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Buddhist monks complete mandala, pour sand into James River

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RICHMOND, Va. - Buddhist monks working on a colorful sand mandala completed their work of art at the Virginia Holocaust Museum Sunday.

Tibetan Monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery have been working on a highly-detailed sand mandala since August 10.

After completing the project around 1 p.m., the monks carried the sand to the Canal Walk. After a small ceremony, the monks released the sand into the James River to send their compassion and good intentions into the world.

Local tattoo artist Amy Black, a practicing Buddhist who recently met His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, arranged to bring the monks here.

“Their kind, positive spirits, and energy are unsurpassed and I have always loved their sand mandalas, they inspire me and bring such happiness and awe,” Black said, and added, “bringing a group like this to Richmond has been a big dream of mine for a while and I am ecstatic to see this dream finally coming true.