pearls of wisdom


 A Zen master and a student were preparing for a meal. They were having fresh oysters that they had harvested that day. As they shucked the oysters, the student spoke, “I miss my family. It has been a long time since I have seen them. The work here at the monastery has been hard without much help. Then today, of all days you want to harvest oysters?” The Zen Master sat quietly and began shelling his oysters. The student did the same.

“You sound irritated? A mind needs food for thought,” The Zen Master said, smiling. “A body needs fuel for energy.”

The student became excited when the first oyster he opened had a pearl inside. “Look, I have been blessed with a pearl, on my first oyster.” The student said. “Am I rich?”

“Not quite,” The Master replied then continued, “take a lesson from the oyster. The most extraordinary thing about the oyster is this: Irritations such as grit get into its shell. It does not like them; it tries to get rid of them. But when it cannot get rid of them, it settles down to make of them one of the most beautiful things in the world, a pearl. When you see your family, you will have become a pearl.”

The student smiled as he held the pearl up in the light. Viewing its beauty and revealing in the fact he found such a treasure. “And…” the zen master began, “Work produces a lot of grit. The resulting irritation is not without good results. To be a Pearl of Wisdom, such as a master of zen, one must have the patience of an oyster. Let this be a lesson for you.”

The student smiled and replied, “I’ve also heard it said that the world is an oyster and you are its pearl.” The zen master looked at the student and smiled.

“Flattery will get you every where, ” said the zen master. “…and that pearl you now have…” The zen master held up a pearl that he had just gotten out of an oyster, ” …these will pay for you a short trip home.” The student’s face lit up.


by Art~

(I have had this story in my drafts for months because I felt it wasn’t quite right. So, I doctored it up a bit and will post it, asking; how can I make this story better. What am I missing. Can it be rearranged to have a greater impact. When I went through my drafts this morning, I had plans of posting a story about milk which will probably come out tomorrow and I saw this story and figured I have tooled over it long enough. Maybe it is a pearl and it is not yet ready, if so… feel free to tell me. Bows (~_~) Humble)


(moral; If there are irritations in your lives today, there is only one prescription: Make a pearl. It may have to be a pearl of patience, but anyhow, make a pearl. All it takes is patience, time and understanding. Take what life gives you and make something of it.)

Food for thought 

There are two kinds of people, those who complain about what life has thrown at them. Then there are those who take what life has thrown at them and they make something out of it.


This paragraph taken from this article, it would be wise to go and read the whole article…

Oysters and Three pearls of wisdom

by Tawna @ Soul Solutions; discovering your inner wisdom

(the last paragraph)…….A pearl might be thought of as an oyster’s response to its suffering. The pearl-making process can also be our response to suffering. If we have the wisdom to entrust ourselves to the process of living, the courage to remain soft, tender and vulnerable, and the patience to methodically coat our pain in multiple layers of healing, we, too, will find that these are the very places in which wisdom will begin to grow. And if anyone looks inside our protective outer covering they will find in us a luminescent sense of the value of life and a greater capacity to live it.


( here is my etegami for today)

inspired by;

Divya Srikanth


(click on picture to enlarge)


have a pearl of a day


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19 thoughts on “pearls of wisdom

  1. There are many things in life that do not seem quiet perfect and that can irritate us in many different ways.. The Pearl is a Gem created as you say out of irritations..
    I can pour over words and its the same with my art I often am never satisfied with the finished result.. But then We are all of us creating.. all of us Co-creators of the Universe and still it is evolving as it reshapes itself.. All things are in motion.. All things are perfect ..
    So too was this post..

  2. Oh my Art – I don’t think there’s anything I would recommend changing. The power of this story touched me immediately, leaving me with the sense there is something quite deep I need to process. Perhaps an irritation that begs more introspect and the reminder that a pearl is being formed. Thank you for this….don’t quite have the words just yet, but I know something within me is responding to the wisdom you’ve shared. Much love. xo

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  4. Art, you have most powerfully, beautifully and insightfully reminded me today of WHY this writers’ community, including you and me; which is more work and more time-consuming than I had previously been willing to BE STILL for; is working so well to bring well-springs of joy, containing many pearls each week, into my life. This affirms my returning to writing daily as the correct “pearl-making” technique to bejewel those past two decades of self-effacement in my life. I am SO indebted to you!

  5. Oh, that’s such good news….I’m growing or maybe even “becoming” a pearl! Oh thank goodness good will come from irritation and struggle… : ) Art…this is a wonderful story…I love it and the timing, for me, is wonderful…grateful and humble thanks…

  6. Love the pearl analogy…nature has so many things to teach us.

    I’m more Interested in your comment on how the pearl is a ‘response’ to the oyster’s suffering. Is that really true? (that’s a Byron Katie-ism ;-)..)

    Weren’t oysters created to produce pearls?
    Isn’t it the very nature of an oyster to produce a pearl?
    Do oysters get a choice whether or not to produce a pearl?

    Is it ‘suffering’ when a woman produces a baby (ok, I know. I gave birth to two naturally, but stick with me here! LOL)?

    Is it “suffering” when an artist produces a painting or a poem based on some internal irritation?

    Wonder what would happen if we stopped labeling such things as this as “suffering” and simply saw it as the nature of the thing.

    It is the nature of an oyster to produce a pearl.
    It is the nature of a woman to produce a baby (with a little help ;-)..)
    It is the nature of an artist to produce art

    • well, that is a very wise thought, according to this article; Oysters and Three Pearls of Wisdom, a grain of sand becomes an irritation, I assume like a sticker bur stuck in your shoe. Eventually your foot would create a calas to deal with the irritation. With the oyster it creates a pearl, a covering around the grain of sand.

      I like what you have said here, “It is the nature of the oyster to create a pearl.” I used irritation, the article went one step farther and stated, ‘suffering’ Which now makes me think; is an oyster like a plant, with no feelings, of course not or it would not be irritated. Is irritation ‘suffering’ obviously there is a difference because they are two different wrds to mean two different things. I do know that not all oysters have pearls, some pearls are made by placing a grain of sand in them.

      Well, I like the way you think, I have posted the article with my story and never caught thank, thanks Janece, you are a pearl of wisdom.

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  9. as we coat our irritations with love, rather than fear which is often our first response, we create within us something of great beauty to offer to our world.
    Beautiful post and so meaningful to so many.

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  11. When I was irritated during my plumbing job over the weekend, a new leak sprang and it gave me an idea for an awesome essay comparing the leaking lines to my troubled synopsis. That was my pearl that day.

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