Teachers & Leaders

Guiding Teachers

Eugene Cash

Eugene is the founding teacher of the San Francisco Insight Meditation Community of San Francisco. He teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and leads intensive meditation retreats internationally. His teaching is influenced by both Burmese and Thai streams of the Theravada tradition as well as Zen and Tibetan Buddhist practice. He is also a teacher of the Diamond Approach, a school of spiritual investigation and self-realization developed by A. H. Almaas.

Pamela Weiss

Pamela Weiss is a dual-lineage Buddhist teacher in both Theravada and Soto Zen. She has been practicing since 1987, including several years as a Zen monastic and retreat teacher training through Spirit Rock. Pamela is the author of “A Bigger Sky: Awakening a Fierce Feminine Buddhism,” and is passionate about weaving the stories of voices of Buddhist women into the fabric of Buddhist practice. She is also a pioneer in bringing mindfulness and Dharma principles to human development and organizational transformation.


Community Teachers

Paul Irving

Paul Irving
Paul Irving has practiced meditation and contemplation in Eastern and Western traditions since 1973. In 2012 he completed Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leader Program. He is the co-founder of a successful optometry clinic, has been a consultant in project management and non-profit funding development, and is currently the Practice Manager of a large health practice at UCSF.

Trip Weil

Trip Weil 1.20.13
Trip Weil has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 2004. He is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leader and Dedicated Practitioners Programs. Formerly an attorney, Trip is a psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco.

Kitty Costello

Kitty Costello 1.13.18
Kitty Costello has been practicing Insight Mediation since 2000 and is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leaders program. She has studied and taught various Eastern and Western mindfulness practices since 1978, including Shaolin Ssu, a Mahayana Buddhist martial arts form. She teaches tai chi and chi gung and is a psychotherapist in private practice. She is also a community organizer, helping to foster the creative arts in inner city San Francisco for 25 years.

Dawn Neal

Dawn Neal has accumulated over two years of practice in silent meditation retreats since 2005. She holds an MA from the GTU’s Institute of Buddhist Studies, two certificates from the Harvard Negotiation Project, and is a certified professional mindfulness teacher (CMT-P IMTA). Dawn serves the community as a Buddhist teacher, interfaith chaplain, and scholar. She teaches and facilitates for Buddhist, secular, and multifaith groups in the Bay Area and beyond. 

Raúl Coronado

Raúl Coronado began meditating in 2007 after he took EBMC’s meditation for beginners course for people of color in SF’s Mission. His practice has continued to unfold through his participation in retreats, practice groups and study programs, including three month long retreats, EBMC’s Commit 2 Dharma program, and Spirit Rock’s DPP. He’s finishing up a three year term on EBMC’s Leadership Sangha, and served as co-chair and then chair for the last two years. A native of Dallas, Raúl teaches Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. He is the author of A World Not to Come: A History of Latino Writing and Print Culture. His teaching and research focus on how communities, especially of color and queer people, have left traces of their soul through writing, and in that way seeks to integrate into his teaching and research Buddhist principles of presence, no-self, and impermanence.


Syra Smith

Syra Smith is an artist, organizer and mindfulness educator interested in deep ecology and manifesting a culture where we can turn toward fearless abundance and generosity. She is a Community Teacher with the East Bay Meditation Center where she is co-creating space with one of the most diverse communities of dharma practitioners in the US and she proudly serves as Core Teacher with the SF LGBT Sangha. Syra began practicing in the Theravada Buddhist tradition in 2009. She graduated EBMC’s Commit to Dharma program in 2011 and became a Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader in 2017. Syra is a current participant in the MMTC Program under the guidance of Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach.


Eileen Spillane

Eileen Spillane has practiced Insight Meditation since 2001 and is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leader Program. She has practiced as a Nurse for over thirty years, working with patients in the birthing process as well as many years with critically ill cancer patients. She enjoys teaching meditation in a supportive environment to help participants ease stress in their lives.


Nina Gold

Nina Gold has been practicing Insight meditation since 2007. She is a graduate of the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. Nina is also a yoga teacher, teaching in the Iyengar method since 1998.
She loves truth and opening to the whole of life as practice. Dharma practice has profoundly transformed her and she shares these teachings with gratitude and joy.