See all Meditation


Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
CommunityFor Work

Don’t Mistake the Finger for the Moon

Melli O'Brien



Melli O'Brien



Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on your phone

Don’t Mistake the Finger for the Moon

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today we're going to talk about the

idea that mindfulness instructions

are like signposts rather than rules.

So sometimes we can get very rigid with

our ideas of how things are supposed

to be done, but the instructions for

mindfulness practice are not rigid rules.

And there's no set way of practicing

mindfulness that's right for every

single person all of the time.

The instructions are guidance, signposts

recommendations for you to try something

for yourself and see what you discover

in your own firsthand experience.

So all the instructions are there

to help you actually experience

mindfulness and embody mindfulness.

There's an old saying about this,

"Don't mistake the finger pointing

at the moon for the moon itself."

So what are we saying here?

What is this pointing into?

So think about it, if somebody

points to the moon to show it to you,

and then you fixate on the finger.

Obviously you're going to miss out

on seeing the actual moon and you

might even think that the finger

is the thing that this person is

trying to tell you about called moon.

Similarly, there are obviously mindfulness

techniques and teachings that we can apply

both in meditation and in everyday life.

But it's really important to

remember that these techniques

and teachings are pointers.

They're pointing you towards the

actual experience of mindfulness.

And it's far more important to live the

teachings rather to kind of keep it on a

really conceptual level or really get to

focused on the teachings and techniques.

At their core, all of these

pointers should really be pointing

you back to basically embodying a

kind, curious and non-judgmental

awareness of the present moment.

That'll be the basic focus

of any mindfulness practice.

But these pointers are not dogmas.

They're an invitation back

to a particular way of being.

So also remember that no teaching

is a set in stone framework.

In fact, the Buddha himself encouraged

his students, never to just believe or

disbelieve anything he said, but to trust

their own authority and direct experience.

So feel free to experiment

with what works for you.

Some practices and teachings you

might hear them explained in a way

and when you apply it, it just

doesn't really feel right for you.

It's not working for you.

Some others, you will really resonate

with, and they'll really help you embody

mindfulness in a way that works for you.

So that's fine.

The main thing is to keep returning

again and again to what the teachings

are pointing to, awareness itself.

And trust in awareness as your ultimate

teacher, guide and authorities.

Letting it guide your

thoughts, actions, and speech.

So as always thank you for your

practice and your presence here with us.

And now let's settle in

for today's meditation.

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.

Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.


Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!


Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Start 7-Day Free Trial

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.