Conversations in the Spirit

Conversations in the Spirit

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Lex Hixon's WBAI In the Spirit Interviews: A Chronicle of the Seventies Spiritual Revolution

Interwiews by Lex Hixon, Editing by Sheila Hixon, Foreword by Roshi Bernie Glassman, Preface by Paul Gorman

US $20.00 /CAN $24.99
US $12.98 /CAN $16.50

Armed with a generous heart, subtle mind, and a PhD in comparative religion from Columbia, Lex Hixon, as host for WBAI's In the Spirit was able to interview and skillfully probe the leading spiritual lights of the seventies. Roughly 25 of those interviews, finely edited, appear here for the first time in print. Includes short bios and photos.

The book documents the unprecedented arrival of eastern spiritual teachers in American shores during the 1970s and shows how and why they influenced the culture at large in such profound ways. If yoga studios are nowadays as prolific as Starbucks coffee shops, much is owed not only to the seventies as a decade, but also to the work of Lex Hixon via his WBAI program In the Spirit who did as much as anyone to broadcast the spiritual revolution that was already well underway. Finely edited for maximum readability and spiritual impact, these interviews are the next best thing to in person teachings from beloved spiritual teachers.

Conversations in the Spirit, is a record of a roughly a decade in American spiritual history, will of be great interest to historical and cultural researchers and of some heartfelt value from the followers of many of the still living teachers including Ram Dass, Bernie Glassman, Daniel Berrigan, Brother David Steindl-Rast. Prominent interviews include: Mother Theresa, Swami Muktananda, Swami Satchidananda, Pir Vilayat Khan, Zalman Schachter, Tarthang Tulku, Kalu Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, David Spangler, Peter and Eileen Cady, and Alan Watts.


"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 Schacter, academics like Huston Smith, creatives like Allen Ginsburg, 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."—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. ...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 Reviews