Cambridge graduate Emma Slade was enjoying the best days of her life as a professional. Her job as a banker paid well and it seemed there was nothing that could go wrong.


Not until she was held at gunpoint in a Jakarta hotel one day. 

The culprit put the gun on her chest, his hands covering her mouth, and that was when she realized how less control she had on her life.


In an interview to TIME, she said, “I knew with absolute certainty that I didn’t want to die. Suddenly I had big thoughts about the life I was about to lose”.

The incident changed her completely and sent her on a quest to find the true meaning of life.

Emma quit her high profile job and went straight to the Himalayas in Bhutan and met a spiritual leader who inspired her to study Buddhism.


The first western woman to be ordained as a Buddhist nun in Bhutan, Emma says it is very important to cultivate peace of mind.

“It’s worth placing a little bit more priority on cultivating a peaceful mind. Amid all the priorities that we have, you very rarely find somebody that says, no I really want to make sure that in this life I develop a peaceful mind,” she told TIME. 


Sometimes, it just takes one moment for life to change.