On April 16, the new arrangement of ‘The Four Thoughts’, now as a cello octet, received a beautiful first performance by Ensemble Cellowercken.

Jeroen den Herder is the founder and musical director of the ensemble.


Part one. The contemplation of the rarity and preciousness of a human birth.

About ‘The Four Thoughts’

The ‘four thoughts’ give 4 reasons why someone would want to follow a spiritual (in this case Buddhist) path:

1 Being born as a human being is an exceptionally favorable situation for progressing on a spiritual path. Our human lives are painful enough to make us long for enlightenment, but despite the pain we experience the freedom to delve into theories and practices that can change our perceptions.

2 This human form that we acquire at birth is a temporary state. Like everything around us, it is subject to birth and death, rise and fall. Understanding this gives us a sense of urgency.

3 Everything we encounter has causes and everything we do has consequences. The famous example tells that if you plant an apple seed, no mango tree will grow. Our actions matter.

4 The nature of our (samsaric/attachment-based) lifestyle is suffering. We suffer when we don’t get what we want, we suffer when we get what we don’t want, but we also suffer when we do get what we want and we become afraid of losing it. The spiritual path helps to break free from the attachment that is always painful.