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It can be so tempting to be pessimistic about our present moment. But poet Diego Perez believes that we live in an unprecedented time of global healing. Perez publishes his poems using the pen name Yung Pueblo, or “young people,” because he believes that humanity as a whole is still young and has a lot of maturing to do. In his new book, Lighter: Let Go of the Past, Connect with the Present, and Expand the Future, Perez shares his personal path to healing from addiction and lays out practices to help us cultivate what he calls structural compassion.

In today’s episode of Life As It Is, Tricycle’s editor-in-chief James Shaheen and cohost Sharon Salzberg sit down with Perez to talk about the connection between personal and global transformation, the difference between self-love and narcissism, and what gives him hope about our present moment.

Life As It Is is a podcast series that features Buddhist practitioners speaking about their everyday lives. You can listen to more of Life As It Is on Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.

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