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FSIM Summer Quarterly News
June 2014
Greetings FSIM Members & Friends

Summer is here! This season brings us the warmth, excitement and high yang energy of the Fire Element which can help fuel our passions and interests. All this energy can also lead to burnout, so be sure to try to stay "balanced" throughout this season by incorporating the Water element into your busy daily lives, whether by spending time near a lake, taking a leisurely dip in a pool or remembering to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
We hope this newsletter issue informs you of opportune activities, ones that will nourish you in a balanced way...whether that's coming together in community, satisfying hunger for knowledge, or attending events that enlighten, there's lots going on!

We're happy to be a Feng Shui community resource. Please forward this issue to friends or colleagues with whom you'd like to share.

Here's to Summer!

Sun Image
FSIM Field Trip: Garden Tour with Shirley Kooyman
Date: Sunday, July 13th
Time: 11:00am-1:00pm

Guest Speaker: Shirley Mah Kooyman

Lecture Topic: 30 Native Plants For Your Garden


A garden with good Feng Shui needs to have harmony, balance, energy, and peacefulness.  Using native plants, either alone or in combination with cultivars, can add those elements to your landscape.  Good Feng Shui should awake all your senses.  Also, native plants have evolved to live in harmony with each other and the environment.  Their roots are long and deep to handle the vicissitudes of the changing climate.  Learn which 30 native plants you should include in your garden.

Shirley Mah Kooyman is a botanist with a specialty in plant taxonomy (plant names and identification), award-winning teacher, plant information specialist, and Vice-President of the MN Native Plant Society.
In February 2009 she received the Bruce Beresford Horticulture Educators Award from the MN State Horticultural Society.  She worked at the Arboretum for 25 years and was the Adult Education Manager there for 2 decades.  Currently she works as a Native Plant Specialist at Natural Shore Technologies, Inc. in Maple Plain.

She has lectured on numerous botanical and horticultural topics for the University of Minnesota's Complete Scholar program, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Master Gardener programs, Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, local community education program, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and the MN State Horticultural Society.  She has traveled widely around the world to study the area's local flora and garden designs.


Website for Natural Shore Technologies, Inc: www.naturalshore.com


Lunch to Follow!

Open to the Public
Members $0

Guests $27


 Click here to view more information regarding this event.

Using Native Plants in Your Garden
by Shirley Mah Kooyman, Botanist and Native Plant Specialist - Natural Shore Technologies
A garden with good feng shui needs to have harmony, balance, energy, and peacefulness.  Using native plants, either alone or in combination with cultivars, can add those elements to your landscape.  Good feng shui should awake all your senses.  Also, native plants have evolved to live in harmony with each other and the environment.  Their roots are long and deep to handle the vicissitudes of the changing climate.  

 Recent surveys show that gardening in the United States has soared to the forefront as a major hobby.  Garden Centers are happily offering many exotic and non-native plants for us to purchase and grow in our gardens.  With all those lovely non-native plants available, why should we even consider growing native plants and what is meant by "native plants"?  As a definition, native plants are generally described as plants already growing in Minnesota in the 1850s before European settlement and before major changes to the habitats, such as plowing up the prairies and cutting down the forests to create farming sites, plus introducing plants from the settlers' home country.

            Native plants are the work horses in the garden.  Once established they require less maintenance than the lawn with its Kentucky blue grass.  Because native plants evolved and adapted to the local climate, geology, and underground water system, they are more drought tolerant and resistant to native insects and diseases.  As a result, natives don't need as much water, fertilizer, and pesticides compared to non-native plant species.

            There are 3 major habitats that native plants fit into: woodland, prairie, and wetland. (CONTINUE READING FULL ARTICLE)


FSIM Daily Healing

Our Feng Shui community values sharing members' accomplishments and life's events.  We love hearing from you about job changes, promotions, new grandbabies and travel adventures, to name a few. What is also important to us is supporting each other during challenging times.  Several of our members recently shared personal challenges and loss and would appreciate our support. In response, we created FSIM Daily Healing. Between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. we ask that you please take some time to think about the following members, sending them love and healing energy:


Lisa Rock is going through treatment for a recurrence of ovarian cancer

Lenora Renneberg, a member of our FSIM community since January of this year, is undergoing treatment for breast and lymph cancer.

Jane Goodspeed's precious granddaughter, Ivy, transitioned beyond this life in April.

Jane Petrich's beloved nephew, Mark Allen Howe, passed in April, following a lengthy illness,


If you would like to be included in our Daily Healing, please contact Melissa Smith. We'll list your name or honor anonymity, if you prefer. Regardless, please know you will be the recipient of our collective healing energy.


2nd Annual FSIM Family Picnic - June 21, 2014
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2nd Annual FSIM Family Picnic! The event was held on Saturday, June 21st at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Check out these wonderful photos from the celebration.   

Aspiration & Intention: One in the Same
By Sandy Forseth

Years ago a friend referred me this picture with the statement "This is so you. You would love this place." It was true. The photograph resonated with me, and I loved it so much it became part of my everyday life as the cover of my daily planner. Consistent with the Feng Shui belief and practice of having that which you love in your environment, I regularly had my hands on this photo and was consistently reminded of "this special place." Fast forward a few years and I stood in the presence of what the photo represented. Here is a story from a recent trip to Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China, for those who have Feng Shui ears to hear and are fellow believer in Eastern thought.   


According to the Webster Dictionary definition, "aspiration" is a strong desire or ambition. It can be a prompting of something written or said. Another way to describe "aspiration" is a thing so desired. Aspiration is not a word I hear often. In Feng Shui practice, intention is a key word used. Intention is defined as an aim, end, or purpose. A determination to do a specified thing or to have something in mind as a plan or design and done purposefully. Aspiration and intention . . . I believe, are interchangeable and one in the same. Read on and learn how I acquired this belief.   


The photograph was of the Dongba Aspiration Windbell.  Although I hadn't known the meaning prior to this moment, it literally took my breath away.  I was speechless to read the meaning of "this special place." No wonder I had been so drawn to this photo.


 Dongba Aspiration Windbell

This is a miracle place.

You call the heaven, it answers,

you call the earth, it responds. . .

Make your wish from your heart.


See the photo to know what components each windbell have; an aspiration or intention, and a bell to send the vibration on.  Throughout China and Hong Kong,I saw variations of the aspiration windbell.  One example is at Po Lin Monastery in Lantau Island, Hong Kong.  Hanging from a tree, Chinese characters were inscribed on a six inch bamboo rod and a bell hanging from the bottom of each.  So simple, yet, so powerful.


Here is some of the incredible background history.  "Dongba" is name which was given to the written picture language of the Naxi people of Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China (according to the Chinavine).  The Dongba pictographs are still used today and have some 1400 - 2000 characters.  The living ancient picture language is now, the only one left in the world. Each pictograph combines art and language to convey meaning even to those who lack knowledge of the direct translation.  The pictures represent language concepts ranging from a single word, belief or concept.  The order of the picture strokes matter, similar to written Chinese characters. The hieroglyphics are still used by Dongbas, researchers and artists of the culture.  



The Naxi  Dongba culture is their heritage and also religion or spiritual background.  They believe everything in the world is connected and that these bells can resonate along the connection.  Due to this fact, Dongba script is often painted on wooden boards or other materials, signifying a hope (aspiration or intention) which the person has.  They then sign their name on it and tie it up to hang in the wind.  Many are left in the Old Town of Lijiang near the water wheel  and they combine with the sound of the waterways to create a music that can be heard nowhere else.  A number of signs exist within the city explaining the bells. 

Many aspects of the Dongba Aspiration Windbell resonated with me and my Feng Shui beliefs, teaching, and practice.  First of all, have that which you love in your environment.  I was attracted to the art, the color, the bell and the movement from the moment the photo was shared with me.  Love at first sight. A few of the primary principles of Feng Shui are "connectivity" and "everything is energy".   The most important factor in Feng Shui is living by intention and reinforcing those intentions with sound.   All of these concepts are represented in the Dongba Aspiration Windbell. The Three Secrets of Reinforcement are; the physical placement of an object (body), visualization and focus on an intention (mind) and adding the energy to an adjustment (speech or sound). Typically, for us as Feng Shui practitioners, this sound is speaking the Six True Words, Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum nine times.  The Dongba Aspiration Windbell, is activated by the sound of the bell as the wind blows.  A common sight is children on adult shoulders ringing the windbells from one end to the other.  A Chinese smile on a child's face and a sound that cannot be replicated.


To that end, I have a tree in my own backyard begging to become a Dongba Aspiration tree.  I will hang an item with intention and sound to represent the desires of my heart in my own environment.  Is one of your trees longing to be a Dongba Aspiration tree?

Also to note, at the same time I first saw the Dongba Aspiration Windbell, when I was breathless and the illumination and integration was coming to me.  Others around me were gasping and looking up . . . rainbow. Further gasps . . . double rainbow!  The Feng Shui metaphor for me was double illumination.


Sandy Forseth, Feng Shui Institute of Midwest Membership Coordinator, studied Black Sect Buddhist Feng Shui & graduated from the Wind & Water School of Feng Shui, 2009.

Feng Shui Institute of the Midwest

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In This Issue
FSIM Field Trip: Garden Tour with Shirley Kooyman
Using Native Plants in Your Garden...by Shirley Mah Kooyman, Botanist and Native Plant Specialist
FSIM Daily Healing
2nd Annual FSIM Family Picnic - June 21, 2014
Aspiration & Intention: One in the Same by Sandy Forseth
Featured Article
Upcoming Feng Shui Classes and Events

Introduction to Feng Shui, by Lee Ann Paradise

Location: Hastings Haunted House of Annie Wilder. Hastings, Minnesota
Date: Friday, July 25th
Time: 6:30 - 9:00 pm
Cost: $39.00

Click here or Call Lee Ann at 952-443-2727 for more information.

Evolution of Consciousness  

Lyndall Johnson, M.A., L.P. and Eloise Erasmus, Ph.D., L.P.
Date: Friday Sept 26 and Saturday Sept 27
Location: The Aslan Institute
4141 Old Sibley Memorial Highway
Eagan, Minnesota , 55122
Time: Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m./ Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $189
Contact Info: http://aslaninst.com/
More Info: This workshop will give you an overview of the evolution of consciousness as manifested in creation and humanity from the Big Bang to the present. You will be provided with a comprehensive map with which to understand human development in cultures and societies, and as replicated in each individual life. 

Feng Shui Institute of the Midwest | 5437 Sanibel Drive | Minnetonka | MN | 55343


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