Growing up the abused gay son of strict Chinese-America refugees in New York City wasn't easy, but with the help of yoga and meditation, "Sage Sapien" author and self-mastery guide Johnson Chong rose above, looked back and forgave. He can teach you how to do the same. With the wisdom of a yoga master and the attitude of a New Yorker, Chong shares his frank and funny tale of kissing self-hate goodbye and the life-hacking 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 in Singapore, Chong's story is at once raw, fascinating, frank and funny.
"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," he writes recounting his life-altering purge in the filthy, frigid Ganga River just weeks after leaving his job at Elmo, "the gayest restaurant in Chelsea."
"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.'"
"...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 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..."
"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."
"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."
"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."