Wednesday, 31 December 2008


I got a New Year surprise present. It came at the right time again. I say it is the right time because I have not been feeling very upbeat lately. With the holiday season coming, yet still so many worries looming over both the world at large and our own project, I got a flu which attacked my weak throat and bronchi, causing throat infection and severe cough again. So my ski holiday in Chamonix was spent buying medicines and seeing doctors. I did not have any rest due to the incessant bursts of coughs at night but still managed to do a few rounds of skiing so that my holiday was not entirely wasted, though I did not get my money’s worth.

It was just during this "down" time that I received a message, from non-other than the known Chinese Gongbi(工笔) tiger painter Mr. Shi Jun(史君). He has completed a painting for and dedicated to me named "Buddhisava Saving Tigers", with a prose by the Chinese Liao-Jin History (辽金史) Scholar Mr. Guan Boyang (关伯阳 ). Above all, I feel extremely flattered. But I definitely do not deserve to be likened to Boddhisattva.

According to Wikipedia: "In the Buddhist context, a bodhisattva means either "enlightened (bodhi) existence (sattva)" or "enlightenment-being" or, given the variant Sanskrit spelling satva rather than sattva, "heroic-minded one (satva) for enlightenment (bodhi)". Another translation is "Wisdom-Being". The various divisions of Buddhism understand the word bodhisattva in different ways, but especially in Mahayana Buddhism, it mainly refers to a being that compassionately refrains from entering nirvana in order to save others.

As much as I feel embarrassed and even guilty that I am far from the image that this painting and prose portray of me, I am also extremely honored to know there are people of such high calibre who support me and my cause. I am extremely grateful that such support comes at a critical time, just when the world economy is spiraling down and financial market crashing that I start worrying if we might be able to feed our increasing number of tigers. It brings me great comfort to know there are people who care about the tigers, about the cultural symbol of China and Asia and about nature and environment - even during this time of uncertain futures.

I am a mere mortal, who admires the qualities of bodhisattva. Although I can not aspire to be one in this life, I am indebted to those who put their faith in me to save the Chinese Tiger and will therefore try my utmost to give them as bright a future as can be, which, fortunately, is limited only by what will-power we humans have to save them.

Happy New Year to You All!

Dec 31th 2008, Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France