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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.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

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.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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