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Cynthia Natalee Thatcher ’88

A picture of Cynthia Thatcher

Cynthia Natalee Thatcher ’88, August 8, 2013, in Denver, Colorado, following a long illness. News of her death came from her mother, Margarita Thatcher, who conveyed Cindy’s love for Reed. Cindy earned her BA in philosophy, working with faculty advisers Marvin Levich [philosophy 1953–94] and C.D.C. Reeve [philosophy 1976–2001], and completing the thesis “Characterizations of Love in The Brothers Karamazov.” In 2000, she completed an MA in creative writing at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She became a Buddhist teacher and was a contributor to many online resources for Buddhist study. In 2008, she published Just Seeing: Insight Meditation and Sense-Perception through the Buddhist Publication Society. The book explored in depth the Buddha’s significant teaching “When seeing, just see; when hearing, just hear,” relating to the practice of insight meditation. Cindy touched on the two kinds of reality—ultimate and conventional—expounded in the Abhidhamma, through the example of a pointillist painting that can be viewed in two ways. In addition, the book contains meditation instructions for beginners, an appendix on the perceptual process as described in Buddhist metaphysics, and a crossword puzzle of Pali terms. Just Seeing has been translated into Spanish and German. Describing the book, one reader noted Cindy’s eloquent and expressive language. Memorial services were held for Cindy at Buddhist temples in California, Colorado, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2014

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