Feng Shui

Feng Shui

Feb 05 2021


Do you feel differently based on how you arrange your apartment or house? Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice based on the idea that where you place your furniture can affect your health, income and relationships. Lots of Americans are getting into feng shui and some, like Amanda’s mother, are even making a business out of it.


Amanda: My mom just retired, she was an art teacher, and guess what she’s gonna do?

Marni:  She’s gonna make art!

Amanda:  Close. She’s gonna use those skills, but with her boyfriend, they are gonna start their feng shui landscaping business. Is that not cool?

Marni:  It sounds super cool…I have to admit my ignorance, I don’t exactly understand feng shui.

Amanda:  It’s alright. Feng shui is the concept of placement and direction so that the chi flows the most freely. So whether it’s furniture in a home or lighting or actually if your house is on a hill. You can use the same for landscaping, where a tree is…

Marni:  So are you supposed to arrange things differently according to the direction of your house, if your house faces north…

Amanda:  Yes, and if you have bad feng shui it’s supposed to give you bad luck and I kinda believe in that. I kinda do.

Marni:  So go back and explain the chi. I have to admit, again…

Amanda:  Chi has to be able to freely flow from the front door all the way through your living spaces.

Marni:  Okay.

Amanda:  Yeah. And one point of feng shui for the office is your back should never face the entrance to your cubicle or office. Ever.

Marni:  I thought that was more of a mafia thing, like your back should never face the door because they could come in and shoot you from behind.

Amanda:  That’s true, it’s kind of Sopranos meets feng shui. Yeah.

Marni:  Alright, interesting.


When Amanda asks Marni to guess what her mother is going to do now that she retired from being an art teacher, Amanda naturally guesses that she’s going to make art. But it turns out she’s going to start a feng shui landscaping business with her boyfriend.

Marni doesn’t know what feng shui is so Amanda explains that it’s arranging the furniture in your home based on the direction it faces. She says that feng shui can even apply to the trees outside a house, which is what her mother and her boyfriend are going to work with. Amanda says that she believes that bad feng shui brings bad luck.

When explaining feng shui, Amanda used the word “chi.” Marni asks what “chi” means and Amanda skirts the question. She says that chi has to flow from the front door to the rest of the house, but she doesn’t explain what chi is, probably because it’s a pretty hard thing to explain. It basically means “energy” or “life force,” and sometimes it’s spelled “qi.”

Amanda says that according to feng shui, a person’s back shouldn’t face the entrance to an office. Half-joking, Marni says that she thought that rule came from members of the mafia who didn’t want to be shot in the back while sitting at a desk. Amanda agrees and says it’s sort of like a combination of The Sopranos, a television show about the mafia, and feng shui.

Do you put thought into how you arrange your living space or do you just throw everything in there and not worry about it? Do you believe in chi and feng shui or do you think it’s all in people’s imaginations?


  1. Feng shui can be applied to the placement of…

  2. According to feng shui…

  3. What is The Sopranos?

See the full English lesson at English, baby!