Conversations in the Spirit: Lex Hixon's Wbai 'in the Spirit' Interviews: A Chronicle of the Seventies Spiritual Revolution

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$20.00  $18.40
Monkfish Book Publishing
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5.9 X 1.2 X 8.9 inches | 1.3 pounds
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About the Author

Lex Hixon: Lex Hixon was an accomplished spiritual practitioner and author who explored extensively the great religious traditions. He authored nine books and spent 13 years hosting the radio program, "In the Spirit", on WBAI where he interviewed many prominent spiritual teachers. He died in 1995. Sheila Hixon: Sheila Hixon is the wife of Lex Hixon. She accompanied Lex on many spiritual explorations. After his death she maintained the archives containing recordings of Lex's WBAI interviews. Following the outline Lex wrote before his untimely death, she has resurrected the book Lex intended to publish. Bernard Glassman: Zen Master Bernie Glassman is a world-renowned pioneer in the American Zen Movement. He is a spiritual leader, published author, accomplished academic and successful businessman with a PhD in Applied Mathematics.His books include The Dude and the Zen Master with Jeff Bridges. Paul Gorman: Paul Gorman was a producer at WBAI for many years, including the seventies. It was Paul who conceived the idea of In the Spirit and solicited Lex to host it. Paul later went on to co-author a book with Ram Dass titled How Can I Help? about the role of service in the spiritual journey.


Thirty abridged transcripts chosen from more than 300 episodes of the New York-based WBAI radio show In the Spirit, which ran from 1971 until 1980, thoughtfully and cleanly edited by Sheila Hixon, widow of host Lex Hixon. Lex--East-West spiritual integrator, consummate conversationalist--paints a portrait of the rich, multicultural spiritual awakening of the New York City of that generation in these diverse interviews. Hixon's distinctive voice and careful preparation come through clearly in intimate interviews that engage the ideas and the personalities of his guests at a high level, free of antagonism and always open to the best of what each has to offer--whether Hixon is interviewing international luminaries visiting New York such as Dudjon Rinpoche and Mother Teresa, Brooklynites gone Zen like Bernie Glassman, Jewish mystics like Reb Zalman Schachter, academics like Huston Smith, creatives like Allen Ginsberg, or quirky local spiritual leaders like Mother Serena, many of whom have since passed away. Even if the reader chooses not to engage with the powerful ideas expressed here, there's enough cultural history in the book to make reading it worthwhile. Add in the smorgasbord of ideas from around the world offered in clear and accessible language, and this becomes a treasure trove of high-end pointers toward the ineffable in theory and practice. B&w photos. (Oct.)
-- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Spirituality has come a long way since the 1970s, when lots of parents worried that Zen Buddhism was a cult. Lex Hixon, who for seventeen years hosted WBAI 99.5 FM's Sunday morning radio show, "In the Spirit," in New York City, contributed much to the nation's understanding of the changes taking place in its spiritual culture. His interviews with spiritual teachers who were bringing what were then strange new ideas and religions from the East to America provided much-needed explanations, addressed the all-too-common misunderstandings, and gave listeners the opportunity to get answers to their questions and put some of their fears to rest.

Deeply spiritual, educated in many spiritual traditions, and immersed in all that was new and alive in '70s culture, Hixon had hoped to open, with Bernie Glassman, an interfaith center, the House of One People, and serve as its spiritual director; his death from cancer forestalled these plans.

Conversations in the Spirit features interviews with spiritual giants, including Alan Watts, Reb Zalman Schacter-Shalomi, Mother Teresa, Ram Dass, Swami Muktananda, Sheikh Muzaffer Effendi, Bernie Glassman, Huston Smith, J. Krishnamurti, Father Daniel Berrigan, Allen Ginsberg, and many others. It offers a profound and intimate experience of the evolution of religious thought and spiritual growth in America, and a look at how media programming has the potential to serve as an instrument of grace in troubled times.
-- Foreword Magazine