Lex Hixon

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Lex Hixon
BornDecember 25, 1941 (1941-12-25)
Pasadena, California, US
DiedNovember 1, 1995(1995-11-01) (aged 53)
Riverdale, New York, US

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. 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 faith.

Life and education[edit]

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 from 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[edit]

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 a weekly 2-hour interview show "In The Spirit" in New York City. On this long running program on listener-supported WBAI radio, he interviewed hundreds of spiritual leaders and teachers from different traditions, including: Alan Wilson Watts, philosopher, writer, and speaker known for interpreting and popularizing Indian and Chinese traditions of Buddhist, Taoist, and Hindu philosophy for a Western audience. 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 Teresa 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[edit]

Hixon became known as Nur al-Anwar al-Jerrahi, and became a teacher in a traditional Sufi lineage, the Jerrahi Order of Dervishes.[1] He co-founded with Fariha al Jerrahi the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order in the United States, named for his teacher Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak (Ashki).[2]


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 also traveled to Mount Athos.


Hixon and his wife received guidance in meditation from Venerable Lama Domo Geshe Rimpoche. Hixon studied Zen koans with Tetsugen Bernard Glassman, and Glassman posthumously ordained him as a Zen sensei.


Hixon 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.


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. ISBN 81-208-1297-2
  • 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. ISBN 0-8356-0689-9
  • 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. ISBN 1-879708-17-5


Hixon died of cancer at his home in Riverdale, New York, on November 1, 1995 at the age of 53.


  1. ^ Corbett, Rosemary R. (2016). Making Moderate Islam: Sufism, Service, and the "Ground Zero Mosque" Controversy. Stanford University Press.
  2. ^ Sufi Review (Pir Publications, Spring 1997), p. 5–8


External links[edit]