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Richard Webster - Feng Shui for Beginners: Successful Living by Design

There's a lot of information in this book, but I cannot recommend it for beginners. Although Webster's writing style is simple, it is frequently not lucid. On page 113 he says, "If your bed is aligned on the same wall as the door, do not sleep with your back facing the wall." I am unable to confidently picture the situation. On page 47, he indicates that stairs should have risers, but never uses that word. An extra sentence or two could have made this clear for anyone.

Also, there are several inaccuracies. On page 10 he says there are sixteen trigrams. There are only eight. It would be impossible to have more. Even his illustration on the same page shows eight. On page 107 he says that the Laughing Buddha is Maitreya. That's a common misunderstanding. Ho Tei is a Chinese folk figure who (by popular demand) became a Buddhist bodhisattva, and is commonly called the Laughing Buddha. Maitreya is the Buddha Who Is To Come (meaning, the potential for Enlightenment within each person.)

Quite often he will mention something as being a bad situation, but leave you clueless as to what to do if indeed it is YOUR situation. "Avoid L-shaped rooms…" "Avoid sloping ceilings…" There's no denying that that's good advice, but what about all those people who have those situations, but are not willing or able to move.

Yes, there's a ton of information in this book. But it ends up feeling like a hodgepodge, and gives me feng shui indigestion.

Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN, www.llewellyn.com, 1997, 1-56718-803-6, 196 pages, drawings, paperback, $12.95

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