Near the Little Italy section of Chinatown there is a store that combines feng shui, crystal healing and Buddhist beliefs to help you know yourself better, increase positive chi and attract the right people and situations into your life. Mrs. Ching Chiang, proprietor of Sun Wind, has smiling eyes and a sense of soulful purpose. Her store is filled with crystals, healing gemstone jewelry and pendants and Buddhist and Hindu spiritual items. Priding herself as being a storyteller, she challenges you to look for the answers within yourself and allow the items she has for sale to directly speak to you. "Ask yourself, is this what you really need? You will know if this is right for you," she says. Unlike other feng shui consultants, she does not make house calls and she doesn't boast about her psychic abilities. But she has an uncanny knowing of your problems when you walk into her store. She recognizes what a customer needs and guides them to finding the solution for themselves rather than prescribing a quick fix. "You already have the answer within yourself, I just make suggestions," she says.
The things in her store are meant to inspire and create a personal belief system that resonates with your own sense of self-empowerment. "Once you know yourself, you can ride the wave of any storm in life." If you are looking for love, a rose quartz will open the door and provide the space for it to come into your life, but Ching asks, "Are you ready for love, passion, compassion? Do you have a space ready for that person to come into your life? Compassion can bear the unbearable and give you patience to wait it out. The process is more important than the outcome," she says.
Mrs. Chiang holds a jade symbol of "fu," the Chinese word for prosperity. "See the eyes smiling? If you are not happy, you cannot have real prosperity. If you are desperate for money, you are not happy and this creates interference to prosperity." She says jade has three properties. It protects your health, safety and finances. Jade is like a shock absorber and will break if something bad comes into your life. "Don't be upset if your jade breaks. It's a good thing," Ching says.
Some of the items Mrs. Chiang sells have very specific purposes. Like bagua crystals and mirrors. The 8-sided facet represents 8 sides of awareness. Instead of considering only 4 directions, Chinese culture states that one should consider all 8 sectors, encompassing 360 degrees all around. "It helps you see areas in your life you normally would overlook and also helps you see things from different perspectives. The bagua is meant to help you see things from all sides so you can make better decisions," she says. A green and red bagua mirror hung over the front door of your house or office facing the outside, (never inside looking in as that will amplify and negative energy that is already in your life) is a deterrent from permitting bad chi and circumstances to enter your life.
Buddhist demon masks hang above the doorway to her store. "These demons represent the things we fear in life. We are afraid to look at certain areas and so these things look even more frightening to us. They are our fears, doubts, erroneous and disempowering beliefs. We try to run away from them, but when we do, we only create more obstacles for ourselves. Looking at these masks reminds us to confront our inner demons and diminish the fear they impart in us."
The chakra system figures prominently in Hindu and Buddhist belief. But Ching approaches them as a way to better understand yourself. "Do not think of each one as a separate part. Look at the whole system." She relates the colors of the gemstones to each of the chakras. "Green is the color of the heart chakra which is symbolic of compassion and healing, like the Green Tara, the Buddhist goddess of healing and help. The Green Tara is an incarnation of Kuan Yin the Chinese bodhisattva of compassion who was transformed from the male Hindu god of compassion Avalokiteshvara when Buddhism was introduced to China. All Taras are said to have sprung from the 21 tears of Avalokiteshvara.
The Chinese zodiac also is a way to better understand yourself. Certain animals have very specific personality traits and knowing what yours are can empower you even more. Placing a figurine of your Chinese zodiac animal on a small flat mirror on a table or wearing an amulet can amplify that animal's empowering qualities, so that you can better know yourself. And you don't necessarily have to use your own zodiac sign." Dragons are very popular because they bring power and luck," says Ching. "That's why they sell so quickly."
Sun Wind Inc. is located between Baxter and Mulberry Streets at 179 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013. It is well-worth the sojourn there to get sage advice from an exceptional Chinese Wise-Woman. For more info, call (212) 226-1832; visit: www.sunwindinc.com; email@example.com.