Overidentification with mental contents, excessive self-reference and ceaseless discrepancy monitoring perpetuate symptom expression in physical and mental disorders. Mindfulness meditation, among other contemplative practices, enhances access to an alternative mode of processing that is less reliant less on these strategies, instead, promoting effective regulation through acceptant, present oriented and somatically informed states of mind. In recognition of this promise, secular, structured programs designed to teach mindfulness in a variety of applied settings have proliferated, with this very dissemination being lauded as the vanguard of a revolution in health care and society. This acclamation, so energizing for those of us working in the field, may be premature, especially when so little is known about the mechanisms, mediators and specificity of these programs. The field’s ability to navigate the popular embrace of mindfulness, while tethered to empirical evidence and guidance from contemplative sources will define its trajectory and relevance in the coming decade.