Bringing to Life the Tibetan Book of the Dead

Anādi – Without Origin

by Binisa Colmenero Lira & David Prats Mira

This beautifully illustrated art and poetry book is an interpretation of the “Bardo Thödol” – known as “The Tibetan Book of the Dead” – derived from the eighth century teaching of Padmasambhava, who was a fundamental figure in the dissemination of Buddhism in Tibet.

This enigmatic and ancient book is to guide people at any time in their lives, but above all aims to prepare them for death and what, in the Tibetan system, will come after it. Therefore, the book divides human existence into six intermediate stages or phases: life, dreams, meditation, death, the reality after death and rebirth. These six stages are trying to tell us that life as we understand it, does not end with the death of the body. The existence continues to be reborn in another body again and again, repeating these stages, until reaching what Buddhism calls Enlightenment.


A conversation wth the artist (Binisa / Suryalila) and poet (David) behind Anādi – Without Origin. We hear about the origins of the book and about Binisa’s meditative inspiration that underpins her work as a Dharma painter and illustrator, looking to the classic Tibetan tradition of thangka painting.

Interview conducted by David in English and Spanish.

A film made during a workshop offered by the Dharma artist Binisa Colmenero Lira (Suryalila), together with Dharmachari Nagapriya, based on the text by Dh. Subhuti, “Reimagining the Buddha”. In this workshop, each of the attendees made a drawing inspired by their own visual and meditative experience.

(Note: “Dhármica” and “Dharmic” both mean related to the teachings of the Dharma, which is a key concept in Buddhism.)

La Disolución de los Elementos

La Vida se me regaló al nacer y sin pena yo la entrego al morir.

Mis huesos son tierra. Mi sangre agua.

Mi calor es fuego. Mi respiración aire. Mi Mente Vacía. Mi Conciencia Infinita.

Nada me pertenece. Soy Libre.

La Tierra se transforma en Agua. El Agua en Fuego.

El Fuego en Aire.

El Aire se convierte en Espacio. El Espacio en Conciencia.

La Conciencia en…


Dissolution of Elements

Life was given to me at birth without shame I lay dying.

My bones are soil. My blood water.
My heat is fire. My breathing air.
My Mind is Empty. My Consciousness Infinite.

Nothing belongs to me. I am Free.

The Soil becomes Water. Water into Fire.
Fire into Air.
The Air becomes Space. The Space into Consciousness. The Consciousness into… Everything.

translated by Tony Press

Anādi - Without Origin

By Binisa Colmenero Lira & David Prats Mira
Buy on Apple BooksBuy on Kindle

Anādi - Without Origin

By Binisa Colmenero Lira & David Prats Mira
Buy on Apple BooksBuy on Kindle