Irina Tweedie



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Fast Facts
irina_tweedie.jpg
Function: 
Spiritual Teacher
Traditions: 
Sufism, Naqshbandiyya Mujaddidiyya Sufi order
Main Countries of Activity: 
UK
Date of Birth: 
1907
Place of Birth: 
Russia
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
No
Date Left His/Her Body: 
1999
Other Related Gurus: 
Bhai Sahib Radha Mohan Lal (Bhai Sahib) - her Sufi master

Biography

Irina Tweedie was a Teacher of the Naqshbandiyya Mujadiddiyya Sufi Order.

She was born in Russia and studied in Vienna and Paris. After the Second World War, she married a British naval officer who died in 1954. His death launched her on a spiritual quest that led her to India in 1959. There she met her spiritual master, Bhai Sahib Radha Mohan Lal who was called shortly "Bhai Sahib" (which means elder brother). She became the first western woman to be trained in this Naqshbandi system.

Her master's first request of her was to keep a complete diary of her spiritual training which included everything - all the difficult parts, even all the doubts. He predicted that one day it would become a book and would benefit people around the world. Indeed it became the book "Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master" (see Books & Media TAB).

This diary spans five years. It is a detailed account of a spiritual training with a Sufi Master and the relationship between the disciple and the master. The book is written in diary form. From a psychological viewpoint, the diary maps the process of ego dissolution, gradually unveiling the openness and love that reside beneath the surface of the personality.

The book was first published in its abridged form as The "Chasm of Fire" which has sold over 100,000 copies and has been translated into five languages. Later the unabridged book, Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master, was published. This title has sold over 40,000 copies worldwide and is now being published through The Golden Sufi Center.

After the death of her master in 1966, Tweedie returned to England where she started a Sufi meditation group in North London. Gradually the group spread throughout Europe and North America. Irina Tweedie retired in 1992 after having named Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee as her successor.

I hoped to get instruction in Yoga, expected wonderful teachings, but what the teacher did was mainly to force me to face the darkness within myself and it almost killed me.... I was beaten down in every sense until I had to come to terms with that in me which I kept rejecting all my life.

— from the Foreword to the book by Irina Tweedie

Teachings

Naqshbandi Sufis (named after Bahâ ad-dîn Naqshband, d. 1389) are known as the "silent Sufis" because their practices are done in silence. They practice a silent dhikr and the silent meditation of the heart—God is the silent emptiness and is therefore most easily reached in silence. They also attach great importance to dreams, which they consider to be a form of guidance along the Path.

Sufi dreamwork combines spiritual and psychological approaches, helping participants to realize the guidance that comes from within and to understand the inner processes of the path as they are imaged in dreams. Dreamwork is regarded as the modern equivalent to the ancient Sufi teaching stories.

Photos

Locations

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Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master

by Irina Tweedie

(Paperback)

Tweedie documents her five-year process of purification and inner work with the heart in the "Naqshbandi" or "Golden Sufi" tradition: the daily doubts, agonies, discomforts, culture shocks, terrors, bodily states, uncertainties, and ecstasies along the path to truth.

Recommended DVD & Video: 
Cover image

Irina Tweedie: Spiritual Training/The Sufi Path

(DVD)

A Thinking Allowed video. Contains two complete programs. Spiritual Training: The late Irina Tweedie is the author of Daughter of Fire, a diary of her intensive spiritual training in India with a Hindu Sufi master. In this moving and personal interview, Mrs. Tweedie, who was a Sufi teacher in London, describes the bliss, peace and love--and the despair, hatred and loneliness--of her years of training in the Sufi tradition. The Sufi Path: The Sufis are inheritors of a tradition which has influenced many world religions. Their work, which involves dreams, altered states of consciousness and teaching stories, is to further the evolution of humanity by offering deep intuitive training to select individuals. The late Mrs. Irina Tweedie was a Sufi teacher and author of Daughter of Fire, a diary of her intensive spiritual training in India with a Sufi master.