels are created by the continuous interactions of these two powerful forces of nature. It is Chinese geomancy that has evolved to become a practice of techniques that blends mystical beliefs, astrology, folklore and common sense governing spatial arrangement and orientation to achieve harmony with the environment.

2. Dragon Vein—according to Feng Shui theory, energy lines residing in mountain chains are called dragon veins, and an auspicious site is at the end of a mountain range.

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