Each of our tea runners, created by Jo Leung @tinyese.handmade, is mindfully crafted from saved 'cut' trimmings of linen and cotton fabric, and left to creative exploration of experimental dyeing from inspired techniques such as traditional Japanese shibori.
Read about Jo’s story and process here.
For our baskets and trivets, they are made entirely of plant materials foraged, cleaned, split, dried for weeks, soaked, split again and woven together using various techniques by Jasmine Nunns @kembalihk. The process from start to finish can take days, sometimes weeks to complete depending on the piece.
Read about Jasmine’s story and process here.
Our Fivelements Habitat Tea Curator, Resham Daswani, initiated the development of ‘Sustainabili·tea’ to explore new ways to mindfully bridge daily practice with a deeper connection to nature and our planet, introduce intentional and beautifully crafted sustainable tea items into peoples homes, and support Hong Kong local artists and tea community. She shares a few words on how these pieces came to be:
In a year filled with uncertainty, the one thing that has remained constant is people showing up for their practice or sadhana, with more determination through the experience of innately knowing that these are tools for all times, especially during adversity. We continue to see a dedication towards better understanding and responsibility for one’s mental health, and an assertion to consciously evolve and strengthen in grit and resolve. By taking time to be present, reflect and recalibrate through our Sacred Arts offerings, this year has shown beyond doubt that yoga and meditation are some of the technologies that greatly support an individual to live a more balanced, engaging and pleasant life.
It has been a humbling and honourable experience to be of service this year as a Sacred Arts facilitator, to hold space and see people through many life transitions. I am always moved to hear time and time again, the way many continue to express such immense gratitude for our special tea and Zen sanctuary “Spirit Space”, and how it has become their haven of peace and tranquility in Hong Kong. Here, we share tea and meditation, create a safe space for emotions to flow, and offer a moment of reverence and unconcealed presence where all may be seen. The dedicated chajins and guests who have served and received bowls of liquid wisdom, know that words will always fall short, yet the non-verbal transmission of the Leaf dances in us all, and is carried in our hearts with softness and strength long after the ceremony concludes.
This line of ‘Sustainabili-tea’ was inspired when we shifted to our virtual tea sits during our closure period which gave our FH community an opportunity and a push to seed a meditation and tea practice in their own homes with self-driven efforts and greater accountability. Drinking tea together online was an experience that translated beautifully, and as people initially began collecting more teas and teaware for their home collection, it created a space for more pieces to be introduced with a mindful and sustainable intention.
Once we were drinking tea in-person again, I began collecting the spent leaves that were left after each tea ceremony on a weekly basis - all the joy, tears, laughter and worries were always offered up in these ceremonies. Making a mark in time by using these shared leaves to commemorate our coming together in light of all that was happening for a moment of ‘once encounter, one chance’ catalyzed an intent towards creating something of practical and memorable significance. As things align, I was connected with Jo Leung and invited her to be part of creating this project together.
Earth-walker, Jasmine Nunns, is a dear friend who was already known by many in our FH community from our ‘Wandering the Wild’ offering for International Day of the Forests earlier in March. Jasmine lead a group of us on an activating and sensory forest therapy walk and we shared a tea ceremony outdoors. Jasmine had started weaving beautiful baskets and as she was deepening in her own tea practice, it felt right to extend an invitation to her to consciously create some woven pieces too.
The outcomes are filled with layers of stories, sentiment and aliveness. It is clear just by sight and touch that each piece is extremely unique in every way and meticulously crafted with so much love and dedication. We hope you enjoy reading a deeper sharing from both Jo and Jasmine, to get to know their backgrounds and internal and external processes on this co-creative journey.
It is with so much delight to see more and more of our Fivelements Habitat family develop an interest and relationship to Tea as ceremony, medicine and a meditation practice, and be educated through experience on the importance of clean, organic teas for the well-being of the planet and themselves.
We hope these pieces remind and inspire you to slow down and make space to brew a few leaves in a bowl, to experience the extraordinary in the ordinary, and awaken to the harmony of nature that is our healing. In tea, the calmness is inherent when we can just be open and empty to the experience, pay more attention to the present moment and fully understand that our own everyday actions are reflected onto the connection we have to all life. This year has been filled with unfamiliar situations, but how we respond consciously, rather than simply reacting will decide whether we become wounded or wise.
We raise bowls of gratitude to Wu De, who’s presence we continually feel grace our tea space, and those who continue to walk the dewy paths of this heart medicine - may all our merits shower our home of Hong Kong and beyond, and may the peace and joy always find you in something as simple as a bowl of tea.
In love and service,