Teachers & Leaders


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

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Pamela Weiss has been practicing in the Zen and Theravada traditions since 1987. She spent several years in a Zen monastery, is trained by Jack Kornfield through Spirit Rock, and co-leads the Wednesday evening sangha for SF Insight. Pamela is also an executive coach, and pioneer in bringing the principles and practices of Buddhist teaching into leadership development inside organizations. Her passion is in bringing the richness and depth of Buddhist teachings to the world of work and relationships, as well as articulating a feminine expression of the dharma.


Community Dharma Leaders

Pawan Bareja

Pawan Bareja, PhD, started meditating at a young age and found Vipassana in 2001. She is currently in Spirit Rock Retreat Teacher Training and is a graduate of their Buddhist Ritual Minister and a Community Dharma Leader programs. She has taught classes and daylongs on healing trauma using mindfulness at Spirit Rock, SFI, EBMC, Against the Stream and Esalen. Pawan works with a diverse population of clients in her private practice as Trauma Resolution Practitioner and holds a management position in the business world. 

Marlena deCarion

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Marlena deCarion has been practicing meditation since 1995. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioners Program and is a Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader. Although she has primarily studied in the Theravada Buddhism, she is influenced by Tibetan and non-dual practices. Marlena is a Certified Professional Coach, is trained in Somatic Experiencing, and is a student of the Diamond Approach.

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

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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

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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. 

Carol Cano

Carol Cano began her practice 30 years ago at Wat Kow Tahm in Thailand and has actively engaged in building communities and teaching Dharma internationally.  She has completed a myriad of training programs at Spirit Rock and is currently participating in their Retreat Teacher Training.  Carol is a core teacher and was a former board member of East Bay Meditation Center.  Her unique teachings are deeply grounded in Basque, Native American and Buddhist influences that braid the Dharma along indigenous wisdom and Earth-based practices.


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.


Juliana Sloane

Juliana Sloane first encountered the Dharma as a teen, and felt an immediate heart connection to the teachings. Today, she leads a women’s meditation group in San Francisco, and teaches youth through Spirit Rock’s Family Program. She is a graduate of the Sati Center’s Buddhist Chaplaincy Program. Juliana is passionate about the possibilities of personal and community transformation held in the Dharma, and hopes to bring this to all parts of life.

Bill Scheinman

Bill Scheinman has been a dharma practitioner since 1994 and has practiced in the Theravada tradition since 2003. He is a founding teacher at Stress Reduction at Work, and has taught mindfulness in corporate settings since 2006. He teaches 8-week classes in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and works in the business development division at a behavioral health nonprofit. He is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leaders Program at Spirit Rock, and is also a novelist, short story writer and blogger on mindfulness.