Richard Ashworth’s work has been highlighted many times in the media but he is probably best known for introducing authentic Chinese Imperial Feng Shui to BBC tv’s Housebusters and for his book The Feng Shui Diaries. which apart from anything else, may be the funniest book written on the subject to date. He is internationally famous for his ground breaking transformational work with the ba zi or Four Pillars of Destiny, otherwise misleadingly known as the Chinese Horoscope. Press has included the Guardian Diary, Spirit and Destiny, Art and Architecture, and 25 Beautiful Homes. He has worked with A-Listers such as Gillian Anderson of the X-Files (who said he “commands both confidence and awe”) and professionals like Britain’s favourite Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen (see link below) and he has been the subject of the Sunday Times feature ‘A Life in the Day’ His Diaries which are available free from this website, appear on the site of the Feng Shui Society. In the summer of 2010 he was on Big Brother’s Little Brother to give his view of the Big Brother houses over the years which he described as “the dark side of feng shui.”
Richard learned authentic feng shui by studying with a series of masters over a period of decades.
“Some masters call feng shui a science. For me there’s some of that -I aim to be able to repeat procedures for the same outcome – health, wealth or wisdom, time and again of course but whether it’s placing water or listening closely to what they say and reflecting, feng shui is frankly part magic, part ritual and part love. But what do I know? It’s all derived from the Tao (or Way) and it is in the nature of the Tao that it won’t be pinned down- except when it will.”
Having spent much of the 1990′s sifting through information to discern what was feng shui, what folk lore, what mumbo jumbo and what pure invention, Richard decided he needed to learn from an authentic Chinese Master and was fortunate in being introduced to Master Chan Kun Wah. Although born and trained in Hong Kong, Master (now GrandMaster) Chan was based in Edinburgh.
“My first contact with Master Chan was early in 1998 when I shadowed him as he surveyed. It was extraordinary. Master Chan could tell who lived in a house and how they were faring from the outside without leaving the car.. I was determined to learn how. ”
Those who have watched Housebusters (free dvd available from this site) will know that Richard has developed something of these skills. To see Richard in action, follow this link.
“Before Master Chan would teach me, he insisted I spend a year with Derek Walters * the most respected Western authority on the ba zi (or Chinese Horoscope) from whom I gained a wealth of knowledge of Chinese mysteries which was wonderful. During this time we kept in touch, meeting up with Master Chan several times and receiving priceless instruction. At the end of that year I took up fulltime study. Typically I would attend a class with him for a weekend once a month, make copious notes and then spend the next month working out what he had said. Colleagues studying along side me included world authorities such as Jon Sandifer and Gill Hale.”
During, before and since this time Richard has studied with or attended workshops with Raymond Lo, Joey Yap, Derek Walters, Howard Choy and Lillian Too, as well as many others. including completion of the first ever feng shui course certificated by a Chinese University at Huazhong University in Hubei Province, Central China under the tutelage of Professor Wang Yude.
He has worked with corporations, architectural practices, entrepreneurs and in government departments but his daily task remains “going in and out of people’s houses being enigmatic.”
“What I’m interested in is leaving people happier than I found them.”
Typically a survey starts with examination of the ba zi (or personal feng shui) which often reveals startling facts about the subject . This is usually followed by a look within and around the building and Richard reflecting as to exactly what it is “saying,” Then he will draft a chi map of the premises that acts as a sort of biography of the building. This can take a while but when he starts to suggest changes, there is typically a flurry of activity during which the whole “feel” of a property changes rapidly. His sessions are recorded for the client and a full survey includes written bullet points.
Typically people come to him when their lives are stuck or they are at a cross roads. His direct, authoritative and humorous approach has changed lives for the better from Poland to New Zealand. “I aim always for health, wealth and wisdom.”
He is the immediate past editor of Feng Shui News, the Journal of the Feng Shui Society. In October 2006 he addressed the 2nd International Conference on Scientific Feng Shui in Hong Kong, one of very few Westerners to do so and in 2008 was co-chair and organiser of the 1st International Congress on Scientific Feng Shui and the Built Environment in Turin. He has advised on Big Brother & addressed the Grand Masters in Singapore in 2012.
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