To become a fung shui master, you need a strong desire to pursue truth. You also need a logical and analytical mind. Above all, you need to be interested in people. Fung shui masters are consultants: they listen to people, try to understand their problems and make decisions. So you really need to care about people and want to help them.
Since part of a fung shui master's job is to predict a person's future, you also need to be interested in current affairs and how they might affect someone.
A university degree not only gives you a speciality, but it is also a way to broaden your horizons and develop creative thinking. This means it is useful for fung shui masters to have at least a bachelor's degree. It will help you deal with the different issues a fung shui master tackles and feel more comfortable with highly educated clients. However, it is not an absolute necessity.
Next, you will need to take part in a fung shui practitioners' training programme. There isn't a fung shui academic degree yet, but recognised fung shui courses are available: contact the International Feng Shui Association (www.intfsa.org) to find out more. Lo himself offers a variety of courses; visit www.raymond-lo.com for information.
It is also a good idea to work on your Chinese language skills. A good level of Chinese will help you understand the fung shui principles. But Lo says he has successfully trained students from around the world, even those who don't speak Chinese.
Fung shui masters' income depends on their credentials and reputation.
Most of their earnings come from consultation services. They assess and design homes and offices, and the fees are based on the size of the property. Fung shui masters also offer consultations about your future, or destiny, which are charged at a fixed hourly rate.
Renowned fung shui masters like Lo earn money by giving lectures and writing books.
Starting out can be difficult, but once you have established a client base, you can earn as much as anyone else with a professional degree might expect to earn.
Lo was born in Hong Kong and his father was a movie director. While he was growing up, he didn't know much about fung shui or fortune telling, but he was very curious about the mysteries in life. He loved stories about ghosts, UFOs and other unexplained phenomena, and was always in search of the truth behind it all.
Lo investigated Western astrology. He read many books and became fascinated by the zodiac signs. But it was only after graduating from the University of Hong Kong that he started to explore Chinese fung shui and destiny analysis.
He followed the teachings of five Hong Kong teachers and started experimenting with what he had learned.
The more he practised, the more he was convinced of the power of fung shui, and its capacity to improve people's wellbeing.
Between 1990 and 1993, he wrote a column for a Hong Kong newspaper using fung shui to analyse world events and make predictions.
In 1992, Lo published his first book, Feng Shui and Destiny. This book was a springboard to practising and teaching fung shui, and he became famous. In 1997, he was finally able to become a full-time professional consultant.
Today, Lo is an IFSA Grand Master, he has written more than 10 books and he gives lectures and training courses all around the world.
Before reaching Lo's standards, fung shui masters have to work hard and build trust among their clients. But, as Lo says, the recognition of fung shui as a necessity in life is spreading all over the world. Everybody needs to spend time in a house and an office and we are all affected by our environment, so the demand for fung shui services is huge.
After several years of practice and after acquiring recognition by their peers (the IFSA is currently trying to give accreditation to fung shui masters), a fung shui master can become a teacher and give speeches at conferences around the world.
Established fung shui masters can also write books on their speciality and get involved with larger international structures, like the IFSA, to act as a fung shui ambassador and help promote the profession.
But most of all, well-established fung shui masters enjoy the satisfaction of helping people solve their problems and improve their lives. They are rewarded with their clients' respect, financial stability and independence.
Where to apply
Although some fung shui practitioners work for a renowned fung shui master, most work independently. Fung shui consultations are very personal, so most clients prefer to meet the master himself. This means you have to set up your own company to start practising.
Fung shui practitioners advertise in print and online, and rely on word-of-mouth recommendations to build a clientele. Most of them give public talks. They can also build a reputation by writing books, teaching and writing articles for newspapers and magazines.
A day at work
When Lo is consulting, he usually visits the houses and offices he is redesigning. When he is giving a destiny session, the client will usually come to Lo's office. There is also a lot of computer work involved: from writing reports on fung shui designs, to answering e-mails and searching for new clients and opportunities.
Since Lo is also a writer, a public speaker and a teacher, he travels a lot. He goes on more than 20 overseas trips every year to give talks or classes. In the past, he has visited places such as Singapore, Japan, Australia, Germany, Russia, Romania and Turkey.
Lo is strict about keeping up to date with world affairs and current trends. He reads books and magazines, watches movies and TV shows, and listens to the latest music. Every year, he writes predictions for the new year, and has to be prepared to answer questions from reporters and students.