Meet the Flipsters

Conversations on the Bridge

An Extended Conversation with Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo
(The complete Flip interview, with only minor edits, not found in the book)

Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo is the founder and spiritual director of Sunray (, holder of the Ywahoo lineage, and Chief of the Green Mountain Ani Yunwiwa. A “spiritual friend and guide to many people around the planet,” she has lectured at several universities and acted as an advisor to such organizations as the Economic Opportunity Council and the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (

Ven. Dhyani’s training to carry the ancestral traditions began in early childhood, under the direction of her grandparents and elders. As holders of the sacred knowledge of their people, they passed to her the spiritual duty and blessings to carry the traditions on which the work and teachings of Sunray are based. The elders foresaw Ven. Dhyani’s duty to be involved in the manifestation of world peace. She recalled for us how her spiritual lineage shaped her life: “I am of the Ywahoo lineage. In the old time, there were people who were the priest craft of the Cherokee tradition, maintaining the temples and what we call the peace villages. Peace villages are modeled on the teachings of the Luminous One, or sometimes called the Pale One. He was born about twenty-eight hundred years ago in the Thunder Mountain of the Smokey Mountains, and was a quite remarkable person with a commitment to come whenever people needed him. He returned again in the 1500’s, born among the Huron and known as the Peace Maker. Or you may know him through the stories of Hiawatha. Growing up, I had the direct awareness of the Luminous One as a flame within our consciousness. His reminders are that we are all relatives and that the ways in which we speak and act, how we interface not only with other people but also with other dimensions and other beings, is important. This is what I now refer to as ‘the bio-reciprocal relationship’ of ourselves with every other being – that the way we view one another has an impact on the well-being of each other.

“The Luminous One reminds us that we all have a spiritual responsibility to generate love, or as my grandmother said, we have a spiritual duty to be happy. Happiness was not considered your personal happiness; it was the harmony within the family clan and the nation, and the harmony within our environment. As such, we’ve traditionally held a very strong belief in the power of mind to interface with the environment, and to bring forth a greater crop of abundance and also stabilization of the weather.”

We asked Ven. Dhyani to elaborate on the connection between human consciousness and Nature. “It’s very clear in the way we were taught that consciousness does have an impact on the environment. We were taught to gaze at the clouds and then to think of particular animal shapes, and the clouds would take on the shapes of the animals we thought of. So we had direct experience of the interrelationship of our mind and emotions with the environment.

“In 1969, our elders decided to bring our teachings to the public because there had been many prophecies about these times and because people have forgotten what we call ‘original instructions.’ They have caused harm to themselves and the environment. In the Cherokee world view, the environment and its health is an indication of our relationship and the health with the seed of truth, the light that is in everyone. The environment responds to our emotions as our emotions respond to the environment.

“I think that we’re most well known for the Peace Keeper curriculum of pacifying, purifying, and energizing the wisdom potential in every being. It works with every level of people’s relationships, bringing them to resonance with the potential for awakened, skillful action that’s inherent in every being and every situation. That program was initiated in 1983 and has become incorporated into many other organizations as a means of awakening the process of reconciliation.

“People have forgotten the connection of mind and matter. Many project their own sorrow, their own conditioned view on a situation and perpetuate a small vortex of confusion. How we are dreaming, how we are looking at each other, how we are thinking and speaking of a situation – all of this is energizing that situation. Thus the people who are most respected are those who are essentially the most quiet and still.

“Our consciousness definitely is part of a dynamic dance with the elements which gives rise to the situations in what we call our world. The question is always asked, ‘Who’s dreaming us?’ We call it a great mystery. Literally, it is a mystery because the moment you attempt to conceptualize or define it, you’ve stepped back from it.”

We asked if the indigenous tradition perceives a battle between good and evil, or a struggle between ignorance and intelligence. “There certainly is a call to be awakened,” says Ven. Dhyani. “There’s a call to transformation. When we maintain the view of battling, then that’s perpetuating a dualistic view. We were encouraged as we grew up to recognize instead a dynamic dance of energy, and that what we contribute gives life to particular energy vortices. So untransformed anger and jealousy become the basis of an energy field that devours. In many teaching stories in Native American traditions, there are stories about the twins of positive and negative qualities who are part of this dynamic display.

“Everything is conscious; every atom – every particle of the atom – has consciousness. Without the attraction or repulsion of different charges, the four-dimensional world would not express itself as it does. So positive and negative energies create the dance. What has become distorted is the negative view of dominion over the elements, which are actually aspects of our own mind, which we are responsible to shape and guide in wholesome ways.

“So what’s wholesome? It means recognizing a circle of relationship, that what we think or speak, what we do, always returns. Thus we are very clearly reminded of the importance of clarity in our speech and in our emotions. We don’t run from the emotions of fear, anger, shame, and blame, but recognize them as energies which can ultimately reveal inherent luminosity.”

We noted similarities in the teachings of the Ven. Dhyani and those of His Holiness the Dali Lama. “Of course, the Dali Lama is a great example of transformative consciousness and the ways in which we can elicit wisdom from one another,” she agreed. “The prophecies of many Native American nations speak of our relatives returning from the East. My own family prophesied that people in red cloaks would come again, and together our prayers and activities would benefit the earth in its time of travail.

“When I was a young child, I discovered a small statue of the goddess – or Bodhisattva – Kwan Yin, in the home of one of my great aunts. I said, ‘That’s me!’ The statue was on a lower shelf, and I placed it on a higher shelf. My relatives smiled and asked me, ‘What did you mean?’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s me. That’s what I came here for!’ That event has remained in the background of my life, although I didn’t begin to study Buddhism until the seventies when His Holiness the Dali Lama began visiting the United States.

“I remember, during the Sixties, encountering the Heart Sutra and recognizing that the words were the essence of what my grandparents displayed and taught. And then in the later years I had the good fortune to meet with many extraordinary Buddhist teachers, and this deepened my childhood commitment to expressing skillful action in a compassionate way.”

How does Ven. Dhyani view the planetary flip taking place? “The shift is occurring as people awaken to an understanding of the mind as energy and energy potentials. They are also beginning to see that what is occurring on one side of the planet has an impact on the other side. And how we treat one another, and even how we view the world, are projections that can create negative, reactive states.

“For instance, the polluted water that flooded New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is an example of the overflowing of unconscious ignorance. Ignorance of our relationship to the environment and to each other. And ignorance of the cycle of reciprocity with the earth. Holding back the river and thus depleting the deltas and further weakening the shoreline is another example of the ignorant expression of our relationship to water. This calls us to see very clearly that we cannot impose our priorities, that we must work with the elements.

“More and more people are awakening to the mindfulness of energizing communities, nations, and religious groups. They are coming to a place of reconciliation and resonance with the ultimate truth that wisdom lies within every being and every situation. Ignorance and the small vortices of energy that are generated from ignorant actions seek to perpetuate themselves. But appreciation is a stabilizer in the energy flow. We can conceptualize a world of harmony and beauty. Visualize families, nations, the land in cooperative harmony and each one of us doing what needs doing. Conceptualize, visualize, energize, do what needs doing. Minds full of love and appreciation can counter ignorance and begin to heal the Earth.”



The Flip, by Jared Rosen and David Rippe, illuminates a clear path to a vibrant enlightened world where millions of people already live and thrive. It describes in vivid detail and real examples evidence of an upside down world in decay and a Right Side Up world of authentic beings bright with possibility.
The Flip is an owner’s manual for the twenty-first century full of insights, conversations with recognized experts, thought leaders, and visionaries, and actionable exercises and tips you can use to begin your own personal flip.

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