Robin and Michael Mastro are the leaders in the field of Vastu Shastra. Through their vast experience, they have created a unique system that offers life-enhancing yet simple principles. This exciting technique is presented in their groundbreaking award-winning books, Altars of Power and Grace and The Way of Vastu. By following these dynamic tools anyone can transform their life and make their dreams a reality.
Robin Mastro instructs people worldwide to enhance living and working environments through Vastu Shastra . Her work in this inspiring field took her to Egypt and India, where she studied ancient concepts of sacred space and Vastu Shastra. In 1998 she received her masters in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University, combining systems theory and creative design to develop transformative tools for environmental harmony and personal growth. Robin is dedicated to adapting the wisdom of ancient systems to enhance the reality of modern life. She is the creator of AltarWear, a jewelry and clothing line based on Vedic teachings. We recently had the distinct honor and privilege to speak with Robin about the life enhancing work she and her husband have been doing in the area of Vastu.
LM: Over the past several years Vastu Shastra has become a very popular phrase, yet only a few have a true understanding of the meaning and philosophy behind it. Can you explain what the basic principles of Vastu Shastra are?
RM: By aligning our homes and workspaces with universal energy that is alive and ever-present we experience nature’s support. The basic principles of Vastu Shastra, the science of building, are the solar energy coming from the east and the magnetic energy coming from the north. These two forces influence every aspect of our lives, no matter where we are on the planet.Vastu also balances the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and space.
LM:How did you first get introduced to Vastu Shastra?
RM:Michael was introduced to Vastu in the late 60’s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Beatles guru. As a young architect, he designed spiritual centers worldwide for Transcendental Meditation. It was through working closely with this enlightened man who is a part of the Vedic lineage that Vastu comes from that he learned the basic use of the science.Over the past 50 years, Michael has studied with many celebrated Vastu architects and has studied the complex texts of Vastu written about thousands of years ago and is considered one the foremost scholars of Vastu in North America, if not the world. For many years,I studied Vastu with Michael, then received my masters degree in Whole Systems Design focused on how to make the science more accessible to the west
LM:How/when did you decide to make this a lifelong pursuit?
RM:Our business is a natural extension of our spiritual work as teachers of Vedic knowledge – meditation, Vedic breathing and yoga. Over the years, we saw many people struggling and suffering in their lives and we have developed an elegant system to balance any home or office no matter how compromised the structure may be.
LM:Why is Vastu called the science of time and space? What is the philosophy behind it? Why Should One Follow Vastu?
RM: The philosophy of Vastu is to reestablish man’s relationship to nature and the cosmos so nature will support mankind in all his endeavors, which goes beyond the time/space/karmic continuum. An analogy would be flowing with a stream instead of struggling against it.
LM: Can we see the influence of the ancient Indian science of Vastu in other cultures? (i.e., its Chinese counterpart, Feng-Shui)
RM:Vastu Shastra is between 7,000-10,000 years old. About 3,000 years ago, monks took the knowledge of Vastu across Tibet into China where it was adapted to local cultural and climatic concerns and became known as Feng Shui. Both Vastu and Feng Shui aim at balancing the elements and raising the life-force energy (“prana” in Sanskrit -India’s ancient language – or “chi” in Chinese).
LM:Why is the positioning of the main entrance door considered so vital in the building design process?
RM:When one has the opportunity to build from scratch it is optimal to face the door north or east to receive the positive magnetic energy from the north or the positive solar energy from the east. These energies enhance every aspect of our lives.
LM:Could you give us a few Vastu suggestions for selection of sites. (i.e., What direction the sun is in–in relation to the house)?
RM:Basically, the lot should be north or east facing with a north or east slope, water bodies to the north or east. Rivers or streams should flow south to north or west to east. There is a great deal of specific information that is then figured out based on the actual location.
LM:Could you give us an example of a Vastu-perfect house with regard to the configuration of the living spaces. ( we use only Vastu in our work, not Vaastu…so I’m correcting as I go along) (It would be great if you could talk about your current work on the process of building an eco-green home per Vastu almost 100% off the grid in Seattle).
RM: Vastu houses are designed in a rectangular fashion with more windows and doors on the north and east sides. Fire elements,like kitchens would go in the southeast or northwest, toilets would go in the northwest, sleeping areas would be in the south, west, or southwest. An open, sky-lighted area in the center (known as theBrahmasthana in Sanskrit – which translates into the “center of awareness.”) No furniture is allowed in this area. It is where universal energy enters the home as a blessing. The home we are in the process of building right now includes specifics mentioned above and it also utilizes geo-thermal, solar, passive solar, natural ventilating techniques that conserve energy. This house will be LEEDS Platinum Certified, which has the highest residential green rating.
LM: What is your advice for city dwellers who may not be able to follow Vaastu principles in their entirety because of specific space constraints? Do you recommend structural changes if the plot is already constructed?
RM:We almost never recommend structural changes as they can be more stressful than living with the Vastu imbalances. We have developed the technology to correct any imbalance without demolition or remodeling. People from all over the world fax or email us their floor plans with specific information added which helps us identify the environmental problems that people are dealing with. We Email a report with our suggestions for products that will correct the imbalances. The products are then sent with instructions. It’s very easy. We have done this for thousands of people all over the world. People can learn more about this by going to our website at www.vastucreations.com.
LM:What would you say is the relevance of Vaastu Shastra in today’s world?
RM: Vastu is the science that will help re-establish our intrinsic connection to nature and reduce the stress that we all experience daily in our lives.
LM: According to the tenants of Vastu, when we integrate the laws of nature into our lives, we find balance and harmony. When these natural laws are ignored, we experience stress and disease. Can you recall any examples of past experiences where Vastu Shastra alleviated some of these stresses?
Robin: We have many clients where they have experienced remarkable results in all aspects of their lives, whether it is balancing the body, eliminating stress in the mind, supporting relationships, enhancing careers, abundance, what have you. Once stress is removed and balance can be restored, nature can flow freely and support us. You could see it as an energetic chiropractic adjustment for the home.
LM: Nowadays we hear a lot about the importance of ecology, saving the environment, protecting Mother Nature, can you provide some essential tips that instill the basics of Vastu?
RM:Aligning yourself with the forces of the sun, wind and celestial energies are just some of the ways that Vastu is ecologically based. For example, passive solar energy and natural ventilation are combined in a solar chimney used for natural cooling and heating and is a receptor for celestial energies in the Brahmasthana, or central area, in many Vastu buildings we design.