RICHMOND (CBS / AP) — Tibetan Buddhism has long been a popular spiritual practice in the Bay area, but the region’s 1,500 Tibetan-Americans are just now getting a community center to call their own.

The Tibetan Association of Northern California has bought a 22,500-square-foot office building in Richmond not far from the El Cerrito border. The group’s former president, Dechen Tsering, tells the Contra Costa Times the location was chosen in part because many Tibetans live in that part of the East Bay.

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Once it’s refurbished, the building will host language, dance, music, youth Sunday school classes and cultural events.

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Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, already has named the new center: De-Shi Phuntsogling, or the “Island of Four Perfections.”

Monks from South India held a prayer ceremony there last week.

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