July 25, 2001

Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh
Maple Forest Monastery
Morgan Hill Road
South Woodstock, VT 05071

Dear Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh,

On behalf of the Mind/Body Medical Institute, I write to invite you to be
the first recipient of the Mind/Body/Spirit Award. This award will be
conferred at the Spirituality and Healing in Medicine Conference, to be held
in Boston on December 14, 2001. The conference is being sponsored by the
Mind/Body Medical Institute and the Department of Continuing Medical
Education, Harvard Medical School.

This award was created to honor an individual whose work and life exemplify
the integration of mind, body and spirit. The Institute would like to honor
you because you embody these attributes through the work you have done
throughout the world as a teacher and humanitarian. Notable guests at past
Institute events have included His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sir John
Templeton, Dr. Robert Coles, Goldie Hawn, Dr. Thomas Moore, Yo Yo Ma, and
Jane Alexander.

The Mind/Body Medical Institute, at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
and Harvard Medical School, has evolved from over 35 years of work in the
field of mind/body medicine, which is the scientific application of
approaches that include relaxation-response training in meditation, stress
management, nutrition, exercise, and spirituality. This multi-disciplinary
approach addresses the total person and empowers them to achieve responsible
self-care. I was instrumental in establishing the field of mind/body
medicine over thirty years ago coinciding with the publication of my number
one best selling book, The Relaxation Response.

The Institute's staff of highly trained scientists, physicians,
psychologists, nurses, and educators have conducted groundbreaking research
in a variety of areas validating the healing aspects of meditation. We have
developed clinical programs to deliver the most up-to-date medical care for
symptom reduction for medical conditions caused or made worse by stress.

For more than 30 years, laboratories at the Harvard Medical School have
systematically studied the benefits of mind/body interactions. The research
established that when a person engages in a repetitive prayer, word, sound
or phrase and when intrusive thoughts are passively disregarded, a specific
set of physiological changes occurs. These changes are the opposite of
those induced by stress. Our research has shown that the physiological
changes brought about through meditation are beneficial to numerous medical
conditions that include hypertension, cardiac rhythm irregularities, many
forms of chronic pain, insomnia, infertility, the symptoms of cancer and
numerous other conditions.

The example you have set through your work and commitment to improving the
quality life through your mindfulness teachings are helping to bring about
the much-needed changes in the world. I look forward to discussing this
invitation in more detail should you accept this award.

With best wishes, I remain

Sincerely yours,

Herbert Benson, MD