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Attachment Style & Spirituality

In this piece we look at attachment styles discussed in psychology, and look for clues about how they might shape the spiritual paths people select.

NOT a Chamber of Reflection?

If you are familiar with the Chamber of Reflection, then you are also probably aware that many people have strong feelings about it, for and against.
Mystic Tie (CentaurBold) framed

News About My Forthcoming Book

Whereas my first two books provide guidance on a general contemplative engagement with Masonry, and my third presents theurgical work in relationship to the Rose Croix…

A Rose Croix Oratory

A Rose Croix Oratory: Rosicrucian Reflections & Resources from a Knight of the Eagle and Pelican A Rose Croix Oratory offers a comprehensive, powerful, and transformative…

Embracing the Mysteries of Pain

This piece relates to a basic existential problem, which is how we can respond to the sufferings of life so that me may know life’s beauty…

The Contemplative Lodge

The Contemplative Lodge: A Manual for Masons Doing Inner Work Together “The Contemplative Lodge: A Manual for Masons Doing Inner Work Together” by C. R. Dunning Jr.…

On The Shadows of Masonry

Masonry is a tradition of philosophical and spiritual light. It paints beautiful pictures about love and virtue, tells inspiring stories from the mythic and historic past…

Spiritual Knighthood for the Common Good

Spiritual Knighthood for the Common Good Originally published in the September 2020 edition of The Oklahoma Scottish Rite Mason magazine. The title of this piece highlights…

Remembering John Miller

This morning, January 2, 2021, I got some sad news. My teacher, mentor, and dear friend, John F. Miller, III, passed away last night from COVID.

Genuine Shadow Work

After I posted a recent essay, Ego, Self-Improvement, and Shadow Work, a brother engaged me in an interesting discussion.

A Clarification on CM Exercises 1.1-1.5

Since the publication of Contemplative Masonry, I have occasionally received feedback that indicates a misunderstanding of intention for the exercises on mindful and prayerful behavior.
group retreat

Contemplative Workshops & Retreats

Since publishing Contemplative Masonry, I have traveled the country, doing presentations about contemplative practice for lodges and other Masonic and non-Masonic groups.

The Compasses & Square

The Compasses & Square The original version of this poem was written in 2003 or a little earlier. After years of it being misplaced, I recently…

This Man Was A Mason

  This Man Was A Mason Originally written in memory of Bro. Joseph Gordon Ervin, August 3, 1940 – December 8, 2018, of Walker, Louisiana, at…

Reflections on the Feast of Tishri

This annual Scottish Rite event celebrates the completion and dedication of King Solomon’s Temple, which is of utmost importance to Freemasonry, and certainly to the Scottish…

On Poor Public Conduct by Masons

Recently I was browsing through social media and had occasion to recall that the essential documents and rituals of our tradition teach many things about how…

On Varieties of Masonic Esotericists

Masonic esotericists come in many varieties, and there are numerous ways of differentiating them into groups. For the moment, consider the following five categories:

The Sword and Trowel

The Sword and Trowel I thought I would offer a little background on this poem. I wrote it many years ago when I was fascinated with…

The Abyss of the Mysteries

The Abyss of the Mysteries We stand upon the islands of what we think we know,and the abyss of the Mysteries, vast and deep,stretches out from…


Initiation I wrote the following poem in February of 2003. It’s full of classic symbolism representing aspects of traditional initiatic experience, and most particularly of the…

Memento Mori: Masonry & Ego Death

Among those of us who might be called contemplatives, esotericists, or philosophers in Masonry, there is often talk of the ego. Defining the ego can itself…

You Will Know When You Know

Today I want to share with you a reflection on a meditation I did nearly a year ago. It was an imagined visit with a character…

Contemplative Experiments in Masonry

It is often emphasized that the greatest benefits of contemplative practice come with sustained routine work. While I agree with that observation, I have also personally…

Book review by Phoenix Masonry

Originally starting out as contemplative exercises or practices like prayer, meditation, breath work, chanting, and visualization, Dunning expanded his concept into a primer for those seeking…

Wielding the Contemplative Gavel

We talk a lot about virtues in Masonry, and for good reason. As the school of positive psychology persuasively argues, human beings fulfill more of their…

Contemplative Masonry

Contemplative Masonry: Basic Applications of Mindfulness, Meditation, and Imagery for the Craft Part of the work that has become Contemplative Masonry first appeared on the internet…