38: Set Free with Emma Slade
I was really moved by my conversation with Emma, she emanated peace and kindness and her words stayed with me for a long time.
She was born in Kent and had a highly successful international career in finance. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and worked as a Senior Analyst in London, New York and Hong Kong for HSBC working on an investment portfolio of $1bn.
Following a life-changing visit to Jakarta, Indonesia, where she was held hostage at gun point, she discovered in herself a yearning to understand the deeper aspects of what it is to be a human being. Emma put her financial career on hold and began travelling and exploring yoga and meditation.
She qualified as a British Wheel of Yoga instructor in 2003 and has since, for over 15 years, taught both yoga and meditation, simultaneously deepening her life-long interest in Buddhism.
A chance meeting with a Buddhist Lama on her first visit to Bhutan in 2011 led to her studying Buddhism with this Lama and, eventually, becoming the first and only Western woman to be ordained in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan as a Buddhist nun.
Emma founded the registered UK charity, ‘Opening Your Heart to Bhutan’ in 2015. This has built medical and educational facilities to help special needs children in Bhutan.
She was given a Tibetan name when she was ordained of Pema Deki which means blissfully happy lotus, which is perfect for her
Some key points from our interview:
· How when she was shown a photo of the man who held her hostage by the Police, she felt an overwhelming sense of compassion and sorrow for him
· How she discovered she was very good at yoga and fell in love with it
· How she had a pivotal moment on a visit to a temple in Bhutan and met a Lama (a spiritual teacher in Tibetan Buddhism), who would become her teacher
· How she embraces parenthood as a huge spiritual teaching
· How her practice has been about raising the value placed on kindness and compassion
Find out more about Emma here https://www.emmaslade.com
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"Unbroken: Healing Through Storytelling" features individuals who have all triumphed after adversity and have not just bounced back in life, but forward and are now making a difference for others.
Hosted by Madeleine Black, the show will share stories of all the amazing people Madeleine has met on her own journey as an author/speaker and these stories will heal, motivate, inspire and bring hope when they share their wisdom and knowledge with her.
She really believes in the power that comes when we share our stories, that in fact we are not story tellers but story healers. Tune in to discover what helped them to stay unbroken and together we will discover that none of us are broken beyond repair.
You can find out more about Madeleine, her story and her memoir, Unbroken, from her website: https://madeleineblack.co.uk/
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