The practice of giving your practitioner a Red Envelope functions as a talisman to manifest good fortune for you and carries the good Chi, or energy forward. Big occasions like Chinese Lunar New Year, birthdays and weddings are also very auspicious days to exchange the gift of a Red Envelope.
The exchange of a red envelope should always include some denomination of money. These monies are not a tip. These monies are placed within the Red Envelope to provide weight, and good fortune, thereby providing gratitude and luck to the practitioner for sharing heavenly secrets.
The money, whether a penny, or thousands of dollars is then donated. The monies are never kept. That energy of gratitude and sincerity placed within the envelope is sacred and when gifted to someone in need it raises their Chi, and provides them an infusion of healthy, vibrant Chi that brings them good fortune. A win-win-win for all three parties and a boost in good karma all around.
Grandmaster, Professor Lin Yun who brought BTB Feng Shui to North America, asked that all his Feng Shui students and practitioners honor the Red Envelope tradition when sharing transcendental, sacred methods. (Also known as heavenly secrets.) These esoteric teachings are secret and held close to the chest because they are so widely misunderstood, and misused, but if honored correctly, can effect you in very auspicious ways! To learn more read about the red envelopes on the Gates blog here, or find more information on the podcast here.