The Ming Tang
by Alison Marks (2007 Graduate)

What are you telling the world about your life? What gifts do you let yourself have? These questions can be answered simply by looking at the entryway to your home or business.

This “ming tang,” or “bright palace,” is an important power point in any defined space. The entrance to a dwelling is considered the “mouth of chi (life force energy),” marking a transition from the outer world into the more private inner world. It provides a statement about the quality of life to be found inside, and offers an energetic pathway for opportunity to find its way in.

Since the energetic state of the entryway has a big effect on what goes on inside, you can probably imagine that beautiful, clean and orderly ming tangs that radiate bright, fresh chi are considered very auspicious.

When looking at a particular entryway, pay close attention to what is going on just inside the door. You may have noticed that most Chinese restaurants don’t open immediately into the main dining area; there is usually a wall or piece of large furniture just inside that slows down the chi and creates a sort of welcoming area. Likewise, you will probably find that if your home shows itself slowly, rather than all at once, there is a sense of anticipation about what is to come. You and guests are more likely to enjoy the experience of your home.

The experience that people have before they even reach the door is also part of this continuum. Imagine, for example, the feeling you might get visiting a home with a beautifully landscaped yard, where you park your car, walk under some blooming trees, and perhaps walk over a footbridge to reach the porch, where a clean welcome mat greets you. Now imagine driving around looking for parking on the city streets, hiking up a hill with exhaust fumes coming at you, taking an elevator ride up to the fourth floor and walking down a dark hallway to arrive at the front door. Very different experiences!

Even if the homes were similar on the inside, you can imagine feeling very different at each before you even set foot inside. This is not to say that an apartment home in the city can’t have beautiful energy, by the way; it just highlights the fact that each environment has its gifts and challenges – and that the ming tang can be a major factor in evaluating the overall energy in a home.

Here are some tips to take full advantage of this free boost of good energy:

- Keep your entryway clean and orderly, inside and out. Make sure the door itself is clean and well-maintained.

- Make sure that there are no obstructions to the view to your front door from the street.

- A water feature is an especially beautiful way to invite wealth into your space. If you can’t have an actual fountain, artwork depicting serene water scenes (not crashing waves or storms) can work just as well. If the water is flowing, and only in one direction, make sure it is oriented to flow into your home or business, not away.

- Provide a welcome mat for visitors. Keep the mat clean, and replace it as soon as it starts to look ratty.

- A lamp on either side of the door is an especially nice way to bring in good chi. Make sure that both lights are in working order.

- You may want to hang a talisman at the door, some item of personal significance to you that will bring a protective energy. (Do not use a Chinese bagua mirror – these can be used for specific purposes, but rarely on your front door.)

Give your ming tang a little attention a watch good things show up!

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