PTCI has developed basic principles that guide our personal and professional lives. We have come to call these tenets “Spiritual Energy Principles.” These principles inspire and define the ways in which we can engage the process of Self-discovery. It is from these principles that we have experienced a deeper understanding of and greater alignment to the beneficial flow of universal energy. We continue our series about the twelve principles here with number 2.
Energy Follows Attention
Spiritual energy principle 2 reminds us of the power and potential of the mind. One of the key qualities of the mind is the ability to direct attention. We all have the potential to be in command of our attentive capabilities, that is, to place and hold our attention wherever we choose. Of course, this is easier said than done! It is through a consistent and intentional meditation practice that we train the mind and build mental capacity to fully utilize our innate gift of attention. And, as we build capacity to both choose and use our attentive abilities in constructive ways, we develop what is called Mindfulness – in other words, we wake up to the unlimited possibilities of love, compassion and oneness that life presents to us every day.
Neuroscience has discovered that we have two types of attentive abilities. First, we can focus and concentrate our attention in one place, on one object. As we develop this attentive quality, we train the mind to settle down, to become calm and stable. Research shows that people who engage in concentrative attention practices report greater clarity of mind and the ability to make better choices and life decisions.
Our second attentive ability allows us to open up to and welcome the universal flow of intelligence and wisdom, experiencing the interconnected whole and recognizing our union with it. This is the state of mind that the mystics describe as the small self dropping away and a larger perspective of interbeing and wholeness arising in our field of awareness.
Of course, neuroscience is merely a modern way of explaining all of this. Meditators have experienced these states of attentive awareness for thousands of years. They have experimented with and learned methods to train the mind and its attentive abilities. Through their training, they have learned how to tap into the unlimited potential of the mind, which is marked by experiences of oneness, love, compassion and wisdom.
Whenever and wherever we place our attention – even for a nanosecond – energy follows. All of us have experienced how even a fleeting thought of a loving relationship, or recalling heartfelt gratitude for our blessings, or thinking about the challenge of a difficult life situation, produces a flood of emotions and somatic sensations. Through the power of the mind and its attentive power, we can easily generate energy within ourselves and create an energy field that influences others as well.
Most of the time we are quite unaware of the power of attention. We find ourselves pulled and pushed by distractions, absent-mindedness and cognitive overload. Our attention is held captive by our fears, painful memories and uncertainties of the future. Our energy and the energy we send out into the universe is fragmented, dispersed and frenetic, destabilizing us and negatively affecting others in our lives.
The second spiritual energy principle – Energy Follows Attention – reminds us of our personal power and the potential for healing and enlightenment that resides in the might of attention. There are a myriad of ways in which we can begin or continue our “attention training program.” Meditation and mindful awareness practices, prayer and deep reflection, spending time in nature, reading sacred scripture and inspirational materials, and of course, working intentionally with one’s personal Spiritual Ideal. All of these are time-tested approaches that help us harness and develop the intrinsic power of our attention. Then, we literally become an “energetic force for good” within ourselves and in our world.