I first learned of Yung Pueblo through following his work on Instagram. A serendipitous order of events led me to acquiring his book, Inward, and ultimately led to this opportunity to sit down and interview him for Blindfold Magazine.

This opportunity excited me because I was going to meet the man behind these eloquent and profound short form lines that describe so precisely much of what many of us experience as when we embark on the inward journey to truly get to know ourselves. I was going to learn about the journey of the writer who inspires me, and the source of all of the wisdom that this 30-year-old carries. When you resonate with Yung Pueblo’s work, you feel it in your bones.

I didn’t realize, as I learned in speaking with Yung Pueblo, that many people think he is a writer who has passed on and that his writing is what’s been left behind.  On his Instagram, he takes a behind the scenes approach with his Instagram content, posting short poems and messages but rarely any photographs of himself. However Diego Perez is very much alive, and Yung Pueblo is the pen name he developed for his written work.

Diego says there are two meanings to Yung Pueblo: one serves as a reminder for him to stay connected to his humble Ecuadorian roots, as pueblo refers to a small village like the one he was born in, and the second in reference to it meaning “young people”. It is a reminder of the age of humanity is still very young. He says “we have a lot of growing up to,” and that the “challenges humanity is facing will force us to rise to the occasion and grow up collectively.”

First and foremost Diego identifies as a meditator.  

“Western society says if you’re sick, you have something, whether it’s physical or mental, you’re going to have to deal with it for the rest of your life.”

“No one growing up told me that you can actually heal yourself.”

Diego started meditating at the age of 24. He was caught in the common 20-something-year-old cycle of chasing pleasure, which left him feeling unhealthy and sick. As he started partying less, he found himself drawn to meditation, where he discovered profound insight inside himself.

“I had no idea that you could do something about the misery you are experiencing silently, within yourself.”

Perez never thought he was going to be a writer. His education and background is in working with organizations and advocacy. As his healing transpired through his meditation practice, he felt called to share through the specific medium of writing.

He sees sharing his experiences as an opportunity to serve. As he continues to heal and free himself through releasing mental bondages, making him a happier, healthier, and more authentic version of himself, he inspires others to free themselves as well.

Diego continues to remain disciplined to meditation, and often goes away to silent courses to deepen his practice. Each time he finds new parts of himself that he describes, “are so deeply layered in the concrete of your mind that you sort of live your life walking on top of these layers without even noticing that they are there.”

His advice for those getting the pull to go inward is to choose a modality that is in the “middle path”. One “that’s challenging, but not overwhelming” and to trust your intuition on what you feel compelled to try.

When it comes to the benefits of doing this inner work, Diego says, “they’re massive. They’re unquantifiable.”

He expands by asking, “How much of your life is driven by aversion? How much of your life is driven by craving? And how much of that is incessantly driving you into dissatisfaction? You start releasing and breaking away all the layers that are in the way of your freedom. This freedom makes you super powerful and super creative. A lot of the global solutions that we desperately need are going to come from clear and powerful minds. More and more people in all different fields are actively meditating. It’s like a new renaissance that’s about to emerge because people’s minds are clearer and stronger.”

Diego’s story is incredibly inspiring. His message spreads hope and love. That you can heal yourself by tuning inward. That there’s always more to discover of yourself. That you may find your path to greater fulfillment to be something completely different than you ever expected. And that as more and more people tune inward, the more humanity heals itself as a whole.

To find out when you can see Diego Perez speak, or how to purchase his book(s), click here.

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