Clarence Lau to speak at Skylawn cemetery’s Ching Ming festival
By Samantha Weigel, Daily Journal
Honolulu-based feng shui Master Clarence Lau is in town this weekend helping people consider more than their worldly homes — he’s advising on how to pick an eternal resting place.
A tradition rooted in thousands of years of Chinese history, Lau said feng shui can play an integral role in not only improving one’s current conditions, it can also have an effect on one’s offspring for generations to come.
This weekend, Lau will be at the Skylawn Memorial Park to help celebrate Ching Ming “grave sweeping festival” and the San Mateo cemetery’s new grave site garden called Skyview — a feng shui-friendly area with views spanning the Pacific Ocean to the San Francisco Bay.
Trained in Hong Kong, Lau said he’s been practicing for more than 25 years while giving lectures and private consultations on how people can adjust their surroundings to improve their lives.
“I first got into it because I feel this could be helpful for our human beings and I feel a passion for doing this and I see the good results after I assist the family,” Lau said while on his way to a Sacramento home for a consultation.
But unlike the more widely-known feng shui principles used in interior design or even when considering whether a certain home is suitable for a particular person, there’s another time the tradition is valued — the afterlife.
It’s worthwhile for people to consider the yang home or house, as well as their yin home or eternal resting place, Lau said.
Feng shui, which literally translates into wind and water, has a lot to do with balance and movement. It can also be tailored to a particular individual based on their birthday, such as determining the positioning in which one should be buried, Lau said.
“This is the basic energy that we are utilizing whether we are living in this world now as human beings, we need to have water and wind; or even when we pass in the future, we also need the energy to be in the location to generate good ways for the living of the next generations. That’s how the Chinese tradition has been for a couple thousand years,” Lau said.
In recent times, Lau said he’s been traveling to the West Coast to offer his advice and will lead several lectures during this weekend’s Ching Ming festival at Skylawn. Known as the “grave sweeping” festival, it’s actually a joyful occasion for people to remember loved ones during spring and will include dance performances, free lunch and more at the cemetery off State Route 92.
Lau, who will give lectures in Cantonese and English, is also known for working on a new section of the serene Valley of the Temples Memorial Park — an Oahu cemetery boasting a large Japanese-style temple, koi pond and 9-foot-tall Buddha statue.
Lau said Skylawn’s new burial garden has natural feng shui with the hills surrounding and pulling energy toward the site that overlooks views of the Pacific Ocean.
Tours will be given of the new Skyview development, a tiered area offering nearly 8,000 grave sites ranging from traditional ground burials to cremation plots, said Skylawn Director of Administration Jason Raichert.
It’s “said to have amazing feng shui. So we thought this year we’d bring Master Lau in to show it and actually take people up there and show them the views of the ocean and the different mountains in the backdrop and the Bay on the other side,” Raichert said.
Buses will transport people to the site with pickups in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland, Raichert said, adding it’s exciting to have someone of Lau’s stature and experience visiting Skylawn.
“Master Lau, not only has he been extremely knowledgeable and tells us small little things we can do to enhance different aspects of our service and our development, but he’s a genuinely friendly person that takes his time to speak to others and really gives you honest opinions,” Raichert said.
Raichert and Lau noted while Skylawn is popular amongst a large Chinese population and traditional feng shui is traditionally practiced by people of Asian decent, everyone is encouraged to participate.
“It speaks to a diverse group of people,” Raichert said, while noting this weekend is a great time for newcomers to visit. Ching Ming is “a lot of fun. I know it’s a traditional Chinese holiday, but it’s a lot of fun for people of all religious beliefs and denominations to enjoy a meal and see an exciting performance.”
Lau said he’s pleased to teach people about how to apply feng shui in both their current homes, as well as their final resting place — particularly as the latter can have a lasting impact on bringing good fortune to one’s children and grandchildren.
“We consider this our long-term home after we pass away, this is the home we go into for eternity,” Lau said, adding he enjoys “educating people about how important [feng shui] is to help them with the flowing of the family, harmonizing for their love and as well for health. So I feel I have this passion to make the rest of the world understand our practice for thousands of years.”
The Ching Ming festival is through April 3. Events are planned both Saturday and Sunday. Visit www.skylawnmemorialpark.com or call (650) 437-1986 for more information about Ching Ming festival, lecture times or to schedule a visit with Lau.