The Feng Shui principles behind Sheng Ji
For the benefit of the layperson, the metaphysical art of Feng Shui can basically be divided into two; namely Yin House Feng Shui and Yang House Feng Shui. In a nutshell, Yin House Feng Shui is the practice of geomancy for the dwellings of the dead (tombs) while Yang House Feng Shui is the practice of geomancy for the dwellings of the living (houses). It is interesting to note that the latter is in fact an evolution and derivative of Yin House Feng Shui as all practices of Feng Shui began with tombs before it was later applied to houses and other buildings.
The basis for both however is pretty much the same; that is to harvest the auspicious energies or “Qi” of the environment in order to bring about desirable and positive changes in various aspects of life. In Yin House Feng Shui, the bones of ancestors are said to have a direct link with their descendants. Therefore, to inter the bones of ancestors in tombs located on land with auspicious Feng Shui features are believed to help descendants prosper and achieve greatness.
The installation of Sheng Ji or “Living Tomb” is based on this principle of Yin House Feng Shui but it does not involve the bones of ancestors and the beneficiary is a specific living person. In lieu of bones belonging to ancestors, personal items associated with the intended beneficiary such as hair, fingernails, clothing, shoes, socks and sometimes even a vial of the subject’s blood are buried in the “tomb” instead, which is what lends the technique its moniker of “Living Tomb”. Through this, the natural auspicious energies of the land will be directly absorbed by the intended beneficiary to enhance wealth, health, vitality and longevity. The technique is occasionally deployed by Feng Shui experts for people with deeply flawed Ba Zi, extremely down on their luck or seriously ill with life-threatening conditions.
For this purpose, people will sometimes utilise pre-purchased auspicious burial plots. Instead of leaving the plot unused prior to using it for its intended purpose, they transform it into a Sheng Ji with the assistance of a Feng Shui master in order to reap the benefits for themselves while still alive. Occasionally, some may choose plots of lands not intended for burials but with excellent Feng Shui to execute this purpose.