Moline Whitson
Sangha Manager

Moline has been practicing Reflective Meditation since 2009. In 2018 she joined the teacher training program and has assisted in the Continuing Education program for several years. In 2019 she began providing administrative support to the sangha which has evolved into a position as the General Manager. Additionally, she teaches yoga and TRE through her studio, Harmony Yoga in NE Portland. She brings her passion for Body/Mind modalities and love of community to the Pine Street Sangha board.

Amy Stahl

Amy RM Stahl is a former dharma teacher with a Master of Divinity from Naropa University. She currently teaches ikebana in the Sogetsu School, offering classes in Portland and on zoom. Her role on the Pine Street Sangha Board is to offer an “outsider’s” perspective.

Carol Kast
President of the Board

Carol Kast practiced clinical social work in Corvallis for 30 years, first working for Benton County and then in private practice. Upon moving to Portland, she wanted to expand her learning about Buddhist meditation, and to find a sangha. On the advice of a friend, she took an introductory class with Nelly in 2011, and in 2012 became a member of the Friday group. After a lifetime of wishing for a spiritual community that fits her, Carol found it at Pine Street Sangha. She serves as President of the Board.

Charlotte August

Charlotte August happily returned to Portland following forty-six years away after retiring in 2018 from a university job counseling and advising students. She became interested in meditation as a teenager after reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s book Autobiography of a Yogi, and soon thereafter experienced her first retreat and meditation instruction in 1969. A renegade practitioner and dabbler in many schools of meditation over the years, she was delighted to discover Pine Street Sangha and a deep resonance with Reflective Meditation in late 2018, where journaling is welcome and curiosity flourishes. Aside from serving as a general board member, Charlotte’s activities include assisting with PSS Continuing Education workshop communications and a committee member participating in anti-racism studies in relation to the Dharma.

Pam Crow, LCSW

Pam Crow is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works in a private practice and as a consultant to the CARES NW program in Portland. Pam met Nelly Kaufer in 2005 when both attended a conference on Buddhism and Psychotherapy and she has been studying with Nelly ever since. Writing poems, making quilts and traveling are other interests of Pam’s.

Penny Ruff
Secretary to the Board

Penny Ruff is a mother and grandmother, a social justice activist, a labor and community organizer and an artist. She has lived, labored and loved in Portland, Oregon for longer than she can claim to have done anywhere else. Drawn to meditation and the Dharma since early adulthood, Penny had become certain she could not learn to meditate. Having found the gentle and accepting approach of Reflective Meditation, she’s been meditating and learning the dharma with Nelly Kaufer and at Pine Street Sangha for over a decade. Her meditation practice and study of the dharma — as its lessons unfold in her inner world and in her life as practice “off the cushion” — has indelibly affected her ways of experiencing and being in the world. These effects have brought awareness, insight and peace unachievable by other means. Currently she serves as Secretary to the Board of her beloved Pine Street Sangha.

Nelly Kaufer

Nelly Kaufer, LPC is the founder and lead teacher at Pine Street Sangha. Nelly was introduced to Vipassana (Mindfulness) meditation in 1978 on retreats taught by Ruth Denison and began teaching women meditation soon thereafter, as there were no female teachers in her community at that time. She co-authored A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Renewal (HarperOne,1994), a book for which she interviewed women about their spiritual experiences. She completed two intensive teacher trainings, one in Vipassana with Jacqueline Mandell and the other in Recollective Awareness Meditation with Jason Siff. Nelly is a psychotherapist in private practice, integrating Buddhist psychology into her clinical orientation and has been teaching continuing education workshops for mental health professionals for about twenty-five years. Nelly and Linda Modaro of Sati Sangha are writing a book on Reflective Meditation to be published by the Tuwhiri project in 2022.