[“氣乘風則散, 界水則止.” 古人聚之使不散, 行之使有止, 故謂之風水.] -郭璞 [葬經]
The words feng shui literally translate as "wind-water" in English. This is the cultural shorthand taken from the above passage of the Zhangshu (Book of Burial) by Guo Pu of the Jin Dynasty.
This sentence form one of the ancient classic text basically summed up the essence of feng shui: To capture the vital ch’i (氣) which is the energy and the life force that pervades human existence.
In the ancient times, feng shui practice can be divided into two categories: a) to locate the auspicious sites of grave for the dead, b) auspicious habitable dwellings for the living, both using similar ideas and principles. In general, there are two different school of thought, the Form School (巒頭) which primarily dealing with the formation of the hills and mountains and the direction of the watercourses and its relationship with the surrounding; and the Ba Gua or the Compass School (理氣), which emphasis on certain calculations, using the symbols of I Ching (易經) or “Book of Changes”, the Lo Shu numbers, the concept of the Five Elements and the 24 directions of the compass to determine the good or ill of the site.
In short, feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy of seeking and creating an environment that will nourish our homes and our lives. It is the combination of traditional theories, a few thousand years of tried and true methodologies and applications used by the Chinese to ensure that all things are in harmony with their surroundings.
According to an ancient Chinese proverb “一命，二運，三風水, 四積陰得, 五讀書” - which means the astrological order of factors that affect one's fortune is fate, luck, feng shui, good deeds and lastly, education.
According to the Chinese, apart from the influence of good feng shui, hard works and good deeds are also required to be successful in life. To a certain extent, this is quite true. I believed that feng shui will not help you to win the lottery and it is not magic. Therefore, it is amazed to see so many "masters" claimed that fortune and fame will come in abundance if you follow their advice!
There is another Chinese proverb saying that “福人住福地” which literally means that a lucky person will always able to find an auspicious house to live even though he does not believe or practice feng shui. In truth, if you are now in good wealth, healthy and living in a comfortable home, you don't need feng shui, because you have already achieved its ultimate goal: living harmonious with the natural order.
Very often, it is the rich and famous who can afford to hire expensive feng shui “experts” and the expense of the massive altering of architecture or design, and even the moving from place to place that is sometimes will cost a fortune. Therefore, some people who can’t afford all these expenses start to lost faith in feng shui, saying that it is only a game for the rich. Nonetheless, I believe if you can approach feng shui with an attitude of open mind, and the desire to improve the quality of your life, you can still well on your way to some rewarding feng shui experience without being rich or famous!