Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 193 – Yung Pueblo

Diego Perez returns to the Metta Hour for Episode 193 to speak about his new book, Lighter. Diego is a meditator, speaker, and NY Times bestselling author known by his pen name Yung Pueblo.

Diego is a practitioner of Vipassana meditation, as taught by S.N. Goenka. His writing focuses on the power of self-healing, creating healthy relationships, and the wisdom that comes when we truly work on knowing ourselves. Diego is the author of several bestselling books, Inward, Clarity & Connection, and his new release, Lighter, which comes out in October of 2022.

sharon salzberg

In this conversation, Diego and Sharon discuss:

The writing of Diego’s new book, Lighter • How this book differs from his previous prose books • Scaling up compassion from personal to transpersonal • The balance of self-care versus activism • Self-love as a doorway to loving others • How to build Structural Compassion • Healing is defined as decreasing the reactions we feel • Authenticity as a flowing state of identity • Slowing down to be how you choose to show up • The Ten Paramis as an expansion of practice • Softening the barrier between formal and non-formal practice  • Cultivating the qualities we lack • Learning to let go via acceptance • The necessity of formal practice of any kind • Unlocking inner creativity • Dipa Ma creating accessibility of practice • Cultivating emotional maturity • Working with difficult emotions • Buoyancy of Mind  • The radiance of S.N. Goenka • Diego meeting Bhikkhu Analiyo • Diego’s guiding lights for connection

The episode closes with a reflection on slowing down led by Diego. To learn more about Diego’s work, you can visit and get a copy of his new book Lighter, available in hardcover, ebook and audiobook formats wherever books are sold. 

Sharon begins by asking Diego how it felt to bring his new book, Lighter, into the world. They discuss how the book is about the healing journey and how personal transformation is connected to global change. Sharon asks Diego to define terms such as healing, authenticity, and honesty, and they touch on the Ten Paramis, the qualities that are the essence of the Buddha’s teachings.   

“So I think that’s what’s missing from this idea of global change is connecting it with personal change, with personal transformation. And that’s really what gives me hope for this century, is that there are millions of people around the world who are using Eastern modalities, Western modalities, Indigenous modalities, and so on, that are actively healing themselves in a way that I think is just unprecedented.” – Yung Pueblo

RamDev offers some core healing practices in Healing at the Edge Ep. 85
Engaging With Your Inner World (23:05)

Sharon asks Diego about his concept of letting go. They talk about the importance of having a formal practice and committing to it on a regular basis. Sharon and Diego share stories of the influence Dipa Ma had on them both, and they discuss lineage in Buddhism and being inspired by the Dhamma family.

“Having something that helps you engage with your inner world I think is critical and it’s literally the best investment that you can make in yourself as an individual because that’s going to improve all other facets of your life and it’s going to help you decrease the misery that you cause yourself.” – Yung Pueblo

Sharon Salzberg speaks with Alex Gardner on why lineage is key in Buddhism in Metta Hour Ep. 191

Guiding Lights (38:25)

The discussion turns to how we can work with difficult emotions such as anger and fear, and mental health in the post-pandemic world. Sharon and Diego talk about the term lighter and how it relates to ideas of spaciousness and buoyancy of mind. Diego shares a story of meeting Bikkhu Analyo, who had a complete lightness of being. They end the conversation by touching on some of Diego’s guiding lights.

“What I wanted to express with this book is that even if you’re not getting enlightened, you can still get lighter. And that’s something that’s really available to all of us, like, even if we take a few steps forward on our path with whatever tools that can help us cultivate good attributes, you can set yourself up to have a lighter mind and I think that’s something worth aiming for and accomplishing.” – Yung Pueblo

Trudy Goodman explores how to use mindfulness when working with difficult emotions on BHNN Guest Podcast Ep. 100