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Feng Shui Master Helps Shape Cemetery Garden

By Christine Morente, San Mateo County Times

Feng Shui CemeterySAN MATEO — King Tong Chan's mother will finally rest in peace.

For three years, her bones were kept in a temporary spot inside Skylawn Memorial Park after spending nearly 10 years in a cemetery in China.

According to Chan, family members are allowed only a 10-year lease for a plot. After that ends, the bones have to be moved or cremated.

Now, his mother awaits burial at Eternity Gardens at Skylawn, a relief to the 81-year-old, who also purchased space in the cemetery garden that adheres to Feng Shui principles.

The grand opening was Thursday morning.

"It will bring fortune to my afterlife," Tong said in Chinese. Michael Wong of Pacifica helped translate.

Eternity Gardens was created to emanate prosperity for future generations.

The 9-acre cemetery is outlined in the shape of an eagle, its wings outstretched.

The powerful symbol was made to fly toward the Pacific Ocean, or eternity. At its back is the coastal mountain range nearby Highway 92.

So far, $18 million worth of space has been sold to families. Eternity Gardens would eventually encompass a little more than 6,000 plots.

"They (the Chinese) really care about the end of life, and we respond to that," said Allison Rodman, a spokeswoman for Lifemark Group, which owns and operates Skylawn Memorial Park and other funeral homes, crematories, and mausoleums in the Bay Area.

Eternity Gardens was the group's final phase of a $100 million project that also built the Lifemark Center last year.

Hong Kong Feng Shui master Eagle Wong consulted in the building of Eternity Gardens.

Feng Shui is an ancient practice that focuses on the placement and arrangement of space to achieve harmony with the environment.

Adrienne Wong, in charge of landscape architecture for Eternity Gardens, said Feng Shui masters were initially hired by Chinese emperors to determine where they need to be buried.

How that perfect spot is chosen is based on the four pillars of destiny, which is the person's year, month, day, and time of birth. The place of birth also is important.

"The Chinese believe that the soul or spirit of a person still lives and still helps the family," Wong said. "They can help for a thousand years."

Eagle Wong said the right burial site will bring a strong and beneficial energy to nourish the person buried there.

Eternity Gardens also features upright grave markers. Wong said they would work as antennas to attract the right signals, benefits and good luck from above.

During Thursday's opening ceremonies, Taoist monks from San Francisco blessed the area, and traditional Chinese lions danced to ward off evil spirits.

Lifemark is still waiting for a permit from San Mateo County to allow burials. It's expected to come next week, said Chuck Hotchkiss, general manager of Skylawn Memorial Park.

Ben Kwok of Pacifica hasn't bought a plot yet, but considers it one of his top choices because of the surroundings.

The 54-year-old wants to be buried facing east, toward Hong Kong.

"Hopefully, there's an afterlife I can see," Kwok said.

Source: InsideBayArea.com


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