I love meditating, just allowing myself to let go for a while of the physical reality and expanding my consciousness into the beyond. Sometimes the human body seems so small to fit into, it feels like wearing a pair of tight jeans.
However, I admit I don't always find time to meditate, there always seems to be something to do or the house is too noisy. Maybe one day when my kids have left home I'll manage more regular meditation sessions. There have been times when I was disciplined enough to grab that 30 mins every morning for myself, it was when I started the journey inward, I was determined to get to the bottom of who I am.
I would listen to various meditation CDs and feel relaxed and refreshed at the end. At times I would have really wild sessions where instead of being totally relaxed it was as if I was in overdrive, my eyes would dance in my head as if they were break dancing, I would feel very hot, not like the traditional idea of meditation at all. I guess it was what is termed as raising my kundalini energy. Now when that happens I'm used to it. I can now choose which type of experience to go for, the more relaxed, letting go, or the more intense.
I don't believe you have to meditate in order to have conscious out-of-body experiences but if you are learning I would definitely recommend it because it helps to focus your mind on your goal. Meditation also gives your subconscious the message that you wish to go deeper into who you are. Going deeper into You will eventually take you out-of-body as OBEs are an inner journey. OBEs could be described as an 'inner journey Home' a reconnection to the bigger You. We are always Home but at times it just doesn't feel like it, the feeling of separation and isolation is sometimes very strong, meditation can help reduce this sense of separation.
Of course you can still feel connected to the Divine without having conscious out-of-body experiences. We are all unique and connect in different ways. I, personally, love detaching from my physical body, I find it a great relief at times just being able to let go for a short time. I am also a bit of an adventurer and love the idea of travelling in the beyond while still incarnate on Earth.
Even though at some level we all know everything anyway I find it stimulating discovering things from this side of the equation from the point of view of a physical body.
So does meditation contribute towards successful out-of-body experiences? I would say yes. It is not necessary but there are benefits, both for astral projection and in our lives in general.