Deborah first began studying Buddhist philosophy and meditation 25 years ago, while working on her engineering degree. She has studied and practiced wtih both western and asian teachers, and began sharing the dharma in 2002.

Deborah Ratner Helzer

She spent a year as a Theravadan nun in Burma 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.

Deborah teaches classes and workshops locally in the Washington, DC metro area and assists at residential retreats around the country. She lives with her husband and children in the Maryland suburbs.


Deborah can be reached by email at