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’sHousebusters and for his book The Feng Shui Diaries. Press has included the Guardian Diary, Spirit and Destiny (read the most recent article on the Ba Zi workshop page) , Art and Architecture, and 25 Beautiful Homes. In 2007 he was the subject of the Sunday Times feature ‘A Life in the Day’ His Diaries which are available free from this website, appear both on the site of the Feng Shui Society and in edited form in Lillian Too’s Feng Shui World, the world’s biggest-selling Feng Shui magazine.
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 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. ”
“Before Master Chan would teach me, he insisted I spend a year with Derek Walters who introduced me to the ba zi as well as a wealth of Chinese mysteries which was wonderful. During this time I kept in touch with Master Chan, meeting up with him 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.
He has worked with A-list stars such as Gillian Anderson of the X-Files (who said he “commands both confidence and awe”) 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 taped 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.
A regular enquirer of The Course in Miracles and a longterm student of the Book of Changes, Richard is happily married with six children aged from 17 to 35.
Although he is in regular demand by the various media, his 9 to 5 job remains surveying buildings and drafting ba zis for health, happiness and abundance.