Lex Hixon (1941–1995) (born Alexander Paul Hixon Junior, also known
as Nur al-Anwar al-
Jerrahi in the
Sufi community) was an American Sufi
author, poet, and spiritual teacher. He practiced and held membership
in several of the world's major great religious traditions, and
documented his spiritual explorations in nine books and many articles
and teachings given to various groups. His passionate conviction that
all of the great religions are true was sparked by his study of the
life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, and he made his life a witness
to this belief by fully immersing himself in multiple religious
practices and studies, not as a research project but as an act of
1 Life and education
2 Early spiritual training
Islam and Sufism
13 External links
Life and education
Hixon was born on December 25, 1941 in Pasadena, California, one of
three sons of Alexander and Adelaide Hixon. He married his second wife
Sheila in 1965; they had two daughters and one son. Shanti, India, and
Dylan. Hixon also had a daughter, Alexandra, from a previous marriage
with Margaret Taylor. He graduated from
Yale University in 1963, where
he majored in philosophy, and received a PhD in comparative religion
Columbia University in 1976. His doctoral thesis was on the
Gaudapada Karika, a Sanskrit scripture of the very early Advaita
Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy, bringing out Buddhist influences.
Early spiritual training
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Hixon first studied prayer and meditation at the age of nineteen with
Vine Deloria, Senior, a
Lakota Sioux elder and Episcopal priest in
Pierre, South Dakota. In 1966 he began his discipleship with Swami
Nikhilananda of the
Ramakrishna Mission, who headed the
Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York. The study with Swami
Nikhilananda formed the basis for all of his latter spiritual quest.
He simultaneously remained involved in various religions, or as he
called them, "parallel sacred worlds". His experience of being
"orthodox in five different spiritual traditions" produced a unique
philosophy, a "theory of relativity for religions". He touched
thousands of lives with his warm, joyful manner of teaching,
celebrating, and encouraging spiritual seekers of all kinds.
From 1971 to 1984
Lex Hixon hosted in New York City a weekly 2-hour
interview show "In The Spirit". On this long running program on
listener-supported WBAI radio, he interviewed hundreds of spiritual
leaders and teachers from different traditions, including: Buddhism
— the Dalai Lama, the 16th Karmapa, Kalu Rinpoche, Lama Ole Nydahl,
Zen teacher Maezumi Roshi and
Sensei Bernie Glassman; Ch'an Master,
Ven. Sheng Yen; Christianity — Brother David Steindl-Rast, Father
Thomas Keating, Mother Theresa of Calcutta; Hinduism —Hilda
Charlton, J. Krishnamurti, Swami Satchidananda, Swami Muktananda;
Islam — Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Bawa
Muhaiyaddeen; Judaism — Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, Rabbi Gedaliah
Kenig, Rabbi Dovid Din, and Rabbi Meyer Fund.
Islam and Sufism
Hixon became known as Nur al-Anwar al-Jerrahi, and became a teacher in
Sufi lineage, the
Jerrahi Order of Dervishes. He
co-founded with Fariha al
Jerrahi the Nur Ashki
Sufi Order in
the United States, named for his teacher Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak
Hixon and his wife Sheila entered the Eastern Orthodox Church, through
the inspiration of Father Alexander Schmemann, and studied at St.
Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood, New York, for three years. He
traveled to Mount Athos.
They received guidance in meditation from Lama Tomo Geshe Rimpoche.
Hixon studied Zen koans with Tetsugen Bernard Glassman, and Glassman
posthumously ordained him as a Zen sensei.
He also studied meditation with Swamis
Prabhavananda and Aseshananda
Hixon studied flamenco guitar with Carlos Montoya, and studied
classical Indian music with Vasant Rai, the sarod master.
Lex Hixon's literary works came about from direct experience in the
field of spirituality combined with intellectual refinement and human
sensitivity. Being intensely involved in both the cultures and
religions of the world, his was a view of universal acceptance honed
by discrimination and dedicated to harmony based on unity.
Coming Home: The Experience of Enlightenment in Sacred Traditions,
1978, 1989, 1995. ISBN 0-943914-74-4
The Heart of the Qur'an: An Introduction to Islamic Spirituality,
1988, 2003. ISBN 0-8356-0822-0
Recolección de la Miel (Gathering Honey), 1989. ISBN
Great Swan: Meetings with Ramakrishna, 1992, 2002.
Atom from the Sun of Knowledge, 1993. ISBN 978-1-879708-05-1
Illahis of Shaykh Nur al-Jerrahi, 1993. ISBN
Mother of the Buddhas: Meditation on the Prajnaparamita Sutra, 1993.
Mother of the Universe: Visions of the Goddess and Tantric Hymns of
Enlightenment, 1994. ISBN 0-8356-0702-X
Living Buddha Zen, 1995. ISBN 0-943914-75-2
Sufi Meditation, 1997. ISBN 1-879708-10-8
101 Diamonds: From the Oral Tradition of the Glorious Messenger
Muhammad (translator, with Fariha al-Jerrahi), 2001.
Hixon died at his home in Riverdale, New York, on November 1, 1995,
age 53. He had cancer.
^ Corbett, Rosemary R. (2016). Making Moderate Islam: Sufism, Service,
and the "Ground Zero Mosque" Controversy. Stanford University
Sufi Review (Pir Publications, Spring 1997), p. 5–8
New York Times obituary, November 9, 1995
Yoga Journal Interview, Jan/Feb 1991
Zen Peacemakers website
Coming Home, 1989 & 1995 (2nd & 3rd Editions) biographical
note (note differs in each edition).
Free Spirit Journal, April & May 1996: Article by Cassia Berman.
(reproduced online here)
LexScape:A cyberspace memorial to Lex Hixon
Interviewed on public radio's Kindred Spirits
Part of a series on Islam
Sufism and Tariqat
List of sufis
Topics in Sufism
ISNI: 0000 0001 1685 4121