Meditation as a technique has been around since the antiquities, and has been employed by most of the world’s religions, so no, you do not need to be a Buddhist to meditate. In fact, during the past decades, science has proven many ways in which it can improve your mental, emotional, and physical health. As a result, many people practice meditation in an entirely secular fashion, strictly for the health benefits.

That said, I think that in the Buddhist philosophy, meditation is a far more central practice than most other religions or philosophies. And as such, it can be interesting, even enlightening, so learn about Buddha, the origins of Buddhism and its core philosophies, as these can all enhance your understanding of life and allow you to expand on and improve your meditation practice.

So, if you are at all curious, watch this documentary on the Buddha from the BBC.