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A rock's purpose

A feng shui master orchestrated the placement of a lichen-covered boulder at the Asian Liver Center’s entrance to draw in healing energy.

Kris Newby

When the industrialist C. J. Huang funded the construction of Stanford Medicine’s Asian Liver Center, a nonprofit focused on reducing the incidence of hepatitis B and liver cancer in Asians, he asked that the building design reflect the cultural traditions of the Asian community. To this end, Stanford worked with feng shui master Jetsun Ma Ho Lynn to provide advice on colors and landscaping elements that would have a healing effect on the center’s visitors.

So what’s the deal with that boulder?  

Recently, Ho Lynn explained its mystical purpose: “This volcanic rock is composed of fire, earth and metal elements, and the lichen on its surface represents water and wood elements. Wood is energetically related to the liver and brings forth an enhancing, productive chain of the five elements’ spiritual powers to support the goals of the Asian Liver Center’s work. The empty space under the roof overhang of the center’s entrance was a feng shui variable that could disrupt the flow of chi, vital energy, into the building. Adding the large boulder calls attention to the center’s establishing goal with its heavy weight and powerful presence.”

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