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Set Free: A Life-Changing Journey from Banking to Buddhism in Bhutan

20 June 2019
6:30pm - 8:30pm
UNSW Bookshop
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photo of Emma Slase

Emma Slade was taken hostage by gun point in a hotel room on a business trip to Jakarta. Over the ensuing months, the trauma following the event took hold. Realising her view on life had profoundly changed she embarked upon a journey, discovering the healing power of yoga and, in Bhutan, opening her eyes to a kinder, more peaceful way of living.

Regarding compassion, Slade told Laignee Barron of Time magazine; 

 "Mindfulness makes you calmer. Compassion makes you happier. I'm always going to encourage people to help others as a route to happiness. I believe in the transformative power of compassion."

Invited to give talks internationally, Slade's appearances as a public speaker have included the Oxford Human Rights Festival in 2018 and a TEDX talk in January 2017. She is the subject of a short film – "Happiness" – that is part of a schools education project set up by the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion in Oxford. 

From fast-paced City life to the stillness of Bhutan’s Himalayan mountains, of Emma’s astonishing life is captured in a book, Set Free. All proceeds from the book go to the charity.

You can catch Emma talking here at UNSW Bookshop. For those inclined to participate, Emma will lead a short breathing and meditation before the conversation begins. Set Free will be available to be purchased on the night and Emma will be happy to sign copies. All proceeds from her book Set Free go to her charity Opening Your Heart to Bhutan. To pre-order a copy online go to;

More About Opening Your Heart to Bhutan

Opening Your Heart to Bhutan is a UK-based charity (run by Emma Slade) which brings children with special needs joy and the opportunity to build meaningful lives. Through simple, practical acts of compassion, the charity provides access to safe medical care, disability aids and basic amenities in the isolated rural areas of East Bhutan. It believes in education as a means of empowerment and supports the digging of sewage systems, building of hostels and improvement of facilities at Draktsho, a vocational training centre in Tashigang.No one is paid to run the charity, and costs are kept to a bare minimum to maximise funds going directly to those most in need.

To make a donation please visit;