About C.R. "Chuck" Dunning, Jr.
Chuck Dunning is an advocate, facilitator, trainer, and consultant for individuals and groups interested in contemplative practice. His relevant background includes more than 35 years in the professional fields of higher education and mental health, as well as in Masonry, Rosicrucianism, and other currents in the Western esoteric traditions. Chuck’s consistent commitment is to the actual practice of contemplative disciplines to facilitate and enhance experiences of personal growth, social wellbeing, and spiritual initiation and transformation.
With that aim, he has authored A Rose Croix Oratory: Rosicrucian Reflections and Resources from a Knight of the Eagle and Pelican (2023), The Contemplative Lodge: A Manual for Masons Doing Inner Work Together (2021), and Contemplative Masonry: Basic Applications of Mindfulness, Meditation, and Imagery for the Craft (2016). Chuck was also a contributing author in The Art and Science of Initiation (2019), and he has authored numerous articles for Masonic magazines and journals.
In February of 2023, Chuck received the rare honor of being made a member at sight in the Allied Masonic Degrees by Sovereign Grand Master Aaron Shoemaker. In 2021, his book, Contemplative Masonry, was recognized as third in the Top 10 Masonic Books of the New Millennium (so far) by the readers of Fraternal Review magazine. In 2019, the College of Freemasonry in Rochester, New York presented Chuck with the Thomas W. Jackson Masonic Education Award for fraternal leadership in Masonic research and esoteric study. In 2018, the Southern California Research Lodge recognized him as being among the Top Ten Esoteric Masonic Authors.
Chuck’s Craft lodge memberships include his mother lodge, Haltom City-Riverside #1331 (Texas), and Albert Pike #162 (Oklahoma). He is also an honorary member of Sophia #767 (North Carolina) and Ancient York #89 (New Hampshire). Chuck is a Thirty-third Degree Scottish Rite Mason with memberships in the Valleys of Guthrie, Oklahoma, and Fort Worth, Texas. His York Rite memberships are in Texas Chapter #362 and Texas Council #321, both in Fort Worth. Chuck is the founding Superintendent of the Academy of Reflection, which is a chartered organization for Scottish Rite Masons who integrate contemplative practice with their Masonic experience. Chuck is also a co-founder, trainer, and facilitator for the Masonic Legacy Society, which freely introduces the inner work of Masonry through online documents and facilitated activities and training. He is also a Full Member of both the Texas and Oklahoma Lodges of Research, and a member of the Philalethes Society, the Masonic Society, and the Scottish Rite Research Society.
As a professional, Chuck retired in 2018 from serving as a student affairs administrator and adjunct faculty member at Texas Christian University (TCU). His student affairs work at TCU focused on student development in leadership, mentoring, and holistic wellbeing. As an adjunct faculty member, he taught and supervised in the master’s program in counselor education. In 2017, Chuck’s work in dialogue training at TCU was honored with the prestigious Michael R. Ferrari Award for Distinguished University Service and Leadership. Chuck also volunteers his time as a member of the advisory committee for CALM, the TCU contemplative studies program. He holds a master’s degree in counseling and a bachelor’s in psychology, both from the University of North Texas.
A native of the Fort Worth area, Chuck lives with his spouse, Susan, and their cat, Birdie, northwest of Fort Worth near Eagle Mountain Lake. Aside from his contemplative pursuits, he enjoys outdoor activities like backpacking, dinner and games with loved ones, and meaningful conversations about life facilitated by finely crafted spirits.
My aims are to promote contemplative practice in Masonry and related traditions, and to provide instruction, facilitation, and consultation to support interested individuals and groups.