It may seem a little odd that I am writing about focus or the ability to concentrate intently but it is a really important aspect of my practices. And I believe wholeheartedly that it should be part of the discussion of rituals and all spell craft. It is, as I understand it, part of the fundamental skill set for successful religious practice, regardless of any religion practiced.
I have encountered a lot of neophyte witches and seekers who are very unfocused. They want to learn but are overwhelmed by what is available to them. I have a good friend who is in many ways struggling with this. (Yes, I'm talking about you Teal. :D) It is very important to be able to sit down and concentrate on something that you are working on.
This is seen in education, professional sports, and everything inbetween. In the sphere of the matter of religion, our ability to focus helps us considerably when we go to pray. Prayer has become something of an object of study for me recently. I have been undergoing some learning experiences and finding that my own ability to focus my mind leaves room for improvement. This, however, does not disqualify me from exhorting others to engage in the same work.
Indeed, I suspect it makes me especially well qualified for this discussion. Academics have their own set of exercises to help us learn to control our minds. Different spiritual practices have different techniques for focusing one's thoughts upon points of contemplation. We, as witches and pagans, should devise our own. While there is no harm in using the techniques that have been successful for others, establishing our own set of practices helps to tailor them to our unique needs.
In a perfect world, I think that all religions would have someone available to teach its members how to pray, how to meditate, how to contemplate, and how to step aside and leave matters in the care of the Divine. Sadly, most of us are stumbling around and groping in the proverbial dark to find our way to wisdom. Experience has shown me time and again, that one of the light switches that helps us illuminate our ignorance and reveal the truths buried beneath it is our ability to focus our minds.
That, however, is my opinion.