Sangyum Agness Au is a senior teacher and preceptor in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, which she has followed for more than 35 years.
Currently, she is senior director of the Shambhala Training and Warrior Assembly and a member of the board of directors for Shambhala International.
In 1985, Au was empowered by the late Tibetan Buddhist Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche with the life-long designation as a Sangyum. The title was given to seven female students with the explicit purpose of increasing feminine presence within the leadership of the international organization and community.
A former New York City Shambhala Training resident director, Au is founding member and current chairperson of the Shambhala Commission on the Status of Women and Feminine Principle, which provides counsel, support, and oversight in tangible matters, such as the balance of gender representation of teachers and organizational leaders; the promotion of gender awareness in the language and iconography of texts, liturgies, and sacred art; as well as issues concerning proper care and conduct. In addition, the Commission promotes the cultivation of intangible qualities of the feminine principle, such as openness and insight, within the Shambhala Buddhist community and organization.
Additionally, Au is a Somu (first rank) instructor in the Sogetsu School of Ikebana and has taught and demonstrated ikebana for more than 20 years.
In recent years, Au has developed a curriculum on the inseparable union of the feminine and masculine principles and she teaches workshops internationally.
She continues to study with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Trungpa Rinpoche’s son and dharma heir.