Ven. Dhyani Ywahoo's training to carry the ancestral traditions began in early childhood, under the direction of her grandparents and elders. As repositories of the sacred knowledge of their people, they passed to Ven. Dhyani Ywahoo the spiritual duty and blessing 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, and that this work would bring many people and nations again to see the clear light of right relationship.
Sunray has offered instruction in meditation practice in the Tibetan Buddhist traditions since 1976, following meeting between Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo, a Cherokee elder and Sunray's founder, and the 16th Karmapa. This meeting had been foretold by prophecies from both the Native American and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. In the 8th century Guru Pamasambhava foretold of the Dharma spreading West from Tibet. "When the iron bird flies and ponies run on wheels," he said, "the Dharma will spread to the land of the red men." Venerable Dhyani's grandparents had seen visions of their people meeting men with red hats, similar to those worn by Tibetan masters.
Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Venerable Dhyani received teachings and blessings from many renowned Buddhist masters who affirmed her vision of the deep relationship between the Buddhist Dharma and the teachings of the Cherokee lineage. H.H. Dudjum Rinpoche and H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche bestowed upon her the title of Khandro traditionally given to female masters. Before and after these meetings Ven. Dhyani Ywahoo received visions and teachings from Buddhist saints. Guru Padmasambhava instructed that in the ultimate view, the display of Sunray's diverse activities was the manifestation of his Dzogchen vision of Buddhism in this time and place.
In 1986, Dhyani Ywahoo's son was recognized as the Drikung Kagyu tulku H. E. Changlochen Rinpoche by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, head of the Drikung Kagyu school. Since H.E. Changlochen's enthronement, Venerable Dhyani and the Sunray community have hosted many teachings with His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche and other masters of the Drikung Kagyu and Nyingma lineages, including Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche, Ontrul Rinpoche, Tulku Ayang Rinpoche, and Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsewang Donggyal Rinpoche. These teaching retreats have been held at the Sunray Peace Village, a sanctuary for spiritual practice in the quiet valley nestled in the Green mountains of Vermont.