Tag Archives: Practical feng shui

Perspective: blind men “see” the pachyderm

Perspective: n.  point of view; subjective evaluation of relative significance; frame of reference.

Pachyderm: n. elephant. from the Greek pakhudermos – thick-skinned. Also the symbol for the GOP.

In various versions of this ancient parable from India, a group of blind men (or men in the dark) touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each one touches a different part, but only one part, such as the side, the tail, the leg, the tusk. They then compare notes on what they felt, and learn they are in complete disagreement. We understand then that reality may be viewed differently depending upon one’s perspective, and that what seems an absolute truth may only be partially true.

[I’ve written about this story and the word “perspective” before – four years ago as we were getting to know Sarah Palin…]

One of my feng shui clients is a mediator who often deals with warring families. She had one large blank wall in her office for which I had recommended some piece of art that gave her clients a sense of the work they were doing together – perhaps something implying peaceful solutions, the light at the end of the tunnel, problem solving…

Her brilliant idea was to commission a piece of art that illustrated the story of the blind men and the elephant, visually conveying how it’s possible to “see” a problem from one (limited) point of view, and also recognize that other points of view could be equally legitimate.  She found a skillful quilter, Rosie Rhine, who translated the story to fabric:


The story of the blind men and the elephant is extremely flexible. A few months ago New Yorker cartoonist Tom Cheney used it to depict the sorry state of our economy, perhaps from the points of view of different economists, political players or suffering citizens:


Pimping my practice (of feng shui)

In late May I wrote an article about feng shui for the local newspaper which they liked so much they asked if I’d write one a month for their home & garden section.  This was great news because that first piece drove a really big turnout for my class at a home furnishings boutique in town.  I was hoping it would generate demand for folks to come to my class at Clark College later this year, lead readers to my website, which in turn would lead to more paying clients.

Easy come, easy go.

Just after I submitted my article for July, I get an email from the section editor telling me they’ve made another round of cuts at the paper – staff and content both – and the home & garden section has been greatly reduced and absorbed as a part of the features department under a different editor in the newsroom.

I have a call into her as I write, trying to convince her that feng shui is the perfect discipline for times of economic hardship, because most fixes cost little or nothing.  We’ll see.

Purchasing Paroxsyms

Purchase: (need I tell you it means buy buy buy, the American pastime?)

Paroxsym: a fit, attack, or sudden increase or recurrence of symptoms

I need… No, I WANT to purchase a projector. I have a list of semi-rational reasons for “needing” this electronic gadget, only one of which would bring in any money.

  • $$ I think I could usefully put it into service to promote my feng shui consulting services and to give classes. It would take four consultations to pay for itself.
  • I could use it to show travel pictures – a couple of groups have asked for that.
  • I could use it at Toastmasters for more professional presentations.
  • I could use it for family gatherings to show family pix and movies.
  • I could project DVDs if I wanted to watch with other people. Although home theater and gaming are what most folks use their projectors for, I play no games and watch few movies (and almost no TV), so this is not a selling point for me.

I discussed the proposed projector purchase with my daughter a couple of days ago.

“Mom,” she said, “that’s a dumb idea.”

Tonight I called my son-in-law for brand advice because he uses projectors often in his consulting work. “Well,” he said, “I just use whatever projector my client has. It’s just another thing to haul around; what would you do with one?”

I accused him of conferring with my daughter, but he pleaded innocent.

Nevertheless I went online to see what was out there.

Oy vay. There are about a million projectors ranging from $500 to $3500, with features that seem hard to distinguish. Even in the under $1000 range there are dozens to compare.

My eyeballs are totally spinning.

P.S. I thought of the best reason yet to buy a projector.To support President Bush’s Economic Stimulus plan!!! He wouldn’t want me to SAVE my refund, would he?