098. Natalie Gray

Natalie GrayNatalie Gray is an ordinary person who spent the first 25 years of her adult life searching for meaning and answers. In her search, she looked for those answers in several places, including: trying to find a calling (as an actress, teacher and life coach), through self-help and awareness seminars, through study and initiation with various spiritual teachers and teachings and through the use of drugs. After coming to the realization that no one or no thing outside of herself was going to be able to give Natalie what she wanted, she began an intense personal and internal search for the truth. In the fall of 2010, Natalie experienced what she refers to as “…the end of seeking. I was done,” she says. “I had no more questions. I needed no more answers. What was sought had been found.”

Since then, Natalie has shared her experience and insights through her blog, and in videos on YouTube. She communicates regularly and freely with individuals who have questions or are interested in talking about nonduality. You can reach her by email.

Interview recorded 11/26/2011

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

38 thoughts on “098. Natalie Gray

  1. Nice little interview. Quite natural. I like the chick.

    Natalie uttered two of my favorite words in spiritual matters: “free will”. She noted it doesn’t exist. (Also referred to in this interview as ‘authorship of action’.)

    From where I’m sitting, Natalie understood the full implication of not having free will. The search for a passion, the drive for purpose, the whole story of how I’m making My life, falls away.

    What is left then is a relaxation into life, a deep acceptance, and really being present for the first time.

    Natalie did an excellent job of describing the intimacy of just being at a desk. Awareness aware of what is.

    Good stuff.

  2. Rick, please learn more quotes. We just love listening to them in every interview, but they are always the same. Maybe you could buy the Book of Quotes and learn some new ones?

  3. Rick , I’m amazed by these recent criticisms. You initiated this site and kindly invited us partake.
    As a mere individual I warm to your personal individual approach.
    Would others prefer a committee with questions suggested to the chair.
    Better still a robot.

  4. Live interviews… where viewers are invited to call in and ask their questions or offer their comments… is my preferred entree.

  5. Richard Miller’s Never Not Here used to use that format some years ago. Until he changed it to the current single interviewer (himself) one.

    Attention can be a seductive mistress.

  6. I loved this interview.. i love it when i’m reminded of how ordinary and at the same time extraordiary all this is. I also loved how Natalie talked about how ‘that which is’ experiences itself when drinking itself from a cup (which is also that), and how intimate all of that really is.. a real eye opener, on some level.

    As for Ricks’ quotes.. personally i enjoy him posing the same quotations to different people and see how it bounces off those different people. Maybe there are people ut there who have an encyclopedic knowledge of all sorts of quotes, but for some reason i find myelf going back to Batgap over and over again.. and it’s not to hear new quotes, i just like the interviews, the down to earth-ness and realness of the people being interviewed.

    So.. looking forward to your next interview Rick, and see what Robert has to say about spiritual practices making one accident-prone 😉

  7. One way to explain the lack of free will, and yet the sense that there is a free will, is to reverse the order of events.

    Several interviewees have noted this, perhaps most hilariously Paul Hedderman and his concept of Selfing.

    The order isn’t: thought causes action. Rather, action (and all of life) just happens, and then thought rushes in to create an explanation. And part of that explanation is the creation of a Me having made decisions that caused actions.

    Awakening notwithstanding, there is a great deal of scientific evidence that this is how the mind actually works.

    Extending this idea, Hedderman suggests we’ll never know when we die, because we’ll be dead before the mind has a chance to create an explanation for what just happened.

    Natalie seemed to agree with the No Free Will view of life, and, as importantly, also understood all the implications of that view.

  8. Rick, I am feeling a bit uncomfortable here with the words enlightenment and awakening. I also believe that some people are convinced that they have become enlightened after a shift happened. I have undergone several shifts and know that this is not the whole story. I know that I have ways to go yet. If enlightenement is truly the same as the way things were before then why bother!

  9. Something
    is only a mystery
    if you have
    an interest
    in comprehension.
    Absent that interest,
    things simply are
    what they are.

  10. Perhaps I didn’t convey it clearly enough.

    *tries again*

    The ungraspable only exists when there is an interest in grasping.

    No interest in grasping anything? No ungraspables.

    Mysteries only exist for the interested in comprehending.

  11. Hi Gang,

    I’m on the road, sitting in a Panera’s. Will respend to these excellent comments (including constructive criticism) Saturday. Going to see Amma.


  12. Hey Rick,

    I really love this site and the interviews. I recommend it frequently. It’s been interesting to hear all the experiences of awakening and there usually seems to be a commonality to them. I have had a growing revelation about awakening. One thing is that it seems sooo Boring LOL. I mean from what people explain… why even bother 😀 Its really a very funny thought for me because I have spent my life, since my teen years, very fascinated by it and following a nice daily meditation routine religiously. But OMG, I mean haha really… what’s the big deal about it. Is it just me or does it really sound boring? I read a story years ago, I think it came from some Vedic literature (if so, I’m sure you [Rick] know where it’s from). It goes something like this: In the Beginning, God (IT) was all there was. Then IT realized that IT was bored with IT’s vast nothingness so IT created a vast infinite creation SO that IT could experience SOMETHING other than NOTHING.

    Maybe we’re messing with IT’s original intention by putting so much attention on experiencing the nothingness. Again, listening to the actual experiences, it seems rather boring. No wonder IT created such a rich and beautiful universe. Here we are chasing the nothingness when God is probably saying WTF? lol 😉

  13. Enlightenment removes suffering. If boredom means something negative to you, then you will loose that label after enlightenment.

  14. I never met a person whose concentration was laser-like and felt bored.

    I have, on the other hand, met many people who were easily subject to distraction, followed by boredom.

    Which prompts me to surmise that boredom is directly related to certain degrees of concentration.

  15. Quote Snowleopard: “We may be dancing that semantic tango again…”

    Yes, it seems to me that most dialogues concerning mysticism are in essence exercises in logic. How could it be otherwise?

    Plain or mysterious. We could say life is beyond both. But even the notion of ‘beyond’ stems from the same logical

    I like to see the mystery in what we call ordinary, and I like to see the ordinariness in what we call mysterious.
    But, writing this down is sounds like smart talk to me, haha. The hack, it’s all a mystery. 🙂 No problem in using such a dualistic notion.

  16. One thing I got from this ordinary person is…IT WHAT IT IS and loved the fact that for her was a kind of let down in a way. Let down could be easier translated into letting go of ideas of oneself.

  17. “yep, language condemns One to duality”

    That sounds a bit negative, snow. So I’ll ask:

    feel condemned by your use of language?

    Rather ask than assume.

  18. I like Natalie’s observation, below, that the Absolute expressing itself as separate is equally valuable as the Absolute expressing itself as one.

    Extensions of this would be: confusion is equally valuable as clarity; unenlightenment is equally valuable as enlightenment; depression is equally valuable as bliss; and, darkness is equally valuable as light.


  19. I wonder why so many truth seekers are afraid of duality. I just read one of the posts about being ‘condemned’ to duality. Like it’s some kind of dungeon. Hey I say embrace duality. Perhaps we’ve been gifted with the experience of duality for a reason. I know there is an absolute presence (IT) that is experiencing the universe through us and all creation. That’s the way IT wants it evidently (or it wouldn’t have created creation that way). Perhaps IT wants to experience the boundaries of duality. I know this won’t be a popular notion on this vlog and I’ll soon read posts with sophisticated Neo-Advaita language. That’s cool. 😉

  20. “Indeed, we are infinite Beings, whether defined as individual body-minds, or Cosmic Consciousness, it matters not”

    I guess it also matters not if we believe that we are infinite beings as well.

    Or, it matters not what we believe.

  21. “it’s the belief in separation and boundaries that is problematic, and seemingly dysfunctional”

    At the risk of appearing to be beating on a dead horse… not necessarily so.

    Beliefs are a rarely intrinsically problematic; including the one you cite, snow.

    What becomes potentially problematic is our IDENTIFICATION with them.

    Regardless of what that belief may be. Separateness, oneness, the absolute, the relative, et al.

    Identification with a belief solidifies the sense of the ego, and provides a strongly egocentric view of the world.

    All beliefs are relatively harmless. Our identification with them is another matter.

  22. Speaking only from my practice of mediation, thoughts appear and dis-appear… like clouds across a blue sky.

    No thought appears with an adhesive coating, causing an observer to become glued (identified) with it. It is not an attribute of any thought.

    The stickiness that is applied to a particular thought… is a function of the quality of attention that is placed on it.

    And sticky attention is dissolvable through the practice of meditation.

    Again, what belief we are placing our attention on is relatively inconsequential. The quality of your attention, on the other hand, is in inescapably consequential.

    P.S. Thoughts will always appear and dis-appear. It the nature of all forms.

  23. I don’t know, snow. And candidly speaking, I have no interest in speculating what their origin might be.

    There is functional thinking, and there is conceptual thinking. I’m inclined to participate more in the former than the latter.

    Naked observation/awareness of a thought is speculation-free.

    I encourage all to done on it.

  24. “belief in a thought, and the identification with a thought, not the same?”

    That is my experience.

  25. Interesting that you should choose the word “empirical”. It relies on observation and experience.

    March on, then. Observe, without speculation and interpretation, the thoughts that come across your screen.

    You will receive the evidence that you seek.


    adj \im-ˈpir-i-kəl\

    Definition of EMPIRICAL

    1: originating in or based on observation or experience

    2: relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory

    3: capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment

  26. Natalie said that her awakening occurred after Richard asked her three questions. What were those three questions?

  27. Im curious as to the 3 questions she was asked as she eluded to earlier in the interview that caused her shift…wonderful interview love your work rick, i litterally check your website daily for updates

  28. @Peter: “Live interviews… where viewers are invited to call in and ask their questions or offer their comments… is my preferred entree.”

    I could experiment with that. Richard Miller does it, but it’s usually pretty chaotic. Half the time is spent with technical glitches. Another thing he’s doing these days is interviewing two people at once, and letting them interact. Haven’t listened to any of those yet, but I’ll check out that possibility.

  29. @Marty K. Your point about me talking too much is well-taken. Sometimes, I’m in a deeper, more intuitive state, and the interview flows. There seems to be the right balance. Other times I get jazzed by the energy and become too talkative. Some professional interviewers do talk a lot, and I find it annoying (e.g., Piers Morgan). Larry King’s philosophy was “If I’m talking, I’m not learning anything”, and he was good at sticking to that. Keep in mind that folks like that, and Terri Gross, do this full time, and so have more preparation time. They also have staff members who help them. I work full time and pretty much have to wing it. But still, by my own admission, I should talk less. I was just with Amma in Michigan, and a woman who has listened to all of the interviews introduced herself and with great kindness and appreciation, gave me the same feedback. So I have no defense. It’s probably my most important area for improvement, and I promise to work on it. Thanks for the feedback.

  30. @Touvino. I agree with you, which is why I’m always prodding guests about what further progress they have undergone or see themselves undergoing. I’m of the opinion that the range of human evolution is vast, and that those who think they are finished after having had some awakening, however profound, are in the big scheme of things, just getting started.

  31. I have a genuine question I would like to hear comments on,..this is not only related to this interview but when she mentions, like so many others, that nothing really changes..an goes on to say she still eats meat and so on…I wonder…what is truly the difference between that and another “person” “waking up” but still are enjoying child porn or similar things? Isn’t the realisation of the divine nature of us all also very intimately connected to REAL change from being a part of violence in different forms living a more peaceful life? In my reality, change is emediate in the moment one awakens…when you really see, how can you not change, even the seemingly smallest habits if it’s creating so much suffering for other creatures??

    with love

  32. Amma ~ “Boredom occurs only when there is no love”

    just returned from 5 days in Amma’s presence… inspirational, challenging, insightful etc… definitely not boring…

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