Shastri Mimi Valiulis met the Sakyong in New York City in 2001. Shortly afterwards she moved to France and then to Dechen Choling Meditation Centre. A fiction writer by trade, Mimi has masters degrees in literature and creative writing from Georgetown University and Sarah Lawrence College. Presently, she works as the Dean of Online Studies at Shambhala Online. Mimi lives with her husband and their poodle near Clongory bog on the outskirts of Naas in Ireland.