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Paying Attention & Mindfulness: Sam Chase (Full Transcript)

Full text of mindfulness expert Sam Chase’s talk: Paying Attention & Mindfulness at TEDxNYU conference. In this talk, Sam explains what it means to be truly mindful and how every one of us can incorporate the practice into our lives.

Best quote from this talk:

“Very simply, mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment on purpose with an attitude of non-judgment.”


Sam Chase – Mindfulness expert

My name is Sam Chase and for the next 15 minutes I really hope you’ll pay attention.

Now I’m hopeful, but I am not going to let myself get too optimistic because I teach meditation for a living, and I study the science of conscious attention.

So I know a little bit about the kind of things that tend to happen inside the human mind. For example, I know that in 2010, a group of researchers out of Harvard got together to study the daily thoughts of over 5,000 people from over 80 countries.

One of the things that they found was that our minds are actually wandering about 47% of the time, which means if half of you are actually paying attention right now. I’m probably beating the odds by just a little bit.

But even more important than that, they also found that when our minds are wandering, we tend to be less happy than when we’re focused on what’s happening in the present moment.

Now mind-wandering actually has a whole bunch of benefits. It’s a huge part of how we do our creative thinking; it’s where all of our planning happens. It actually seems to be a big part of how we keep a coherent sense of ourselves, who we are as time goes by.

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