originating in the buddhist tradition, mindfulness meditation has been applied as a preventative and therapeutic tool in hospitals and clinics over the past 30 years in the western world. nevertheless, it is practically unknown in chile. this article outlines the experience of the first mindfulness-based stress reduction program (mbsr) implemented in chile, which has at its core the practice of mindfulness meditation, as a tool to reduce depressive and anxious symptoms in patients and workers of a hospital. described here is a pilot program that was implemented at the hospital of santa barbara in southern chile. preliminary results from the evaluations of depressive and anxious symptoms among participants are presented, finding a significant diminishing in both. qualitative aspects of the impact of the intervention are also included through the thematic analyses of a semi-structured interview with one of the workshops participants. finally, the potential for reproducing this program in public health environments across the country is discussed.