In Form School feng shui, mountain and water are the two key features of the Four-Feature model that is used in analysis and design. (The Four Features are Mountain, Water, Guardian Hills, and Energy Spot. These constitute the keys to interpreting the energetic composition of any structure.)
A mountain is static and stable, and is thus associated with power and support. Water, in any of its forms (river, lake, or ocean) represents flow; it is dynamic, and thus associated with economy and finance. From a feng shui perspective, any strong country will have at least one substantial mountain range and any rich country will always be associated with an abundance of water. The presence and balance of Mountain and Water make for good feng shui, and are ideal features for a country.
In accord with the holographic principle, the qualities that constitute a good place are also applicable metaphorically to people. An ideal person should have the qualities of a good mountain and good water. More concretely, these qualities should apply to one’s life and one’s work. What does this mean?
In one’s life, one should have the quality of water: flexibility, adaptability to any environment or circumstance. Like water, one should be able to embrace everything, yet maintain one’s own essence. In work, one should be fully dedicated, trustworthy and dependable, like a strong and stable mountain.
The ancient Chinese sage, Lao-tzu praised water as having the highest virtue. It is said, “The highest good is like water. Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive. It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao”. In nature, a river never moves in a straight line. When it meets obstacles or blockages, it simply turns, without backing out, and finds a way to continue moving forward. Water is soft, and yet it overcomes the hardest things. As a person, one should be like water, soft but aiming forward with strength, pure but able to embrace and contain everything with a big heart.
Mountains emerge from the flat earth, pushing up, lofty and steep. It’s silhouette, moves up and down like a dragon, looking into the distance. As a source of guidance in their work, people should be like mountains: standing tall, with clear vision, standing firmly with determination, having capacity, strength, and high standards.
This is summarized in a Chinese saying: “The ocean is large because it can take in all rivers; mountains stand firmly, with strength that comes from being without desire”.
If one can be humble like a valley, one can gather all rivers to become an ocean; if one has few desires and does not strive, one can stand up like a cliff, reaching to the clouds.
But the key is equilibrium, the balance of softness and flexibility with firmness and solidity. This makes an ideal person.
Blue Mountain Institute