Build Resilience For Future Peace
With experience in teaching yoga, meditation, sound healing, and Reiki, Miya Kishi Dunets brings a well-rounded approach to her work in helping others become their highest selves. Here, she talks about finding the routine that works for you, trusting life’s flow through the ups and downs, and the importance of making time for the things that light us up.
Q: What’s your top tip for a beginning meditator?
A: It is so helpful to approach any meditation practice — whether you’re beginning or have been meditating for years — with openness, curiosity, and patience. Try different styles of meditation. Try different teachers. Try practicing in the morning, at night, or both. See how each iteration lands, and when you find something that resonates, stick with it and make it a regular part of your life.
Like brushing your teeth, meditation is an incredible, transformative tool, but it’s not a quick fix. It’s a practice, meaning that it requires a commitment of time and effort. The benefits are cumulative: They add up when you make space for your practice in your everyday life.
Q: What does your daily meditation practice look like?
A: I practice seated mindfulness and metta for at least 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night, often more, but that’s the minimum. I try to bring mindfulness into as much of my day as possible. Walking is meditation, eating is meditation, playing music is meditation. Meetings are meditation. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s possible!
Q: What are the most significant benefits you’ve received from meditating?
A: Meditation has helped me to trust life’s flow, even in the most challenging times, and has helped me to notice and enjoy beauty, joy, kindness, and love more deeply. We want life to be safe, pleasant, and easy, always. We want to know what will happen, that our stories will all have happy endings.
The reality is that everything is constantly in flux, and we can’t predict the future. We’re inevitably going to be faced with fear, anger, sadness, and grief at some point. We’re going to feel pain — maybe deeply, maybe in manageable ways — but we can create more internal steadiness through meditative practice. We can build resilience and faith to ride the waves of our experience, the ups, and the downs, with more peace and ease.
Q: What are your favorite topics to focus on in your classes?
A: I like to focus my classes on all the ways meditation can help us in our daily, modern lives. These are ancient tools, time- and science-tested. However, sometimes people can still feel intimidated by a challenging initial experience or the misconception that meditation can only feel accessible if you’re a monk or other highly spiritual being somehow outside of the mud of everyday existence.
Meditation is for everyone, everywhere, and regular practice can help us find deep wells of inner strength, connection, and purpose. These are some reasons I find practicing and sharing practices so vital and worthwhile. I like to frame my classes in ways that encourage all of us to trust how beneficial it is to keep going, both in the times when it feels easy and fun and in the times when it’s difficult.
Q: Other than meditation, what daily tools do you use to feel your best?
A: I also teach and practice yoga and sound healing, essential parts of my days. I practice asana (yogic postures) and pranayama (breathwork) and work with sound every day. I also love to run and walk outside; always enjoy a good HIIT or strength class; and read, write, and play music as often as possible.
Movement, stillness, sound, and silence are important ways to process our experiences. Feeling closely connected to community is also vital to my sense of wellbeing, so I make time to speak regularly with family, friends, fellow practitioners, students, and teachers. What feeds each of us is so different, but we must make time — whether it’s a lot of time or a little — for the things that light us up!
Header photo: Poike/Getty Images