You may have heard of “The Law Of Attraction”, the idea that we can attract certain things in to our lives by imagining them. Unfortunately, the Law does not have the best reputation these days as it conjures up images of naïve and greedy people trying to get to make themselves rich by meditating on the image of piles of money, or fancy red sports-cars. It will not work, but that doesn’t stop people trying! The appeal of quick and easy riches without any work has led to a distorted view of the link between imagination and manifestation. The link is there though, by working on our minds we can bring massive changes to lives, but it is not so simple as making a fancy red car appear in your driveway just by imagining one!
So, imagine there is some type of change you want to manifest in your life. One thing you can do right away is examine your thoughts and see how useful they are in terms of helping you get what you want. We are said to have around 90,000 thoughts a day, however in the untrained mind few of them are useful. Often there are same old recycled dramas, random nonsense and self-criticism. Looking at it this way, we are actually practicing the opposite of the Law of Attraction if we are thinking about all of this stuff instead of what we actually want!
The mind can be thought of as a ship, with 1000 drunk sailors who all want to be captain. One will grab the wheel and enthusiastically steer you off in the wrong direction for a while, until another throws him off and takes over and so on. This is why we tend to go around in circles. Part of you may be very much committed to some kind of plan to improve your life or the lives of others… but it does not happen because of the other parts that take over and fill you with doubts or just general laziness. What your mental ship really needs is a sensible, sober captain – that is where meditation comes in.
By training our minds during meditation, we can learn to focus on what we actually want instead of all the random garbage. If we focus on a single object such as the breath, sooner or later the mind will wander. Noticing this, we bring the attention back to the breath. In doing this for sustained amounts of time, we gradually develop the skill to keep our attention in one place: and this is a vital skill to have if we want to bring something new into our lives. Once you have decided what it is you want to do, it is best to have a laser-beam like focus on your objective.
The self-critical nature of many of our thoughts reveals a tendency to focus on what we don’t have, rather than what we want, and to give more attention to our weaknesses than our strengths. Part of this is due to our conditioning. At school, a child who is bad at maths will be made to do extra maths in order to pass the exams. If we focus on what we are bad at, we may be able to improve – but imagine how much will improve when we focus on what we are good at! There is the phenomenon of “target fixation” where a driver or pilot will try hit precisely the obstacle they are trying to avoid. This is because, by focusing on the obstacle, they are subconsciously attracting themselves to it. The same thing happens when we think in terms of what we don’t want. Thinking, “I want to be financially secure” is preferable to thinking, “I want to avoid being poor” as the second one puts the idea of poverty in the sub-conscious.
When embarking on change, it is OK to spend some time thinking of the things we do not like and want to get rid of – but this is just the first stage. Once we have decided what it is we should do, our attention should be focused on what it is we want to happen. Does this mean it will magically happen? Well partly – real magic does happen when we shift our focus, BUT this does not mean we do not need to take action. The law of karma states that every action has a consequence – positive actions produce positive results. It is much easier to take such actions if the mind is focused and free from negativity.
When you have a decent amount of those 90,000 daily thoughts focusing on what it is you want, your chances of getting it improve dramatically. Is this the law of attraction bending the Universe to your will, or is it simply your newly focused mind allowing you to actually do stuff instead of thinking about it? Perhaps it is a bit of both, but either way getting those thoughts in order is a vital first step. We may not be able to manifest a shiny new car just by thinking about it (sorry!), but by working with the mind and learning how to focus we can manifest whatever it is we need to elevate ourselves and others.
If you enjoy our articles and want to learn more, then you may be interested in joining the Vagabond Temple Online. You can receive our beautiful teachings wherever you are in the world and practice with a supportive community of like-minded people