Deborah first became interested in Buddhist philosophy and meditation 30 years ago while working on her engineering degree. She has studied at both western and asian centers and began teaching in 2002.

Deborah Ratner Helzer

She spent a year as a Theravadan nun in Myanmar under the guidance of Ven. Sayadaw U Pandita. Her teaching style reflects the influence of the late Burmese master Mahasi Sayadaw and his emphasis on clear, non-judgmental awareness.

Deborah has been mentored in her teaching by Joseph Goldstein and other senior Vipassana teachers connected with the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. She has also trained with Ven. Bhante Gunaratana and other monastics at the Bhavana Society in High View, WV. She lives with her husband and children in the Maryland suburbs.

Deborah teaches classes in the Washington, DC metro area through the Insight Meditation Community of Washington and residential retreats at the Insight Meditation Society. Some of her talks are available online at Dharmaseed.


Deborah can be reached at yogideb @