Cha Dao – the way of tea with Resham Daswani

Cha Dao or 'The Way of Tea' is a path to the meditative mind. Tea helps us rest in the space of our true self, where we can cultivate inner harmony and an awakened presence.
What's involved in a Cha Dao ceremony?

Resham Daswani
A Tea Ceremony is a dance of the elements. The earth, fire, water, air and qi of tea come together to create space for meditation and reflection. We learn how tea is a plant teacher, which connects us to the energy of nature through the leaf. As we begin to tune in, each sip becomes a journey and we are guided from our mind, body and spirit and rejuvenated with clarity and peace. The ceremony takes place in noble silence, and often there is a space for questions and reflections at the end.
How did you begin practicing Cha Dao?
I am a big believer of the saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." Throughout my entire life I have had this feeling, or calling, to cultivate myself towards a higher path, and to help others do the same.

Several years ago, I was pursuing a career in the art and design industry, and felt intuitively called to visit a Zen monk in Taiwan. I couldn't fully understand it at first, but everything in my life during this time was converging to embark on this journey. I trusted my inner guidance (and some really crazy signs from the universe), and travelled to Taiwan where I ended up meeting my teacher Wu De, the founder of our Global Tea Hut community.

Wu De has devoted nearly 30 years of his life to tea. The experience at Global Tea Hut shifted my entire being and I found an infinitely renewed connection with Earth and Spirit. What I had been seeking was unfolding and showing me a path I recognised so well, rooted in a practice and tradition, and shared with such reverence. I returned to Hong Kong and have since been dedicated to sharing The Way of Tea, so others can explore the sacred benefits of the leaf.
How has it impacted you/your life?
This practice has shifted my way of living completely. I could say my life is steeped in Cha Dao. Everyday is a journey, understanding and embodying a little bit more of what it means to live a life of tea and a deepening relationship to tea as nature, tea as medicine, tea as a culture and tradition, tea as love, friendship and kindness and tea as a Dao.

The more I would show up with reverence in one aspect of my life, the more it would have a ripple effect on everything else. On a practical level, this consistently shifts the way I consciously operate on the day-to-day. In terms of where I eat, shop, live, travel – I am more aware and connected to the effect my actions have on our planet.
How does Cha Dao help promote mindfulness?
Everything, from the sound of the water to the crackle of the fire, invites us to arrive into the heart space of the ceremony. Tea reminds us of our deep connection to nature, through smell, taste, feel. We become aware that the energy of the sun and stars, the mountains and rain are in the very leaves we awaken with hot water. We remember that we too are nature, which is very healing for our mind, body and spirit. There is something very powerful about drinking Tea with mindful presence.
What are some of the benefits of Cha Dao?
The qualities of tea are that you feel 'calm and awake', which is our natural state of being. From here we are able to change our relationship with our experiences and reflect, heal and navigate life with greater clarity aligned with our true purpose. On a deeper level there is an alchemy of non-verbal communication which begins and we connect inwards. This allows us to cultivate greater emotional intelligence and self-awareness to manage stress, anxiety and other common city-based pressures.
Your journey begins here