November 30th, 2015. “Each sip becomes a journey that begins from the outside and leads towards a shift in consciousness on the inside."
The first time I was introduced to Tea Meditation was the time when Resham offered Lululemon IFC store a complimentary session for ‘Breakfast Club’. Being a huge fan of Tea, I was intrigued by the idea of how meditation and tea could be connected.
Resham began the session by meticulously laying out a teapot and a line of cups filled with loose leaf Pu-erh Tea in front of us while waiting for the water to boil. With a calm and collected demeanor, she started off the session with an introduction about the alchemy of Tea and its purpose for meditation. She brought us to the awareness that in today’s world a lot of people drink tea without spending any time reflecting on the properties or origins of this plant.
She explained how Tea was first used for medicinal purposes in China about 1800 years ago but has now been transformed into a popular drink or beverage in recent times.
As Resham poured hot water into our cups, she reminded us to take each sip of Tea with the awareness that we were basically drinking the weather. Decades and decades of sunlight, moonlight, rain, clouds, animals, and cycles from a time much before our existence.
Through Tea Meditation, we could connect and be awakened by the leaves and wisdom. She explained that we were no different to the trees, birds, and animals. We were a part of nature, and Tea reminded us of our connection to Mother Earth.
My first experience with Tea Meditation was more of an experimental session that fed my curiosity rather than a session where I was able to fully concentrate and meditate. Since it takes me time to adapt to new environments, I wasn’t able to get the most out of it the first time round.
My mind felt distracted by the pins-and-needles sensation in my legs, being conscious about myself and the surroundings (I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do: When should I pick up my cup to drink? When to open and close my eyes? Am I drinking the tea too fast?).
Despite all that, I was completely head over heels with the idea of marrying two things I love - Tea and meditation - into one.
March 5th, 2016. “It's mother nature - Tea, that brought about your awakening."
I opened my eyes. I felt an overwhelming rush of delirium after an hour of Tea Meditation at IRIS: Your Escape.
I had a vision.
It felt really scary when I acted as a bystander of myself and looked upon my thoughts free floating across my brain. My brain connected the scattered dots from my past, and painted a picture of the future for me.
I realized that I had felt somewhat of an ‘Awakening’. I had to say I lucked out and the timing was right that day, or let's just say, the awakening was meant to be!
The vision appeared when I quieted my mind and brought my attention towards the taste and temperature of the Tea. I was basically enjoying the Tea and my time alone along with 15 other people in the meditation tent.
The question was - how the hell did I know what my future looked like?
A year back, I did The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte, guided by my best friend (I personally call her my soulmate), Christine Wong - Co-founder of Kala Cove. While doing it, I envisioned a place with a bathtub (pretty random and silly).
Fast forward to the day at IRIS’s Tea Meditation, I was able to connect the past dots to the dots I envisioned with Christine. I was able to comprehend why I had those ideas. The moment of revelation through Tea Meditation got me to understand why I had those visions. They all connected and made sense to me.
I would say that I was able to connect on such a deep level during the Tea Meditation session because of Resham’s flow of Tea pouring and the space she held for us. It allowed each individual to quiet their mind and have their own moment to enjoy the journey of self-discovery.
After the session ended, I immediately approached Resham, held her hands, and said,
“Omg! I’ve got a vision. I was able to connect the dots from the past to the future. Thank you so much! This is crazy!!”
Resham smiled and replied saying,
“This is Mother Nature’s work. This is what Tea is all about”.
I walked out of the tent and immediately made a phone call to Christine and told her all about my revelations.
That Tea Meditation session gave me a vision. Whatever meditation methods you use, it’s only when you give yourself time and find your absolute mindful focus, can you go on your self-discovery trip.
May 12th, 2016. “Materialistic things lose their meaning when you find your life purpose."
From my last revelation of “life not coming in circles, but spirals” (read on #thosewhohealyou); I came to realize the hidden meaning behind Resham’s community platform’s name - “Spiral Spaces”. She’s basically providing you the space to grow and elevate yourself.
When we met again, I asked her what made her start sharing the practice of Tea Meditation in Hong Kong. Her background came as a surprise to me. Before she started yoga and meditation, she was like a lot of us and studied her secondary education in Hong Kong. She then went overseas to obtain her BA degree, before returning to work in the corporate world.
After a few years of working in Hong Kong, she started to feel burnt out and began to realize something was clearly missing. She instinctively decided to book a flight to Taiwan and learn about Tea – leaving behind all that she learned from her Womenswear degree at London College of Fashion. She knew the time had come to cultivate herself on a more spiritual path.
In Taiwan, she lived with and learned from a Zen Buddhist monk and Tea Master. Her experience was transformative and she felt realigned with her true path. Upon returning to Hong Kong, she felt both responsible and dedicated to share and promote Cha Dao – “The Way of Tea”.
She returned with a new state of mind. She said that the moment she got back to Hong Kong and saw her closet of designer clothes and shoes – she felt no connection whatsoever. Her desire for sharing the sacred benefits of Tea surpassed all her previous desires for materialistic things.
With the certainty that she was meant to share Tea Meditation in Hong Kong, Resham quickly met Stephanie Luo from Luxe Nova Life and Judy Xu from Balance Health. She now regularly serves weekly Tea Meditation Ceremonies at both centers so others can come and discover the alchemy of the Leaf.
From the different people whom I've met from all walks of life, there’s something common that I’ve learned. You have to learn to let go of everything your mind has been telling you to do and boldly listen to your heart. You need to learn to surrender and throw yourself out on that beaten path where you can finally guide yourself to your true north.
Resham told me that the “awakened presence and clarity which I felt was a type of healing”, which encouraged me to return to this medicine from time to time. Even amidst the bustle of the city – even one as chaotic as Hong Kong, Tea can always transport us to a harmonious space.
Resham, thanks for being the brave soul and putting your desire into action. Thanks for bringing Tea Meditation to the community and showing us that in the midst of this crazy city, there’s a safe healing space at your Tea Ceremonies for everyone.
And needless to say, you need to you know you have that sacred power in you that guided me to have that precious vision.
Love and light, J
THE SIX QUESTIONS - RESHAM DASWANI
1. Who inspires you?
Women who are strong, compassionate and true to themselves.
The women who understand they were created for a purpose and seek to explore their gifts; working through their own demons to relentlessly share their light and soul’s calling.
They who embrace shifts, the unknown and take steps on the path of mystery, wonderment and grace.
They who dance in wild spirits, connecting, nourishing and weaving us all through this magnificent co-creation, as we try and find our beat to the natural rhythms of life.
2. What are your ways to get inspired?
I find great solace in turning inwards, retreating and being alone from time to time. For me, it allows for reflection and realignment to inner dreams and desires.
Reading - it could be anything from a quote, a book, to the verses from the scriptures and sutras.
Being out in nature – I am most alive when in touch with the senses of the natural world. I feel great expansion and gratitude when connecting to the countless cycles happening both within and around me.
3. Which book has had the biggest impact on you?
I would say The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – It was like reading everything that my heart and inner voices had been whispering to me all my life. I was able to understand how to navigate and discover who I am, while learning to trust in the Universe to respond.
4. What is your favorite and most effective way to relief stress?
A Tea Ceremony Meditation, closely followed by hiking!
5. What is your mantra?
‘As we think, So we become’ – Be mindful of all thoughts and self-talk.
‘Just Live’ – Be present and alive in each moment without expectations and/or judgment.
6. What is your absolute favorite song that helps you find your true north?
Resham Daswani is a Cha Dao Facilitator in Hong Kong. She holds Tea Ceremonies which help cultivate mindfulness and meditation, awakened presence, and inner harmony through the alchemy of Tea.
She never stops seeking for higher consciousness. Since childhood, she has felt an intuitive call to be of guided service to others. With a deep reverence for nature, and a passion for the workings of the universe, her eagerness led her to study under a number of knowledgeable gurus and teachers, and a cultivated practice of yoga for more than ten years.