When ever we say this or that place was charming..we are talking about a quality that is delightful or inspiring beauty and respect..The word "charming" also has magical qualities meaning the intent to use magic to create good luck and ward off evil...In ancient Tibetan culture there is a word and concept called "Dralas"...My recollection of dralas from reading Chogum Trungpa's book "The Sacred Path of the Warrior"..(one of my all time favorites) means the good spirits of a place or the spirit that resides within a place.. the energy that has been created by the power of nature or the beauty that has been created by man, i.e. beautiful architecture, gardens, a culture that has harmonized it's living with the highest principals of nature or just the energy of a place...To me, my home of rural Pennsylvania has Dralas or charm in it's rolling hills, farms, roadside farm stands and farmer's markets, corn fields, colorful deciduous trees, abundant wildlife, graceful solid old stone farm houses and towns of the colonial settlers. The native peoples that originally lived here give many multi-syllabic names to many of our towns and cities. Their names carry the meaning and "charms" of their original speakers. Their arrow heads are still found in the farm fields. The farming culture has history and is still infulenced by with Amish and Mennonite presence. The founding of our country's freedom and independence took place here. Pennsylvania - the Keystone State is rich in resources.
These are some of the charms and "dralas" of Pennsylvania. Dralas can be created and destroyed by people..The spirit of a place can change with time and events.
Here is a quote about Dralas from the Dharma Teachings of Russell Rodgers, Nelson, B.C.
"Sometimes one encounters people or places that cut through one’s habitual chain of thoughts. The Tibetan word for that is “drala”, which means “above the enemy”. In this case the enemy is our cocoon of gossipy thoughts that keeps us separated from the beauty of the world. Practitioners who are familiar with the term drala often associate it with places that have power for us: they provoke a sense of primal vastness and spaciousness. Perhaps they provoke awe, or a sense of beauty. Size is not the issue here — it could be a mountain top, a mossy forest, or a drop of dew. Whatever it is, one feels that it is basically good."
I love this idea of "above the enemy". Enemy being anything that distracts us from the basic goodness of nature and life and the goodness in our hearts. If we keep this principal in our minds that life is basically good and we keep our intentions focussed on the power and beauty of the natural world, creation that is in harmony with all life and the vast miracle of the universe, perhaps we can calm our minds into a more peaceful state of being and find love for all creation, enough to keep us strong and connected to the source of all that is goodness.
What are the "dralas" in the place where you live? What is the charm of your area? Can we create more dralas or charm by our thinking, being, words or actions? Can you conjure up good dralas for your life and community and world? What is the power of being or place ...?