Two Masters emphasize the value and meaning of life
On 14 June 2008, two of Taiwan's religious Masters, Venerable Master Sheng Yen and Catholic Cardinal Paul Shen Kuo-His S.J., held a direct dialogue for the first time. This dialogue was held at Taipei's National Chengchi University and centered on the subject "Regeneration and Cloning─Scientific Breakthrough and Religious Care".
The Masters agreed that life is actually made up of birth, aging, sickness and death, and that this whole process is transient and inevitable. Once we realize and accept that life is ephemeral, it allows one to search for the true value of life and live in a meaningful way. They also said that their religious beliefs have given them energy and motivation to continually contribute to society and devote their lives to charity works.
Venerable Master Sheng Yen said that just like China's ancient emperors had always been looking for ways to prolong life, ordinary people are also seeking physical eternity. However, accepting that transient life is normal and natural is a key for religious practitioners whose main focus is spiritual eternity. One's life could only be meaningful if one can realize that life is transient.
Catholic Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-His S.J. cited an ancient Chinese proverb that stresses the value of life：If one does not know the meaning and value of life, the meaning of death could never be understood. If we understand this, even through illness, we will always have the energy and perseverance to live a happy and meaningful life.
In conclusion, the two Masters further emphasized that life is transient and one can realize the meaning of life and the value of existence through religious beliefs. Death is not the end, rather it is a process of life.
(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)