Transcendental meditation is a practice designed to quiet the mind by doing such things as repeating a word or sound over and over.
A study in the journal Circulation finds obese African-American patients who regularly meditate are 48 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or die.
Regular meditation also lowered blood pressure and reduced stress levels.
Researchers suspect the technique turns on the body's own pharmacy to repair and maintain itself.
Experts say meditation may reduce heart disease risks in healthy people as well.