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Expert GuidancePointing at the Moon

Pointing at the Moon

Learning about meditation can be helpful. But there's no substitute for direct experience.

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So, when we're just starting out training our mind, I think it's really helpful to have a lot of support. But over time, we start to see that this support is really just guidance. It's like the story of the man who was pointing at the moon, trying to show it to his dog, sat at his feet. "Look, look how beautiful the moon is", he says. The dog just sits there, wagging his tail, happy that his owner is happy. "No, but look," says the man, gesturing a little more emphatically. The dog gets a bit more excited by the man's tone, but still, he just sits there. No matter how much, no matter how forcefully or playfully the man points, the dog just sits there, wagging his tail, staring at the finger, barely catching a glimpse of the moon. It's really tempting when we're learning to train the mind in this way, to rely too heavily on a teacher, their words, or a set of ideas. And to almost forget that it's not the finger that's important. In fact, it's only there to direct our attention to the reality of our own experience. Once we understand this, and we can really let go, the mind is at ease, resting in awareness, at one with the moon....


TypeExpert Guidance
Duration1 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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