Stories my mum told

So earlier this afternoon during lunch the subject of good fengshui being an important thing in selection of burial plots. Mum said:

you know, Jing Kong fashi used to tell us that if a good person moves into a bad environment, the place will transform into a good environment as well. So — whether good fengshui is present or not… it is not that important. My of course in my typical contradictory way – replied : then it depends on the person. If the person is not a strong one, if you move into an unsavoury environment, you will get influenced by it and become negatively influenced lah.


Mum:Speaking about fengshui and scan ming (life calculation – means the traditional way of chinese astrology reading whereby the practitioner lays out the key events in the person’s life in the future), there is a real life story about this person called Liao Fan, did you know about it?

Me: No, what was it about?

So apparently once upon a time in China there was this person called Liao Fan. His father used to be a prominent government official whose career downfall came when he was betrayed by someone. The father then swore that all his descendants shall never follow his path of pursuing academics and politics (studying and good academics was a key requirement in that). His wife (Liao Fan’s mum) agreed. So when Liao Fan was a kid, the mother never let him engage in any sort of academic activities. The family ran a TCM clinic (sort of, in the version during the olden days) and he was tasked to help run it.

But the kid was a curious boy. He loved to watch when people were studying.

A travelling fengshui practitioner visited their clinic and was allowed to stay with them for a while. During this time, he passed out some advise to the mother. He told the mother that Liao Fan had talent in the academics and would do well if he were to pursue it. And so the mother let Liao Fan follow that path, since it also seemed that he had the passion for it. True to the practitioner’s predictions, he achieved recognition (in China in the olden days you are recognised by winning the highest scores in the national exams) at the precise ages and times said by the practitioner. The practitioner had also predicted that he would follow the path to high success in politics but then he would die at a certain age, leaving behind no descendants.

True to the predictions Liao Fan’s prediction.

Man who did not have anything to look forward to in life (because everything had been predicted) led a purposeless existence… did not have any ambition nor did he have any worries. Was able to go into deep state of meditation without years of cultivation. The monk whom he met was shocked at his abilities. So the monk asked him, why. Having heard his story, the monk told him that there is actually a possibility to change that – if he wanted. The way was to create lots of good merits – so he put all efforts into growing the family’s healing practice, helped a lot of sick people become well. Eventually, his barren-of-many-years’ wife did give birth to a child.


There are many wormholes that can expand from this. Such as:

  1. the role of the fengshui practitioner – the effects of him laying out a person’s life like that
  2. the role of the father having made such a sworn statement and its effect on his descendants, whether this amounted to “a hereditary curse” to the son being unable to produce any heirs because he was in the wrong vocation.
  3. the role of the mother, who obviously went against the husband’s original intentions
  4. the illustration that a purposeless (in the context of mundane-world existence) man finds it easier than the normal people to go into a deep state of meditation
  5. the point that “having a descendant” is still very important for this culture.
  6. etc…




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