Chuck Dunning is an advocate, facilitator, trainer, and consultant in contemplative practice, with more than 30 years in the professional fields of higher education and mental health, as well as in Masonry 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, as a Mason he has authored Contemplative Masonry: Basic Applications of Mindfulness, Meditation, and Imagery for the Craft (2016), and The Contemplative Lodge: A Manual for Masons Doing Inner Work Together (coming in 2020), and was a contributing author in The Art and Science of Initiation (2019). Chuck is the founding Superintendent of the Academy of Reflection, which is a chartered organization for Scottish Rite Masons wanting to integrate contemplative practice with their Masonic experience. He is also a co-founder and facilitator for the Masonic Legacy Society, which freely introduces the inner work of Masonry through online documents and facilitated activities and training.
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 Masonic Craft Lodge memberships include 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’s Scottish Rite memberships are in the Valleys of Fort Worth, Texas and Guthrie, Oklahoma, and his York Rite memberships are in Texas Chapter #362 and Texas Council #321, both in Fort Worth. He is also a Full Member of the Texas Lodge of Research.
As a professional, Chuck recently entered semi-retirement from serving as a student affairs administrator and adjunct faculty member at Texas Christian University (TCU), and from being a psychotherapist at TCU and in community agencies, hospitals, and private practice. 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. He currently works part-time as the organizer and lead consultant for TCU’s mental health outreach program, Let’s Talk. Chuck also serves on the steering committee for TCU Contemplative Studies, and is a member of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education. He holds a master’s degree in counseling and a bachelor’s in psychology, both from the University of North Texas.