If Paolo Coehlo had written The Alchemist in the age of social media, he would have been Diego Perez aka Yung Pueblo. Perez is an Ecuadorian-American author, who is an Instagram star and real talk guru. To date over 364,000 people follow the “meditator, writer, speaker” and his musings about the human condition and the meaning of freedom.
View his Instagram profile or visit his website for a dose of poetry, life lessons, sage advice and common sense. Each form of prose is simple but powerful. How it all looks even makes a statement: a few lines of text on a white background.
The messages repeat, like a mantra, the same lesson in different ways: personal healing and growth are the first steps to see the world change. In fact the inside cover of his book, Inward, spells it out:
“two of the great lessons humanity will learn in the 21st century will be:
to harm one another is to harm oneself
when you heal yourself, you heal the world”From the book Inward
Perez self-published Inward, in November 2017 and a new version was released in September 2018 by his new publishing house. It went from only being sold online to being available at bookstores around the world in English and Spanish. Perez is following in the path of “new age” or Latino authors like Coelho and Don Miguel Ruiz whose plain-spoken stories and allegories are lessons for life. Thanks to social media, he’s built an audience and support for his work faster than he might have otherwise.
Although he’s busy speaking (he has spoken in London and SXSW this year), writing his new book (it’s set to debut in 2020) and meditating (he gets in two hours a day!) he chatted with us about the magical realism of meditation, unlearning machismo, and the profound task of healing.
‘LL: How would you describe what you do?
YP: Well I like to write at the intersection of psychology, philosophy and spirituality, really focusing on exploring the mind, emotions and how to live a better life through poetry and prose and quotes. A lot of this started once I got a better sense of the mind and reality through Vipassana meditation (a technique developed by the Buddha 2,600 years ago. Vipassana means seeing things as they are.) It has helped me a lot in regard to my own healing and liberation.
‘LL: What were you trying to heal?
YP: Throughout my life I always felt a lot of sadness and anxiety that was really affecting my actions. When I started meditating these heavy emotions started decreasing and it felt like there was more space in my mind for me to make better decisions.