Please note that this press release is provided first in a short edit, followed by an enhanced version which includes short excerpts from the book. Both versions are available as PDF and Word downloads.

SHORT EDIT

In New Book Gay Guru Defeats Drama, Confronts Karma, Embraces Dharma

With the wisdom of a yoga master and the attitude of a New Yorker, “Sage Sapien” author Johnson Chong shares his frank and funny tale of kissing self-hate goodbye and the life-hacking benefits of meditation

Contact Andy Reynolds at andy@popularpublicity.com
DOWNLOAD PDF | WORD | IMAGES

sage-sapien-cover-1200pxJuly 18, 2019 (New York, NY) – “Out of my body was unleashed the ugliest cry I had ever had. A snotty cry where I hiccupped mucus like I was having an asthma attack. I let go of all the guilt I felt for being gay and the hate for being born into my family,” writes “Sage Sapien” author Johnson Chong, recounting his life-altering purge in the filthy, frigid Ganga River just weeks after leaving his job at Elmo, “the gayest restaurant in Chelsea.”

In “Sage Sapien: From Karma to Dharma,” to be published August 15, 2019 in hardback, paperback and e-book by Köehler Books, international yogi, meditation teacher and self-mastery guide Johnson Chong weaves deeply personal anecdotes throughout the telling of his journey of spiritual exploration, revelation and liberation in his quest to help others harness the power and benefits of meditation.

From beatings at the hands of his strict, traditional Chinese mother and acting out as a frustrated youth, to studying with yogic mentors and ultimately opening his own guided meditation studio (Sagehouse) in Singapore, Chong’s story is at once raw, fascinating and informative.

Imparting his esoteric wisdom with the knowledge of a yoga master and the attitude of a New Yorker, Chong is  frank, funny, and a talented storyteller.

While not all of us are inclined to dive into meditation to the sublime depths that Johnson does, or can afford to jet off to far-flung sacred places to study with the masters, what Chong makes clear in “Sage Sapien” is that getting spiritual is a very good thing.

His painful story of coming out to his strict, traditional, deeply disapproving, and often verbally and physically abusive Chinese parents is specific to Chong, but will also ring familiar to many LGBTQ people who are compelled, yet struggling to “live their truth,” fearful of how their family, friends and community will react.

“Yes, I am a Chinese-American gay male and I hope to be a voice for my community,” says Chong, “but this book really is for anyone who feels like an outcast regardless of what they identify as.

Chong hopes “that whoever reads the book will become inspired to transmute their old pain stories into a new story that is not bogged down by the obsessiveness of worrying about the past or fearing the future.” •

More on the Sage Sapien project page, including the inspiration behind the cover shoot. 

More about Johnson Chong at https://johnsonchong.com

sage-sapien-cover-1200pxSage Sapien: From Karma to Dharma
Johnson Chong
190 pages
Koehler Books
August 15, 2019
Hard cover: $24.95
Paperback: $16.95
E-Book: $7.99
Available on Amazon

 

 


ENHANCED VERSION WITH EXCERPTS
Johnson_Chong_Bent_by_Chad_Wagner_1200px_72dpi
Johnson Chong, author of “Sage Sapien” by Chad Wagner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In New Book Gay Guru Defeats Drama, Confronts Karma, Embraces Dharma

With the wisdom of a yoga master and the attitude of a New Yorker, “Sage Sapien” author Johnson Chong shares his frank and funny tale of kissing self-hate goodbye and the life-hacking benefits of meditation

Contact Andy Reynolds at andy@popularpublicity.com
DOWNLOAD PDF | WORD | IMAGES

sage-sapien-cover-1200pxJuly 18, 2019 (New York, NY) – “Out of my body was unleashed the ugliest cry I had ever had. A snotty cry where I hiccupped mucus like I was having an asthma attack. I let go of all the guilt I felt for being gay and the hate for being born into my family,” writes “Sage Sapien” author Johnson Chong, recounting his life-altering purge in the filthy, frigid Ganga River just weeks after leaving his job at Elmo, “the gayest restaurant in Chelsea.”

In “Sage Sapien: From Karma to Dharma,” to be published August 15, 2019 in hardback, paperback and e-book by Köehler Books, international yogi, meditation teacher and self-mastery guide Johnson Chong weaves deeply personal anecdotes throughout the telling of his journey of spiritual exploration, revelation and liberation in his quest to help others harness the power and benefits of meditation.

“Honestly, I didn’t plan on writing a full length book,” says Chong. “It started out as a short how to guide on self-empowerment, but as I started writing my intention and my objective for writing changed. I figured that the only truthful way of sharing any kind of how-to about anything was to share from personal experiences no matter how embarrassing, painful or weird they were.”

From beatings at the hands of his strict, traditional Chinese mother and acting out as a frustrated youth, to studying with yogic mentors and ultimately opening his own guided meditation studio (Sagehouse) in Singapore, Chong’s story is at once raw, fascinating and informative.

Imparting his esoteric wisdom with the knowledge of a yoga master and the attitude of a New Yorker, Chong is frank, funny, and a talented storyteller.

“Some of us arrived here with a Louis Vuitton bag of crap, and others a plastic bag full of crap. But at the end of the day, we all breathe, eat, drink and excrete the same self-sabotaging thoughts. It is how we perceive this game we are in, and what we choose to do with it, that makes us or breaks us. In the words of Carl Jung, ‘I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.’”

While not all of us are inclined to dive into meditation to the sublime depths that Johnson does, or can afford to jet off to far-flung sacred places to study with the masters, what Chong makes clear in “Sage Sapien” is that getting spiritual is a very good thing.

“…spirituality for me consists of a fluid ability to make choices without regret—to experience the richness of life in all its flavors without becoming addicted to pleasure and pain.”

He acknowledges that everyone’s meditative experience is going to be unique, but testifies to the common benefits that have allowed and inspired him to help many to truly know themselves, better cope with life‘s ups and downs, and to live a more compassionate, balanced life.

Touching on myriad methods of meditation, Chong clearly explains each in a way that is digestible for those of us who are unfamiliar. Even skeptics, though not ready to jump into the polluted Ganga or invoke the power of crystals in seeking inner peace, will nevertheless appreciate and enjoy going along for the ride.

“He took the stone in his hand, examined it for a few seconds, turned the base of the stone onto the center of my brow, and sent a jolt of electricity into my skull. I sank to the ground and shook wildly…”

Chong is no stereotype, hovering above a mountaintop, wreathed in incense. While he clearly possesses an earned understanding of the methods, work, and rewards of achieving self-mastery, he is as grounded and utterly human as the next mortal.

He admits that he is still tripped up by guilt, rage and a quick temper, but years of study and practice has taught him to how to recognize, step out of and around those feelings; to ride them out from the sidelines. By doing so, he is able to respond–versus react–to a situation, secure in his ever evolving knowledge of himself.

“Most likely, [guilt] comes from an unfair expectation I unknowingly or knowingly placed on myself. Once those expectations are removed, guilt disappears and has no more power over me. I cannot manage how others think of me, nor manage the expectations of others, but I can manage my expectations for myself.”

His painful story of coming out to his conservative, deeply disapproving, and often abusive Chinese parents is specific to Chong, but will also ring familiar to many LGBTQ people who are compelled, yet struggle to “live their truth,” fearful of how their family, friends and community will react.

“Yes, I am a Chinese-American gay male and I hope to be a voice for my community,” says Chong, “but this book really is for anyone who feels like an outcast regardless of what they identify as.”

Chong hopes “that whoever reads the book will become inspired to transmute their old pain stories into a new story that is not bogged down by the obsessiveness of worrying about the past or fearing the future.”

So, for those of us who feel stuck on the hamster wheel of life or who have frequently thought “stop the world I want to get off,” Chong is someone we can easily relate to.

“Self-realization or enlightenment always felt like it would be this monumental occurrence that only happened as an old hermit on the mountaintop. But I now see it as an ever evolving process of unfolding. Just like the universe will continue expanding until it no longer does, we too will continuously look in the mirror and question our thoughts, decisions and actions until we no longer exist in this form.”

In the end, he admits, much remains unexplained and mysterious, and that’s OK.

“After a lot of fighting, I now have consciously decided that I don’t need to make life so difficult by challenging the unknown,” he says. “Instead, I can choose to live in awe of the mystery of the unknown. This was the gift that my ancestors gave me.”

“My wish is that hundreds of years from now, human beings will reflect on how the reconnection to our bodies and hearts via inner wisdom saved us from ourselves. And that inner wisdom…will usher forth a golden age more luminous than any we have seen before.” •

More on the Sage Sapien project page, including the inspiration behind the cover shoot.

Johnson_Chong_Window_by_Chad_Wagner_1200px_72dpi
Johnson Chong, author of “Sage Sapien” by Chad Wagner

About the Author (from the back cover of “Sage Sapien”)

 

 

Johnson Chong is a native New Yorker and international yogi, meditation teacher and Self-Mastery Guide. He founded Sagehouse based in Singapore with the intention to help people re-connect the mind, body and spirit. He is also the creator of Exodus Retreats, where he leads transformational retreats to sacred places around the world. As a professionally trained actor and perpetual student of esoteric wisdom, he integrates his love of storytelling to empower life changing shifts in consciousness through his speaking engagements and group coaching. Johnson runs a holistic self-mastery podcast, Sage Sapien and offers guided meditation audios and online and live coaching programs. Sage Sapien: From Karma to Dharma is his first book. More about Johnson Chong at https://johnsonchong.com


sage-sapien-cover-1200px

Sage Sapien: From Karma to Dharma
Johnson Chong
190 pages
Koehler Books
August 15, 2019
Hard cover: $24.95
Paperback: $16.95
E-Book: $7.99
Available on Amazon

 


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About the Author Popular Publicity

Andy Reynolds dba Popular Publicity is a New York City-based book, music, film, event and lifestyle publicist, as well as an expert in LGBT media worldwide, representing a rich spectrum of LGBTQ clients from scholarly publishers to The Black Party®.