How the name Susanwithpearls came to be
I received the name Susanwithpearls in the year 2000. My mom had given me a pearl necklace for my January birthday, which I then wore frequently with jeans and a t-shirt. I had recently met a new group of friends and did not quite know everyone, and they did not quite know me. I was at a new-friend’s house, when another new-friend came over. The first informed the latter that I was there, and the latter friend said, “Oh, yeah….Susan…. Susan with pearls.” The name stuck.
Since then, I have embraced the name and many associations with it:
Pearls of wisdom: While I do not consider myself wise, some people find my counsel and words useful. I share what I am learning on my Journey. If you find it useful or wise, I will be glad to have given something of value.
Do not caste your pearls before swine: Not everyone is ready for wisdom, for delving deeply into themselves, or for building their own inner pearls. This website, the Journeys, are not for everyone, but I offer them to all who are receptive. If this isn’t your thing, it’s ok. There are other pearls out there for you to find or build in your own way.
Pearl of great price (or value): We all have intrinsic, inherent, natural value. I honor your journey and your intrinsic worth.
The Pearl in Qigong
The pursuit of Immortality is a basic theme of Qigong. It is rooted in the most ancient traditions and goes back to theearliest shamanic tradition. The actual procedure, which is kept very secret, involves condensing the energy-body into a “pearl”, which then enters into the Immortal Realm. This pearl is the condensed essence of what we are, the purified stuff of the universe that we each have inside us, the spark of starlight that we call “life.” The spirit or essence can then be trained to leave or re-enter the body, through the Qigong point called Bai Hui, at the top of the crown, while the physical body remains in deep meditation. When it is time to finally leave forever, then the practitioner has complete control over the process, and can choose the exact time at which to depart. The pearl/spirit then leaves the body for good, and the physical body “dies.”
Sarasvati: Wisdom of the Pearl Oyster
In Vedic astrology, the star called Svati, which is associated with Sarasvati, Goddess of essential wisdom, learning, knowledge, and art has a lovely little story associated with it.
If it rains when Svati is in the ascendant–when it appears on the eastern horizon to traverse the night sky–and a raindrop falls into an oyster, that raindrop becomes a pearl.
The oysters know this, and all want to make beautiful pearls. So, they come to the surface when that star is shining during a rainfall. They open wide their shells to catch the precious drops.
When the oyster catches one of these drops, it quickly shuts its shell and dives deeply into the ocean to wait patiently for the drop to develop into a pearl.
This is also how we may develop our pearls: first be receptive to the influence of essential wisdom, learning, knowledge, and art. Then open our minds to understanding. Then protect that wisdom by closing our minds to anything that denies it. Then dive deeply into ourselves to develop that essential wisdom and knowledge within, learning what it means to be it.
Time, patience, and the slow, incremental building of something beautiful are essential. Embrace your inner pearl. Think it. Live it. Be it. Let your mind, heart, muscles, nerves, sinew be the nacre—the lining of the shell that is layered to form a pearl—for your inner beauty.
Susan Billmaier, Professional biography
I earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University with an emphasis on ethical political philosophy, culture and politics, and German idealism. I have taught in the areas of American politics, women and politics, and traditions of Western political theory, in addition to facilitating classes and workshops on personal journeys, leadership styles, diversity and inclusion, and conflict resolution.
In addition to being the founder of PearlsWithin and the Creator of PearlsWithin Consciousness Journeys, I am the Program Officer at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation for the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Religion and Ethics and The Woodrow Wilson Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies. I am also very proud to work with Happy as a marketing and outreach consultant.