“Growing up in the south of England, I couldn’t understand why my mother always helped people. She worked with children with special needs and often took the sick and injured to the hospital — I slightly resented her for that. But, on the other hand, my father was kind and never liked any sort of conflict.My grandfather had brought a lying Buddha statue from his trip to Burma — I asked the statue to be kept in my room. At 11, I asked my mother to buy me Buddhist books. I topped my exam and got accepted into Cambridge.

When my father died from brain cancer, the whole family grieved. I stopped speaking to anyone for the next nine months but ultimately accepted the loss. My grades were good, and I got into an international investment firm in the US. In a group of 6, I was the only female.
The job of an investment banker was quite demanding, as we had to make tough financial decisions by observing the markets. So naturally, I struggled a bit but kept doing what I loved.

In 1997, Asia was hit by a significant financial crisis. Our financial profiles were severely affected, and I travelled to Jakarta to meet with the investors. During that time, a gunman forcefully entered my hotel room and held me hostage. The incident changed everything.
I got constant flashbacks and was diagnosed with PTSD. Unable to focus on my job, I left for England and sought psychiatric help while questioning my life. Then, to see if I still wanted to continue my career, I went back for a year before deciding to quit.

After many years of wanting to come to Bhutan, I finally got here in 2011. My fate took me to Druk Wangyal Lhakhang, where my future Lama sat by the window. After a year of teaching, he told me to become a Buddhist nun. By then, I was already a Buddhist and into meditation and yoga. I never imagined or dreamed of anything in life, yet I was here – surviving a deadly incident and now becoming a Buddhist nun. I had no rule or guidebook to become a nun. I was told to change into my robes and shave my hair.

In 2015, I founded Opening Your Heart to Bhutan, a UK-based charity organisation. The Jakarta incident taught me one thing: when I was trapped and unable to decide anything for my future, I felt the same for children with special needs. So, I decided to work to help them. Moreover, my experience with finances and Buddhism was perfect for running a charity. Raising finances, project management and ensuring that every donation is used well. The biggest project for OYHB has to be the inauguration of the recently built hostels, kitchens, and sports centre and the installation of washing machines and other amenities at Draktso Vocational Centre in Kanglung.”


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