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Balancing Act
A New Attitude About an Ancient Art

It’s a Wonderful Life. Remember the movie? The old Frank Capra Christmas Classic? It’s about an Everyman who can’t catch a break (Jimmy Stewart in his most unforgettable role as George Bailey), beset with a host of everyday problems, who manages to overcome most of them with a change in attitude and a little help from above. The one thing, however, that drives old George off a bridge - the running gag, the underlying symbol for the theme of the movie - is an unglued knob at the bottom of the banister that comes loose in his hand every single time he attempts to use the stairs.

Granted, old George Bailey has an angel on his side in the movie and winds up realizing just how lucky he really is, but he could also use a good Feng Shui adjustment. All he has to do is ask.

But how does one balance a busy life? How does one ask? Ask who? Ask what? How does one ‘get lucky?’

Kids, relationship, health, money problems, lack of time, stress, a cluttered environment, hidden tension, and the front door sticks every time you try and close it. They all affect each other. There is blocked energy that needs to be freed. Everything is working against and not in harmony with each other. Sometimes, life gets so overwhelmingly out of control one doesn’t know where to begin.
Lighting the Way

If only George Bailey could’ve met Marina Lighthouse.

No one understands or empathizes with this type of problem more than a person who helps people find real-life daily solutions to that very question. Marina Lighthouse is an expert in the Art of Balanced Living, the Art of Placement — the ancient and revered Art of Feng Shui. But what is it, really, that she does? Is she some sort of New Age Interior Design Psychotherapist? What is gained or, more importantly, what needs to be lost as a person, a place, an environment comes into balance. What does that mean, anyhow?

What does where we live and how we live have to do with who we are and how balanced we feel? What elements cause and relieve stress in our lives? So what if the front door sticks or that knob on the banister falls off every time you grab it? How is the energy blocked? What energy? What can one do?

These are precisely the hard to answer but urgent questions asked everyday by people, corporations, architects, business leaders, politicians, entertainers and hundreds more that this Los Altos resident comes in contact with.

Marina Lighthouse believes people, places and even the things around us have energy and are connected in ways that are both seen and unseen. One influences the other and all react in ways that can be known if only one would pay close attention. She thinks a balanced life is a well-adjusted life and that luck, prosperity, success and happiness can be prepared for and encouraged - that an open mind, an open heart and open channels to creativity and prosperity do much to manifest the same.

Through her very successful Los Altos business Harmony in Your Environment, Lighthouse helps corporations and small businesses, entrepreneurs and just plain folks identify and clear a path for the energy in their lives.

Look and Listen

“The very first thing I do when someone calls me for a Feng Shui consultation is I arrive and observe, then listen deeply. I listen a lot. The client is talking. The environment is talking. Feng Shui is all about observing, noticing, feeling. There are blatant energies, subtle energies. Sometimes, living and working, we lose a perspective on those. I observe subtleties, notice patterns. For example, a person will bump their shins repeatedly, then adjust and start to walk around a sharp coffee table. They may avoid that coffee table for years, instead of just moving it. Moving the coffee table does more than create space, it eliminates the compensating-tension a person doesn’t even know they’re holding and expending every time they encounter that table. It takes energy to avoid it 100 times a day. Suddenly, there’s more energy.”

According to Lighthouse, good Feng Shui is 90% about showing up and listening. “By the way, just to be clear,” says Lighthouse. “Feng Shui is not about providing unsolicited advice to people about their relationships, homes, lives or businesses. It’s about listening, looking, intuiting, observing, talking, connecting, and then, if need be, correcting.”

“I walked recently into a woman’s house and listened to her complain about her unrelieved kidney problems. Even her dog had developed kidney problems she said. I listened and looked. I noticed an aquarium that was filthy and unattended. In the back yard was fetid, stagnant water from a backed up drain. I noticed a pattern. We talked. I mostly listened. After a while I made a few suggestions. Today her back yard is dry and tended, the aquarium is clean, her kidney problems are gone, and oddly, so are her dog’s. She’s feeling less blocked, less stagnant. Her kidneys filter better. She’s happier. Chi was blocked. Energy flows easier now. It was all connected.”

Sometimes, a Feng Shui adjustment to a person’s environment takes the form of a ‘cure’ or response. There is something one can do to change or redirect energy. “It’s usually impossible to change the architecture of a house to open up the free-flowing of energy,” says Lighthouse. “However, a transcendental cure could take the form of an object that wards off, or reflects bad Chi. The same lady whose kidney problems cleared up, lived in a house where three busy streets intersected right outside her house. In fact, they all converged at her front door. Too much busy, hectic energy was directed at the house. An eight-sided Chinese Mirror, Ba-gua, was hung above the front door, deflecting the energy back outside.” Other Feng Shui responses or cures could take the form of windchimes, a Bamboo Flute, hanging crystals, and other items found at Chinese specialty shops.

Authentic Bamboo Flutes are hard to find, and often clients have had trouble locating these items. In response she has inaugurated a helpful Web Shopping site called Feng Shui Shopper where people can find items related to Feng Shui and Chinese culture.

East Meets West

Marina Lighthouse is an intriguing blend of Western sensibility and Eastern mysticism. An artist by nature, a musician and healer by craft, a composer and singer, successful businesswoman and spiritual seeker, she simply believes “That we are all here to help each other any way we can.”

Lighthouse was taught at an early age about Chinese history and philosophy by her father, Ben Marinovich. Lighthouse says, “I guess I was trained for this from an early age. My average morning breakfast table conversation before school included the interpreting of last night’s dreams and on certain days of the week reading coffee grounds.”

Studying the I Ching extensively, she also immersed herself in Christian, Buddhist and Taoist theology. She was introduced to Feng Shui in 1991, and later met His Holiness Grandmaster Lin Yun Rinpoche while he was performing a blessing ceremony for the City of Santa Cruz in California. She began studying directly under the renowned spiritual leader of the Tantric Buddhist Black Sect Feng Shui in 1995, and became a certified practitioner in 1996. They collaborated in 2000 on a project to weave the precepts and theories of Feng Shui into a musical context. The resulting CD, “Feng Shui Tune Up” was heralded as the first of its kind in the field.

Although she is based in the San Francisco area, during her regular travels to Taipei, the world-renowned H.H. Grandmaster Lin Yun often referred politicians, business owners, entertainers and writers to her for readings.

In 2001 she opened her successful online store to provide personal and unusual Feng Shui products to the world. Celebrating 10 successful years in business, her clientel has now grown to a large domestic and international audience.

2003 found Lighthouse in demand from Bay Area corporations as well as individuals for increased consultations and readings. Several large corporations, Hewlett-Packard and Mercedes-Benz among them, had various questions ranging from office and staff environments to styling for cars. She also gave a lecture at the UC Berkeley School of Architecture that year.

In 2004 she finished recording and producing a second CD again in association with Master Lin Yun. The CD “The Heart Sutra,” is a blend of music, chanting and readings, meant to be not only listened to but meditated upon.

2008 saw the creation of a third CD featuring Master Lin Yun, "Oracle: Passages of Kuan Yin", which tied in very closely with the release in 2009 of her first book, "Kuan Yin Temple Oracle".

The book, a comprehensive guide for anyone seeking wisdom and inspiration from the great Goddess of Compassion, Kuan Yin, went on to win the 2010 BEST OF SHOW award at the INATS convention in Denver, CO. Find out more about the book here.

Lighthouse kicked off 2011 by giving lectures on 2011 Feng Shui Adjustments and developed and presented the Spiritual Experience of Kuan Yin Workshop.

Spring 2011 further flourished when she teamed up with Katherine Metz to offer Secret Sisters Online, which provides divination services to all secret sisters and brothers throughout the country.

Trained in another ancient Chinese art, Lighthouse also consults and gives readings to clients from the ancient Chinese Oracle of Mah Jongg. Predictions are accurate, uncanny and very specific. Click here for more information about appointments. As a modern day "soothsayer", her predictions are uncannily accurate and the advice offered is practical, sound and very specific.

For relaxation Marina sings and plays ukulele with Happy Together, a ukulele duo she formed with her husband Jeff Leeds.

Be sure to check the Events page to see where Marina will be lecturing next.

The Key

For Lighthouse, her business as well as her life is all about balance. “Life itself longs to be in balance. People, their lives, their businesses, their relationships, their environments all want to be in harmony. The key is to listen deeply, take notice and be open to fine tuning that in one’s daily life.” A life in balance even old George Bailey would agree is a wonderful life!

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