Shastri Ellen Rook encountered the Shambhala teachings in upstate New York in 1980. She has studied with both Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. For many years, Shastri Rook served as Director of the Shambhala Meditation Center of Albany, and was appointed by Sakyong Mipham to the position of Shastri, or senior teacher, in 2012. Married with three adult daughters, she works in the Information Technology field as a Director of Application Development for the State of New York. She enjoys gardening, writing poetry, jogging, flower arranging and was recently authorized as a teacher in the Sogetsu ikebana tradition.