For years I spent time in New York City’s Chinatown seeking truth at the feet of Buddhist Monks and Kung Fu Masters, filling spiral notebooks with copious notes of their wisdom.
All my life I have been mystified by my attraction to Chinese culture, I now believe it is extremely karmic. I confounded my poor family who didn’t understand why a nice Roman girl wanted to learn chi kung, kung fu and feng shui.
By my early thirties, I knew a lot about Chinese customs and culture, sometimes, even more than many Chinese Americans. I took mandarin classes to better comprehend obscure books on Chinese medicine which I found on EBay. The Yellow Emperor, patron saint of medicine and esoteric arts, became my hero. My relentless perseverance gifted me with a journey of unforeseen dimension and wonder, which led to me becoming a Buddhist/Taoist, a black belt in Kung Fu and a performer of ancient Chinese weaponry.
As a trained painter, I was curious about the art of energetic arrangement and placement called feng shui. I attended workshop after workshop. My feng shui studies whetted my appetite for more and more. I began my search for a genuine feng shui grandmaster willing to teach me.
Two years passed, I got my Black Belt, had a third child but was still unsuccessful in locating a real feng shui master teacher in New York City, which seemed incredible — you can find anything in New York.
One day, I go to a highly-recommended chiropractor for a tender, post-partum pelvic muscle. In conversation the chiropractor mentions she is seeing an old chi kung master, Grandmaster Alan Lee, for a slipped disk.
I ask, “By any chance, does he know anything about feng shui?”
She answers, “He does, but he is no longer teaching.”
Bingo! I make an appointment to see Alan Lee. After two sessions I timidly ask if he has knowledge of feng shui or knows of anyone who does. He acknowledges that he does but he is not teaching anyone.
Once a month, as directed by Grandmaster Lee, I faithfully attend his chi kung treatments to relieve my muscle pain. Six months later, I muster the courage to ask Master Lee once again if he would be willing to teach me feng shui. No, No and No! I continue to ask at each and every session, and the answer always remained the same, No!
Italian women can be very persistent and stubborn. My asking to become an acolyte was as unwavering as was his response. I was so frustrated. One day, totally out of the blue, at one of our sessions, Master Lee hands me a yellow legal pad of paper and tells me to write down every word he said. And with this, the door miraculously opened.
Over the next ten years, Grandmaster Lee teaches me everything he knows about feng shui, K’An Yu (the ancient shamanic feng shui) and the properties of energy.
Grandmaster Lee referred me to his chi kung clients who were in need of feng shui or space clearing. My roster filled with many clients, even celebrities requesting anonymity. Most people longed for love or money.
Some wanted to feng shui their property; others scheduled a reading for insight or for a “weather report” of their life. Many confided they had ghost problems, so my grandmaster taught me the sacred Taoist ceremonies to clear out negative energy or “hungry ghosts.”
In October of 2001, my expertise was engaged by lower Manhattan families traumatized by the 9/11 attacks. The area was energetic pandemonium, I just did my best.
Later, I came to understand that Master Lee’s unwavering refusal was the traditional Chinese way of ascertaining my sincerity, an integral part of all Shamanic traditions. The learning process – frequently discouraging and often marginalizing — was a test of my intentions and dedication. It was arduous and it was a blessing. Following my heart was not the easiest route, but it was certainly the most gratifying for my soul.
All that note taking at the feet of Grandmaster Lee and other great teachers filled me with gratitude and great humility for the knowledge imparted and the gifts bestowed.
Stefania Masoni is a shamanic visionary and artist who performs ritual and does readings. She is a 5th Degree Black Belt in Kung Fu, a certified Feng Shui Master and the author of The Good Feng Shui Toolbox, Tools for Creating Harmony in the Office.
Stefania has shown her work in galleries in the US, Europe and Latin America, several pieces belong to the permanent collections of the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo in San José, Costa Rica and the Museum of Modern Art in Guilin, China. Her artwork translates the images of the invisible world onto canvas and paper.
Stefania (firstname.lastname@example.org) currently lives in Los Angeles and can be seen surfing with the dolphins.