Dharma turned 70 on Thursday; the big party takes place tonight.
On Wednesday Little E and I took three classes with Dharma; the noon Master class, the evening multi-level class and the 7:30 Psychic Development.
After the final class, half the people migrated to the health food store up the street for green juice and other raw treats (Dharma says if you eat cooked food, you feel cooked. If you eat live food, you feel alive).
It's been wonderful seeing "siblings" from the 200 and 500 hour teacher trainings, the center, and last December's Mexico retreat.
After class Wednesday night a Dharma regular looked at me and said, "How's it goin,', Chicago?"
And when I told another sadhaka I was feeling drawn to NYC, she said, "I know at least one person who'd be happy if you move here - me!"
The community here is so welcoming.
* * *
Dharma was in fine form for his noon master class on Thursday, his birthday.
Many old students were there, from around the world.
Once the mats were set up, Dharma had us move them to a vertical position.
We did the usual intense sequence of poses, ending with various leg-behind-head variations and two minutes of "Do whatever you like."
After savasana, we gathered in a circle and chanted "Sri Ram."
And then spontaneously began singing "Happy birthday."
It's hard to believe he's 70.
* * *
Yesterday I took Dharma's day-long intensive at the Yoga Journal conference.
Fewer people were there than at the March YJ conference in Wisco.
It was utterly amazing.
Afterwords I visited friends in the marketplace.
I also saw the beautiful program for tonight's birthday party, with its rare photos and testimonials from students. It alone is worth the price of admission.
Then I went to Krishna Das, whose show was sold out.
He did all the jokes he did in Chicago in April.
I laughed at all of them.
And I'll laugh when he does them again tonight at Dharma's party.