Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 132 – Real Change Series: Yung Pueblo

For episode 132 of the Metta Hour Podcast, Sharon speaks Diego Perez, known more commonly as Yung Pueblo, for the Real Change Podcast Series.

For episode 132 of the Metta Hour Podcast, Sharon speaks with Diego Perez, known more commonly as Yung Pueblo, for the Real Change Podcast Series.

Diego is a meditator, writer, and speaker who is widely known on Instagram and various social media networks through his pen name Yung Pueblo. Online he reaches hundreds of thousands of people every month through his written works that focus on the reality of self-healing, the movement from self-love to unconditional love, and the wisdom that comes when we truly work on knowing ourselves.

This is the fifth episode of the Real Change Podcast series. In this conversation, Diego shares his journey of coming to Vipassana meditation. They share stories about the influence that S.N. Goenka has had on both their lives, as well as the role Dipa Ma has okayed for them both. Diego shares about his life as a community organizer and activist before becoming a writer, and they discuss at length the relationship between inner transformation and outer transformation. The conversation closes with Diego leading a reflection on practice and transformation.

Vipassana & Turning Inward

Bonding over their similar spiritual beginnings sitting in the Vipassana meditation courses of S.N. Goenka, Sharon asks Yung Pueblo to share his personal journey of finding his way onto the path. While Sharon discovered Goenka’s Vipassana courses while seeking in India in 1971, Yung Pueblo more recently uncovered these teachings with the intention of refocusing his life on compassion, love, and inquiry.

“I felt like I learned more in those ten days than I did in four years of college. At the end I felt so much lighter and so much freer, and it was just the very tip of the iceberg…I kept going back and doing more courses, and I started realizing that at a very deep fundamental level, I was actually healing myself.” – Yung Pueblo

Join Sharon’s friend, and another student of Goenka, Jack Kornfield, as he pays homage to the late, great Vipassana teacher, S.N. Goenka on Ep. 96 of Heart Wisdom
Art & Activism (8:16)

Sharon explains that a major part of her new book, Real Change, was opening up her sense of what an activist was, along with broadening her definition of social action. Through this lens, she asks Yung Pueblo, who is a multifaceted activist, writer, artist and speaker, to help illuminate the connection between art and activism.

“We have to be able to imagine things differently and in bigger ways if we’re going to actually make tangible material change. It’s interesting shifting my role as an active organizer to a full-time writer, and trying to help people imagine that they can actually heal themselves, and that they can take that healing to better communicate with each other and love each other better.” – Yung Pueblo

 For another illuminating talk from the Real Change Series, focusing on art, activism and social change, join Sharon and Joel Leon on Ep. 130 of the Metta Hour
Integrating Gentleness (34:40)

How can we cultivate gentleness and equanimity towards the outside world? Yung Pueblo describes his early life, where his heart was rough and his interactions followed suit. It wasn’t until meditation taught him how to deal with himself in a gentle way, that he was able to bring that gentleness into his everyday life with his family, wife, and friends.

“In a big way, meditating helped me integrate this idea of gentleness because you don’t know what people are going through, you don’t know what has happened to them, or why they may be mean to you – but if you’re able to maintain some degree of equanimity and loving-kindness towards them, then at the very least it will protect your inner-peace.” – Yung Pueblo

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This is the first episode of the Real Change Podcast series. In this conversation, Joshin and Sharon discuss some of the themes from her new book, Real Change, exploring the ways that meditation practice can inform social action. They discuss working with anger, pathological altruism, finding long term resilience and joy in activism, and working to find balance. To close the conversation, Joshin leads a ten-minute meditation practice on equanimity.


Images via Yung Pueblo and Sharon Salzberg