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Given the collective grief and trauma of this moment in time, the lesson on joy I'm planning for Sunday seems ill-timed, even inappropriate.

But what if it's not? What if a capacity for joy is exactly what's most needed for soul healing right now?

True joy, spiritual masters tell us, is not dependent on outer circumstances but arises from within. It's sourced in the awareness of love's presence and power. It's infinitely greater than any temporal earthly experience. It empowers us to be present to pain and suffering, but instead of being swamped by gloom, depression or despair, joy keeps us afloat. It is being in the world but not of it. 

Anushka Fernandoupulle, a meditation teacher who works with social justice advocates puts it like this: "You're able to see what's happening, including a state that you don't want, and rather than spending energy resisting the way things are, you're able to put that energy toward actions that create the vision that you have."

As we navigate these turbulent emotional times, may we make room for true joy to guide our thoughts, words and deeds.