What is a soul?

“What is a soul? It’s like electricity – we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room,” is a quote attributed to Ray Charles. We could substitute “compassion” for “soul,” with all due respect to Ray Charles. When someone has genuine compassion, they light up a room. When HHDL is in a room (or online), he lights up the room. This is why he is often called, “The Presence.” This is great compassion imbued with wisdom, that indeed is like electricity. When I first met him in the late 80’s, I asked him if I could do a meditation retreat on emptiness. He thought for a moment, then said firmly, “Bodhicitta (universal compassion) and Shunyata (wisdom of emptiness) 50 / 50.” It literally was like a bolt of lightening went through my chest. I can still vividly remember this experience today! It has been a tremendous guide for my practice.