I was sitting on the fence thinking about whether I should write a post regarding my Rice Media feature that was just published today. You can find the video here: The Man Who Divines Destinies Through Emails
This feature is about as real as it gets I suppose and I hope everyone can put a face and voice to the emails you receive during your consultations. I don’t sound that scary, right? But I guess putting certain things in words always makes things feel a bit more critical of someone.
Truth be told, this post was drafted beforehand in anticipation of the video feature being published. I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about a few things as I anticipate a lot of people will be stumbling upon my website for the first time. 2021 is also coming to an end, and quite honestly I wish I had some time to slow down and reflect on the year but I’ve been constantly flooded with consultation requests to be able to do that properly.
If you’re a newcomer to my website, a warm welcome and I hope you enjoy some of the posts here and start to appreciate what our ancestors have passed down to us.
I think the biggest media feature I had in my career so far was the Channel NewsAsia feature I had back in 2018. I remember tearing up on the bus while I was on the way to work because it felt so surreal and for once in my life, I felt like I did something right and, hopefully, something good in my life that was motivated by the right intentions.
Rice Media isn’t my first video feature, but it’s definitely one that felt the most personal it was quite a cathartic process for me and I guess you could say it had the most impact on me on a personal level. It feels really nice to have your story told and I guess it’s, in some ways, validation of yourself as a person and what you’ve been through as a human being. Being featured in media, especially on a platform you think highly of, is always an honour, and I guess it serves as a good reminder to revisit why I started doing whatever it is that I’m doing.
The saying goes 不忘初心 which translates to “Do not forget who you are and what you sought at the beginning.”
How The Media Feature Happened
The process was pretty much the same as all my previous features. I received a cold email from the producer with a pitch, they shared the angle with me, and they came to my house for a pre-interview. I agreed to the angle as it wasn’t a piece that would ridicule or trivialize what I do and the shoot began soon after.
Rice Media actually approached me back in 2018 for an article but I didn’t agree to it due to the angle as I felt it didn’t present Chinese metaphysics in the appropriate light:
Many things have changed since and the producers have also shared with me how the company has been trying to find its identity. I’ve been following Rice Media for a number of years now and saw how they’ve changed as a platform. I really enjoyed how they craft their stories and perspectives and I couldn’t help but say “yes” this time.
Filming the video was a really eye-opening experience because it was the first time I’m going through a shoot where the focus was on me and I got to witness firsthand all the work and effort that goes into it. The video may just be 4 minutes long, but we actually spent hours talking so seeing how they painstakingly compressed all of that into a story that would capture people’s attention is simply amazing.
Alas, a 4-minute video is not going to be able to do 5000 years of Chinese history and philosophy justice, but I hope it gets people interested at least.
I’ve said a long time ago and also on my FAQs that I’m not someone who actively seeks to be featured and I don’t throw myself at every media opportunity. What happens it’s that I usually get approached with a pitch and I make a decision from there (with the help of Qi Men Dun Jia of course).
I always think about what being on this feature achieves and what are the risks.
The risks are pretty straightforward I guess: I get flamed, people will call me a charlatan, or there will be a disgruntled ex-client just lurking in the dark ready to cancel me which I don’t blame them for because not everyone gets a pleasant experience with me. It’s happened before, so nothing surprising there. I really don’t want to go into why some people don’t have a pleasant experience with me again here as my previous blog posts would have addressed this.
At the end of the day, I guess what means the most to me is that I get a chance to spread what I feel is the right message and this has always been what I am trying to do. I’m doing whatever I can to be consistent and present Chinese metaphysics in the right light and how I feel our ancestors would have wanted it to be. I remind myself that these things shouldn’t be about me or an ego trip because at the end of the day, what I feel people can benefit from is the understanding of these laws that I always talk about and I’m but a medium that communicates these laws to the layman. In other words, it’s about you and how you fit into the grand scheme of things, it’s really not about how popular or well-known I am because that’s the last thing that has an impact on anyone who gets a consultation from me.
As hard as it is for some people to believe because some people would find it hypocritical, it’s really what I tell myself during the quiet moments I have for myself and it’s my way of staying grounded. It’s the same reason why I don’t post pictures of myself ‘doing work’ or inspirational quotes on my Facebook page. Actions like that make me feel I’m deviating from what I’m trying to achieve, and I never felt I was in a position to inspire others.
I guess you could say I’ve been through enough in life and I don’t need superficial validation or envy from others and I just want a simple, peaceful life.
I Hope Everyone Respects What Our Ancestors Passed Down
Most people would call my field ‘fortune-telling’ but readers who have been following me for a while know that I prefer not to call it that because there is so much more to it.
Trust me, I know what the general majority feels about this field. To a lot of people out there, I’m a con man, and I’m fine because it is what it is. Not everyone learns to appreciate our history and roots. Recent news articles on feng shui masters are also not helping.
People can call me whatever they wish and I frankly don’t care, but I just wish to remind everyone that these are your own ancestors, your history, and your culture you’re not giving the due respect it deserves.
A lot of people scorn this field and anything that is esoteric. It’s dismissed as “unscientific”. But my response to that would be that science and Chinese metaphysics, and even astrology can be very similar in the sense that we are all just trying to understand how the world works. Sure, Chinese metaphysics can’t explain certain things the way science does, but we shouldn’t expect it to.
The aim of science is to understand the natural world and through understanding it we make our lives better. Chinese metaphysics is no different, it’s just that it’s an ancient art, so the way it is packaged or presented is limited to what’s available in the era it was developed. But it doesn’t make it any less relevant in the modern day because the laws we study in Chinese metaphysics will always remain through the passage of time.
This field is not something everyone appreciates and that’ll always be a pity to me because there’s so much to learn and gain from it, but unfortunately this field, in my opinion, has been straying down the wrong path for the longest time. People no longer hold this field in high regard but scorn it because it’s seen as bringing out the worst in humanity – superstition, greed, and whatnot.
I think the main thing I want to say is that if this is the first time you’re on my website or the first time you heard about Chinese metaphysics or Chinese astrology, all I ask is that you look at it from our ancestors’ perspective. Go back to the roots of it all – your roots, our roots. The people who developed this were amazing and what you have seen or experienced in the modern era is not an accurate representation of what it was meant to be.
Nothing makes me happier than when someone develops an interest in the history and philosophy of Chinese metaphysics after getting in touch with it because that’s how it really impacts one’s life – not your items, charms, crystals, or pixiu bracelets.
I Don’t Wish To Always Keep Bringing Up My Past But I’ll Do It One Last Time
Please read this section with a light-hearted tone. I don’t want people to feel I’m this mopey person who is always unhappy. I’m not, really. It’s just that I make it a point not to advertise my life and portray the impression that learning Chinese metaphysics has created miracles in my life, especially when people approach me usually when they are down. I’m just secretly and quietly grateful and whether my life is good or bad – I really don’t need others to see it.
What you read from my blog and see online is but a fraction of what I’m really like, but of course, there are the nice sides as well as the unpleasant sides.
The video did touch a bit on my past, my family, and how I got into this field. Not the full story of course. I told myself I don’t want to make this blog and what I do to be about my past because it is unhealthy and that the ideal state of mind to be in is that I don’t identify with my past. I don’t wish to be “Sean who had a tough childhood hence he is so-and-so” but rather “Sean just being in the present and living well” because one thing I learned is that someone cannot fully heal if they cling to an unhealthy identity.
I’ll touch on my past one last time since the video brought it up and filming the video was also a walk down memory lane for me.
The uncomfortable truth that I have to tell myself sometimes is that although my past got me to do what I’m doing today and where I am, there is no doubt I am still a product of it and there are some very ugly things about me that people do not see. I don’t try to hide who I am. I can be extremely harsh on people, especially those who I deem to have character flaws or those who somehow reminds me of the two adults who failed in their roles but for some reason still think they are saints. This side of me is a product of me trying very hard to overcome my own issues and what I witnessed as a child.
I’ve said this in one of my blog posts, but I really don’t want people to think I’m some person with high morals or a compassionate person just because I am doing what I’m doing. I’m not binary in that sense because if I believe in balance, it also means I have to accept or even embrace the different sides I have and use it where appropriate. To put it simply, I don’t believe in being nice all the time especially when I’m extremely cognizant that evil exists. I am unable to be nice to people whom I know deep down are not good people.
A small part of me really wants the world to know just how bad things were for me. Like everyone else (because I’m also human), we want our voices to be heard and our pain validated. In some ways, it’s also my way of clapping back at people who feel I’m not in the position to do or talk about the things I do, especially when most of them, quite frankly, had an easier life than me and chose not to make good use of it.
I was digging through some old photos on my fossilized portable hard drive for the video, I inevitably stumbled upon some unpleasant memories. There’s one that made me chuckle a bit and as it marked the time when my journey as a practitioner started:
If you are able to zoom closely enough, the description of the house I was staying in back then (not Lake View) had a structure that said “母子不和”, meaning the mother and son will not be close which was clearly an understatement. I had an affinity with bad houses apparently. It was also one of the earliest moments when I began to understand the house we stay in is meant to be. I asked if I could place some items around in the house as it was a period of experimentation for me, only to receive the reply you see above.
I said this in jest and in a light-hearted tone: The woman who gave birth to me gave the most practical feng shui advice I’ve heard in my life which was “Go kill yourself and everything will be fine you animal.”
I wouldn’t say it’s good advice but it’s definitely, definitely practical. Mother and son won’t be close to just ‘remove’ the son from the equation, and what’s more, get him to do it himself by asking him to put an end to himself.
It. Is. Genius.
I remember that day very clearly. If you look at the timestamps, it was 7:36 am in the morning. I was seated on a bench at MacRitchie reading as an unemployed and penniless young man. I snapped a photo for reasons I couldn’t remember, probably to memorialize the moment.
The funny thing about the picture is that my old house where I stayed before I went to university is in the picture. You’ll see three buildings in the background and that’s Lake View which I always felt was Heaven’s way of saying “Hey Sean, **** you” instead because if you sake “Lake View” enough times it sounds like profanity instead.
There were a lot of unpleasant memories there and it was the place where I had to call the police to my place when I was barely 8 or 9. It was also the place where I witnessed the woman who gave birth to me holding a knife to the man who basically gave her the ability to give birth to me. I baulk at using the words “mother” and “father” so please bear with me, because these words, to me, shouldn’t just be used just because that’s a biological link. The spirit and soul of this so-called link are more important to me, if not, it is an absolutely meaningless label.
As much as I hate to have a body carrying their genes, I tell myself my soul is uniquely mine and what Heavens gave me and it doesn’t matter if I came from something I feel that’s defiled.
I’ve been told that I was ugly, stupid, and useless, and told every once in a while that I should jump off a building since I was young – from before I was a teen all the way till I was in my 20s. Even at 26, before I left for the airport for a mountaineering trip, I was told to just die on the mountain if anything happened to me and not come back paralyzed to burden everyone. The mountaineering trip was the one I put on my “About” page.
For the majority of my life, I thought that the environment I was in and whatever I went through was normal. Most people don’t know what’s normal and what’s not growing because we don’t talk about such things when we’re in school and not even in university. We’re all still figuring ourselves out. Growing up was just really tough because I made a lot of mistakes and there wasn’t anyone there to guide me and most of my decisions were pretty much ego-driven or driven by insecurity.
It really took rock bottom to make me realize something was wrong, that the way I saw things, perceived things, and handled things – were all unhealthy.
I mentioned 27 or 28 was the lowest point in my life but it was also the period when I started to have my so-called ‘awakening’ where I realized I was damaged and something needed to be done. I also mentioned before that I was nearing my transition into another new 10-year phase which was why things were changing. If you’re wondering why I took those screenshots, it was because I started to protect myself because there were times when I called the police to my house as my safety was being threatened, but the woman who gave birth to me managed to convince the police I was the one who was violent by playing the victim, so I needed to have some evidence to make sure she couldn’t ruin my life.
2013 was the year I went really deep into the history and philosophy of Chinese metaphysics because everything didn’t make sense to me. If a mere crystal can suddenly turn an abusive narcissist into someone wise, we would have world peace and Donald Trump would be the Pope.
I mentioned a long time ago that I had a period that I was experimenting with feng shui items, and trust me, it doesn’t work. I cannot reiterate enough how stupid it is to rely on those things, and I hope everything believes me now when I say I experimented with it before. I did put some items back in 2013 when I was still experimenting and trying to understand feng shui but nothing in the house changed. I actually found pictures of the items I’ve placed in my hard drive, but I won’t upload it here as it’s really embarrassing.
It’s comforting to know that now when I look at these screenshots and my past, I find humour and solace in them. It was my ‘Fire forging Metal’ process, just that the Fire was a little bit too strong for quite some time.
There Were Two Things In The Video That Gave Me The Life I Have Now
My Beloved Wife
OK, I shouldn’t call my wife a “thing” but you get my point.
The producers brought up the idea of wanting my wife to be in the video and I was definitely all for it. I wanted her to be in the video so that we could have a shared memory and be on a media feature together, and it was also my small way of honouring her because I would have never made it this far without her. I don’t want to make this post all mushy but I never thought I’d ever end up having a wife like her, especially coming from my background. A woman like her could have chosen to be with any other family and a better family. In our tender moments together I sometimes say to her “I can’t believe you chose to marry me and I’m so lucky to have you”. The sound of my wife’s laughter cannot be more endearing, and I love making her laugh, so if you find the way I express myself on my blog amusing, imagine what she’s getting every day. You get to see a glimpse of it at 3:30 in the video where I clearly said something ‘inappropriate’ to my wife to make her smile for the camera and thank goodness it was just a b roll without audio.
I really wish everyone can relate to what I mean when I say some spouses bring ‘good luck’ which is a topic you’ll hear often in Chinese metaphysics. I cannot begin to describe how much of an impact a good spouse has on your life. I’m extremely blessed because my wife is 旺夫 to the extreme and brings me tons of ‘good luck’ and this ‘good luck’ basically just means she makes me better in every sense of the word and, naturally, my life becomes better. I have more energy and mental headspace to do more constructive things with my life. I really, really wouldn’t have what I have today without her. I’m very blessed to have a marriage like mine where we laugh together almost every day. A blissful marriage is something I never thought I’d have and I really thank Heavens for it. I also hope in some ways that when people see what kind of wife I have, they know I’m intrinsically not a bad person because my wife wouldn’t want to be with someone like that, so my toxic side (yes, of course, I have this side) is only reserved for certain kind of people which my field tends to attract.
My Chess Board
The other thing you’ll see in the video is the chessboard (Goe/Weiqi) that has been with me since 2003. I was lucky I had Weiqi as a hobby and a healthy obsession as I felt it kept me on the right path. I represented the country a few times when I was at my peak but that was a long time ago. I didn’t appreciate how much playing chess has shaped the way I think and process things until I was much older. My Saturdays when I was 17 and 18 were spent at the clubhouse playing chess and I was in a safe environment, and I guess I didn’t stray because of this when, statistically, some people with a background like mine would have. Don’t get me started on how fascinated I am with the game because I’ll never stop.
Looking back, sometimes everything feels like it’s destined because everyone knows I talk about balance a lot on my blog, and this concept is applied in Weiqi too. Make your moves without balance and you will lose the game more quickly than you think because your pieces will be weak and the opponent can counter-attack, or you lose control of the board. The game also trains you to look at things from multiple angles and forces you to think ahead and adapt to changing scenarios because every opponent has a different play style.
OK, I’m going to stop before I get carried away.
Before You Think About Jumping Onboard To Get A Reading
If you’re new to this blog and you suddenly feel like getting a reading, I would strongly suggest you hold that thought for the time being and spend some time reading my post blogs first, especially those tagged under “Must Reads“. Please also drop by my FAQ page.
It’s not just for the sake of understanding this field better but also to know what I’m like as a person. I really don’t want to make this post about me and my past again, it’s just that I have no choice but to bring this up once in a while and give people a heads up that if you approach this the wrong way, or you come with a certain kind of attitude, the consultation really isn’t going to go very well.
I’m half-expecting there to be an influx of readings from the video, and when the surge goes away it’ll be Chinese New Year soon enough. I foresee myself getting busy very soon.
There is really, really no rush to get a reading unless there’s some critical decision to make. It’s much better to read up on the history and philosophy of this field – you’ll gain a lot more from there, trust me.
A Thank You To Rice Media, The Producers, And My Clients
The whole thing was a really pleasant, heartfelt experience. The only thing I wished for was that I took better care of myself and didn’t age so much throughout the years now that I’m looking at myself through a video.
I’ve definitely made a few new friends through the production and I’m very honoured that producers also opened up a little and shared their life journeys with me. I got to speak to a few of them and asked them what is it that made them do what they do because it’s a form of work I can never see myself doing, and to see their passion behind their work is really inspiring.
Despite my tougher start to life, I’ve never felt that I wasn’t blessed. I guess the biggest blessing I have is the soul I have. I’m glad I didn’t mess up my life despite the start I had. In my article on Yin Yang and balance, the worst things can be the biggest blessings, and in a way I guess I’ve been blessed to get the chance to learn a lot of life lessons at a younger age.
I’ve also been very blessed to have a lot of benefactors in my lifetime for I’m sure my soul would have crumbled if not for the good people I had around me. In fact, I still have many benefactors around me right now. I definitely regard the people I meet from the media who give me such opportunities as my benefactors. Each media feature I’ve had so far did bring my career as a practitioner further but I don’t measure this monetarily. It’s really more of the intangibles. Yes, I’ll always be thankful for the material comforts this career has given me, but I guess what I value most is the trust my clients have put in me and that some of them, even when they are much older than me, hold me in high regard. There’s a certain pride and dignity that no one can take away from me I guess and it’s something I know I’ll lose if I do things like peddling items and selling lies.
Thank you to my clients who have reached out to me and shared their good wishes with me! I really wouldn’t have the life I have now without everyone and I really want everyone to know it’s not something I take for granted.
I say this all the time and I really want to reiterate this. I’m not the perfect service provider and I have to apologize that my flaws as a human being get in the way sometimes, but I’m really doing my best and I know I shouldn’t let the flaws of others bring out my own flaws.
But let’s all admit it, it feels good putting certain kinds of people in their place sometimes and some people really deserve it. *Peace sign*
I guess my journey continues. I’m only 35. Not too young and not too old, and many years ahead as a practitioner. Whatever it is, I don’t want to disappoint our ancestors and Chinese sages who have passed down this art and I hope someplace, somewhere, they are watching.