Meet Emma Slade
A Spiritual Journey from West to East
‘"'I have been given a unique opportunity to combine being born as a female in the West with being trained by Lamas in the East. I hope this will allow me to bring benefit to many beings"
Emma is the first Western woman to be ordained in the Drukpa Kagyu lineage of Bhutan. She was given getsulma vows by HH Dorji Lopen at Punakha dzong at Losar in 2014 after having already lived under vows for two years.
A deep seated desire to enquire into the deeper aspects of humanity arise following a life- changing business trip to Jakarta, where she was held hostage at gunpoint. She resigned from her financial career and exploring yoga and meditation and methods of wellbeing with the ultimate aim of turning a traumatic episode into wisdom and conditions for thriving.
She qualified as a British Wheel of Yoga teacher in 2003 and, over the last 19 years, has run numerous yoga workshops and retreats.
Her interest in Buddhism as a science of the mind strengthened after meeting a Buddhist Lama (teacher) on her first visit to Bhutan in 2011. This crucial chance meeting led to her studying Buddhism with this Lama and, eventually, led to her becoming the first and only Western woman to be ordained in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan as a Buddhist nun. She was named Ani Pema Deki, which means blissful lotus – a title she is doing her best to live up to!
In 2015 Emma founded and became CEO of the registered UK charity - Opening Your Heart to Bhutan - to help special needs children in Bhutan. She continues to travel to Bhutan to manage the charity’s projects and her Buddhist studies.. In 2017 Emma was given the Point of Light award by the UK Prime Minister in recognition of her exceptional volunteering.
Her first book, Set Free, was published in April 2017, detailing her inspirational story. She has donated proceeds of the book sales to the charity. Her story was chosen by KLM to be featured on their flights globally and her TEDx talk has been seen by over 300,000 people. She is a regular keynote speaker and has been widely featured in national and international media.
In her role as a coach she supports clients in areas including mental resilience, defining purpose and leading with integrity. Over the last 20 years her spiritual training has honed Emma’s ability to listen to clients profoundly, without limits. Clients comment on how her non-judgemental presence allows them to gain clarity quickly. Her formal training and accreditation as a personal and business coach is with Barefoot Coaching.
Emma is available for one to one coaching, workshop and retreats and speaking to a wide range of audiences.