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The reader will find it [ her diary, Daughter of Fire ] very repetitive. Naturally so. For it is the story of a teaching.
And teaching is constant repetition. The pupil has to learn the lesson again and again in order to be able to master it, and the teacher must repeat the lesson, present it in a different light, sometimes in a different form, so that the pupil should understand and remember.
Each situation is repeated many a time, but each time it triggers off a slightly different psychological reaction leading to the next experience, and so forth. In other words he made me "descend into hell," the cosmic drama enacted in every soul as soon as it dares to lift its face to the Light. She was the first woman to ever be trained in the yogic Sufi lineage. She moved from England to study and live with her Teacher, a traditional Naqshbandi Sufi Master, in India for five years, until his death in It is a most profound, remarkable, and timeless classic in the field of journal literature and especially of spiritual training.
This is from the foreword to that book. Suffering has a redeeming quality. Pain and repetition are fixative agents. I hoped to get instructions 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.
It was done very simply, by using violent reproof and even aggression. My mind was kept in a state of confusion to the extent of being "switched off. It is surprising how the classical method of training, devised perhaps thousands of years ago, is similar to the modern psychological techniques; even dream analysis has a place in it.
It is the task of the Teacher to set the heart aflame with the unquenchable flame of longing, and it is his duty to keep it burning till it is reduced to ashes. For only a heart which has burned itself empty is capable of love. Only a heart which has become non-existent can resurrect, pulsate to the rhythm of a new life.
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"Who Wants Truth as Badly as That?"
She studied in Vienna and Paris. Due to her second husband's premature death in , she went through a personal crisis that launched her on a spiritual quest. She became an active member of the Theosophical Society and eventually she travelled to India in On 2 October , through her friend Lilian Silburn ,  a Sanskrit scholar and translator at the Sorbonne , she met her guru , Radha Mohan Lal , a Hindu Sufi sheikh from the Naqshbandiyya-Mujadiddiya order, living in Kanpur. She became one of the first Western women trained in the Naqshbandi system. Her teacher's first request of her was to keep a complete diary of her spiritual training—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.
You see Sufism and yoga are one and the same thing. They are just words, in wisdom there is no difference. All the teachings are absolutely the same. They are only different paths to the One. Our teacher used to say, "You can approach the top of the mountain from the river, from the highway, from the town, from the sea, but it will always be one top of the mountain. You don't need to say my God is better than your God.
Daughter of Fire: An Interview with Irina Tweedie
The reader will find it [ her diary, Daughter of Fire ] very repetitive. Naturally so. For it is the story of a teaching. And teaching is constant repetition. The pupil has to learn the lesson again and again in order to be able to master it, and the teacher must repeat the lesson, present it in a different light, sometimes in a different form, so that the pupil should understand and remember.
Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master
Irina Tweedie was a British women who went to live and study in northwest India with a Naqshbandi Sufi teacher. She does not write much about her personal background. So the focus here is on her spiritual experience and her relationship with her teacher. During her training, her teacher did not give her any specific spiritual practice as he believed that while men required this kind of discipline, such things were not necessary for women to develop spiritually. The few years she spent near him consisted largely of sitting in his courtyard or house, observing his interaction with other disciples and family, with occasional terse conversations with him.