place the cursor directly beneath the gray scale
What is this supposed to mean?
Could you please provide screenshots?
Unfortunately, every time I do this my cursor is ALWAYS a pointing finger.
Even if you hover directly above a color stop?
OK, (hopefully), here's a screen shot of the Gradient Editor. I'd put an arrow on there, but I can't find an arrow brush, so where I put the cursor is a red butterfly right below the gradient...
When I saw the technique shown, the cursor there was an regular curso, and as you move the cursor toward the white point, at SOME point, it's supposed to change to a pointing finger.
As I said, mine doesn't...
The cursor is a pointing hand under most of the gradient bar and will become an arrow when over a colour stop or a midpoint marker, which is a little circle. If you've just opened the gradient editor and not adjusted the gradient yet, no midpoint marker will be visible. Click a colour stop to see a midpoint marker. Then you can drag the midpoint or click it and read/enter a value for its location.
Yup, I'm familiar with the color stops and midpoint markers. I'm moderately sure the process shown/described didn't have any color stops, and the cursor wasn't a pointing finger. I must have missed something in the presentation 'cause I sure can't figure out how they were doing it (if I was seeing it right)...