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on February 5, 2008
Life Beyond Belief is a must read for anyone who wants understanding in
their pursuit of living Truth. For those of us who wonder at their lack of "progress," even when there is beautiful knowledge of our spiritual makeup, this book is incredibly helpful. With clarity and an obvious foundation of knowledge, Ms. Gardner presents the case that we are actually not backsliding when our thoughts and emotions take over. Instead, she give us the perspective that this is a necessary clearing of old fears and doubts. This perspective lightens our hearts, giving readers a much-needed relaxing into "what is." I highly recommend this book.
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on March 15, 2008
Excellent book, beautifully structured, written, and edited.

Alice Gardner's personal touch creates a bond with the reader. She leads you from exactly where you are -- physically, emotionally, spiritually -- through layers of beliefs, programming, and conditioning, to a place of greater freedom.

Gardner says you find the truth of your existence regardless of the context in which your life is currently being lived or what your mental conditioning is. You don't have to go to a monastery. You don't have to get divorced. You don't have to go on a diet. You don't have to do anything other than look where Alice Gardner points you.

Gardner talks about marriage, eating for emotional reasons, family, relationships, body image, self-esteem, deep listening, layers of emotionality, love. The writing style is breezy and calm, organized and focused, and at the same time revelatory and demanding. Don't expect your life to become perfect, it won't, but what seem like problems will ease. You'll have a whole new view of your world.

"Comforting" spirituality has its time and place. However, we can also face the truth of our lives and the truth of who we are, even if some of our emotional reactions may never change. Alice Gardner is an excellent person to take you into the world of radically honest spirituality. Go with her.

Jerry Katz
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on November 30, 2007
Amazing book! In this deeply personal account, Alice Gardner invites us to join her as she shares her own human story, her journey to spiritual awakening. Now like never before, I see the value of my own ordinary, everyday life. Truly it has opened up for me a "Life Beyond Belief", where compassion for my own conditioned patterns and beliefs is replacing my struggle with confusion and self-doubt. I go back to the book over and over. Each time I see a little clearer that my everyday life experiences are in the service of waking up to realizing the Peace and Freedom available and possible, already! Thank you Alice.
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on March 13, 2010
If this were the ancient world then I would be required to call Ms. Gardner a prophet or a soothsayer or a master. Instead this a time where the ordinary human can step informally into the light and convey that experience with humility and directness and truth. Ms. Gardner possesses no "credential" which I recognize as a qualification to expound the great teachings, the "Dharma" or any truth whatsoever. Instead, what I recognize, is simple realization and honesty, delivered though the lens of the common human experience. I write today only having finished 2/3rds of this book. I have been reading it for more than four months and I hang on each word and the margins fill with my own annotations, and the relationship I continue to realize with her and her teachings is as resonant with me as my original inspiration with Chogyam Trungpa and his "Cutting through Spiritual Materialism" or Pema Chodron and her "When things fall Apart". I have been living in a Zen Community for the past 5 years and I go forth now inspired and resolved to meet my own self with the help of Alice and her little book of great teachings. She and I have never met, have never spoken, and I endorse her unhesitatingly. She has nothing but the a priori wisdom of truth and beauty and absolute realization to recommend her.
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on March 1, 2008
"Life Beyond Belief" is a well-written and accessible guide to awakening from the dominion of the ego to the Heart. Alice Gardner writes in an honest and sometimes humorous manner that reflects the joy of living in the present moment."

Katie Davis, Author, "Awake Joy"
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on March 25, 2009
In my spiritual quest I have read close to 2000 books. I can easily say that this book is in the top 5 of all the ones I've ever read. Like Ms. Gardner I too had my initial satori experience as a result of Eckhart Tolle, but in the last few years have been in a rut. The teachings in this book have real power and I believe I have been catapulted out of my rut. Somehow the teaching of "living from awareness rather than from my mind" has finally sunk in as a result of her words. I feel I have experinced another significant shift that will help me "remain home" for more of the time than I have before. Her attention to the "human" side of the couplet "human being" is sorely needed in the new Consciousness Movement which seems to ignore our humanity or treat it with contempt. This is a fresh new book that breaks new ground in a way than transforms the reader rather than just educating the reader.
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on October 23, 2007
Alice Gardner has succeeded brilliantly in breathing her humanity into the story of awakening to "what is." Throughout the book, she points out the universality of the cross-cultural perennial Truth that everything is, quintessentially, only One. By directly encouraging us to actively use whatever experiences show up as an occasion to deepen our awareness, she short-circuits the mind's proclivity to separate itself from the heartbeat of Life. Clear, personal and very readable. Highly recommended.

Chuck Hillig
Author of: Enlightenment for Beginners, Looking for God: Seeing the Whole in One, Seeds for the Soul, The Way IT Is, and The Magic King.
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on March 31, 2009
I really enjoyed the book "Life Beyond Belief". It was very helpful for the change and integration I experience these days.

In Nonduality, there is a tendency to ask the question of "Who am I" to get to the root of seeking. I resonated with Alice's answer the "mind made self". I like the way she uses that term as ego is too conceptual for me.

After reading this book, I am able to see the "mind made self" or mind constructed self as a pointing to a larger life beyond my thoughts and ideas. This created the space "to see" what is really happening and open beyond it even when it may feel fearful to do so at times.

Alice opens to all of life in this book. This was appealing to my inner sense and spoke to my tendency to reduce life or minimize life to a set of viewpoints and patterns that can drain the wonder out of a full engagement with it.

In this book, Alice references Michael Brown's book "The Presence Process" towards the end as a way to integrate the emotional trauma and drama many if not all of us experience at least to some extent. Another way to write it, is a healing of the "Pain Body" as identified by Eckhart Tolle. I felt that was solid advice as I had just completed Michael's book and process 2 weeks prior to starting this one.

This was real important to me and allowed for balanced emotional integration to appear out of "being" with "life" rather than the same old trying to "fix it" strategy.

I stumbled on "Life Beyond Belief" after completing the Presence Process. It was not a planned event. The "Presence Process" was really the easiest and most difficult process I have ever gone through. I found it to be very healing and revealing in the end. The only trap I experienced from the "Presence Process" was getting caught in the constant spin of my emotional stories through the facing of them. So reading this book afterwards was clarifying and settling.

Alice shares some of her wonderful poems. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the book. Poetry is engaging on several levels and allows the mind to drop into a whole body-mind feeling rather than looking at everything through the filter of thought.

I have to say that I was ready for this book.
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on January 19, 2014
im about 3/4ths done with this book and yes I adore the poetry, very lovely expression of ideas in that form. Im going to attempt to say this from my most centered place as best as I can. first off my background is strongly weighted in the teachings of Seth (jane Roberts), Bartholomew (mary-margaret moore and Abraham (Abraham-hicks) as these are the ideas that most resonate with MY inner knowing.
on thousands of "points" all of the above teachings converge or "dove-tail" seamlessly with what alice has come to realize for herself on her journey/ yet, there feels to be an area... now mostly coming into "view" in the later portion of the book that has taken (what feels to me to be) a turn back in on itself in a direction that was probably there all along...

the idea that the (ill use her "terms") "mind-made self" is something that must somehow be ... so continuously, um... monitored? dealt with, even noticed enough to need to step aside FROM, feel to me to be still more (piles and piles of it at this point) MIND games.
to come to a decision that the "small and needy self" (???????) of ourselves is EVEN THAT (ie. small and needy, etc) is so... beyond the truth of who we AS GODS are that its mind blowing to even read the phrase in this book!
to suggest that comfort and relief (of any kind in any manner) is in ANY way a distancing of ourselves FROM source is ludicrous! source IS THAT.
anyway, im not into going into it any more than to say what I have. there is A lot of beauty and wisdom in this book and I appreciate myself for buying it, it has confirmed something on a very deep level for me and for that I thank Alice and wish her all the very best in her continued journey.
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on November 14, 2008
In this personal account, Alice Gardner tells about her awakening in 2002 after spending a week at an Eckhart Tolle retreat. What makes this book different is that while many spiritual books imply that our "humanness" is what prevents us from awakening, Gardner believes that it can be our greatest teacher and is an important and even necessary part of the spiritual path:

"A common error that so many of us make is to believe that just because we made our personal stories up, that there is something wrong about the human part of us and with the stories that we have created and lived." pg. 18

"The separate self is seen to be a constructed entity but it will not entirely go away and we don't want it to! It is needed as an important tool for living and a sacred and integral part of the bridge that we become between earth and spirit." pg. 19

"In spite of what we might have thought, our histories are perfect just as they are." pg.19

For me, just reading this felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Resist nothing includes our humanness! Another highlight is when she talks about how she perceives the world now vs. before her awakening. I like that she gets into the details. Somewhat surprisingly, she found awakening to be initially unsettling. (Likewise, I remember Eckhart talking about after his awakening how he didn't really understand what had happened to him.)

This is a must read for those that want to hear from someone who awakened who considers herself to be just an average "Joan," i.e., not special in any way. Again, it's Alice's personal and honest sharing of details that helps you connect with her and makes this book so special. Highly recommended! (I also enjoyed watching Alice's videos on her website.)

-Michael Jeffreys
Author, Success Secrets of the Motivational Superstars
Organizer, The Santa Monica Eckhart Tolle Meetup
(My website lists my "Top 10 Spiritual Books," which includes this one!)
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