Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. As dimensions of effortful control (EC), activation control, attentional control, and inhibitory control could mediate the relationship between mindfulness meditation practice and the facets of mindfulness (i.e., observing, describing, acting with awareness, non-judging and non-reacting to inner experience). In this study, we tested whether participant status: meditators (n = 330), healthy non-meditators (n = 254) and individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) diagnosis (n = 46) predicted the facets of mindfulness and if these potential effects were mediated through the three effortful control (EC) dimensions (activation, attentional and inhibitory control). Meditators scored higher than non-meditators on attentional and inhibitory control and on the facets of mindfulness with attentional and inhibitory control partially mediating this relationship between meditation status and mindfulness facets. Participants with BPD showed lower scores on EC along with lower scores on the facets of mindfulness compared with healthy non-meditators. All three aspects of EC partially mediated the relationship between BPD and mindfulness facets. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.