The Academy of Reflection (AOR) is about:
- Using contemplative practices to enhance our understandings of
- Our relationships with others
- Our relationships with the Great Architect of the Universe
- Putting our contemplative insights into practice as Masons in the “real world”
- Meeting all Masons on the level and with transparency, embracing all as equals in fraternal love
- Providing meditation sessions open to all interested Scottish Rite Masons
- Performing an induction ceremony for brothers who have met the requirements for membership
- Welcoming non-members of at least the 14th degree to attend our inductions and business meetings
- Offering structured and supervised courses of instruction in contemplative practices to our members and associates
- Hosting an annual contemplative retreat and an annual summer social for our members and associates
The AOR is not about:
- Charging induction fees or annual dues
- Exerting influence on fraternal politics, policies, or procedures
- Adding anything to, or subtracting anything from, the degree rituals of the Rite
- Requiring any special regalia or manner of dress among its members
- Imposing any new penalties or means of recognition on our members (i.e. no grips, signs, or passwords)
- Inculcating any religious, spiritual, or moral views or values other than those already present in Scottish Rite rituals
There are four categories for Academies of Reflection:
- Academies in Formation, which have signed the AOR Memorandum of Agreement and are fulfilling the requirements for chartering, including hosting of meditation sessions in their Valleys.
- Chartered Academies, which are chartered by the Mother Academy and may induct their own members while operating under the Mother Academy’s oversight.
- Academies of Instruction, which have an authorized Instructor serving as Superintendent and no longer require direct oversight by the Mother Academy.
- The Mother Academy, which is the body providing guidance, oversight, and chartering for all other Academies.
The Mother Academy is located in the Valley of Guthrie, Orient of Oklahoma. Currently, there are Academies in Formation located in the following Valleys:
- Hattiesburg, Orient of MS
- Oakland, Orient of CA
- Orange County, Orient of CA
- Pasadena, Orient of CA
- Santa Barbara, Orient of CA
The Academy of Reflection was constituted in the See of the Valley of Guthrie, in the Orient of Oklahoma, by charter issued on Friday, September 28, 2012 and signed by:
- Joseph R. Manning, Jr., 33º, Sovereign Grand Inspector General for the Orient of Oklahoma and active member of the Supreme Council of Southern Jurisdiction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
- John L. Logan, 33°, Chairman of the S.G.I.G. Advisory Conference and Personal Representative for the Sovereign Grand Inspector General in the Valley of Guthrie
- Robert G. Davis, 33°, Grand Cross, General Secretary for the Valley of Guthrie
The Charter officers were as follows:
- Superintendent – Charles (Chuck) R. Dunning Jr.
- Clerk – Kevin K. Main
- Custodian – S. Shane Pate II
The inaugural meeting of the Academy was convened on the afternoon of Sunday, January 27, 2013 in the Main Auditorium of the Valley of Guthrie. After opening remarks by the officers and dignitaries of the Orient of Oklahoma and of the Valley of Guthrie, and by the Charter Officers of the Academy of Reflection, twelve (12) of the nineteen (19) charter members were formally inducted. The first business meeting was officially called to order by the Charter Superintendent, and the bylaws of the Academy of Reflection were adopted as proposed.
Since that time, the Academy of Reflection has offered instruction in meditation and contemplative practice to the members of the Valley of Guthrie and to visiting brethren during the Spring and Fall Reunions each year.