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I think (please correct me if I am wrong) that Vipassana is about letting go of control and judgement, and the meditator will just become aware and accept things as they are. Be it pain, thoughts, sound, or physical sensations like breath or a moving stomach (as we breath).

I wonder we need to have a base object, like breath or moving stomach. Why don't we just let go from the very beginning and just become aware and accept any sensation as it is, without any default object?

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I think (please kindly correct me if i wrong) Vipassana is about letting go of control & judgement, and the meditator will just aware and accept things as it is. Will it be pain, thoughts, sound, and physical sensations like breath or a moving stomach (as we breath).

That sounds more like shikantaza/zazen.

Vipassanā means insight into reality: seeing the three marks of existence dukkha, anicca, anatta. The practice is described in suttas such as Satipatthana and Anapanasati. So, the actual goal is not "letting go of control & judement" -- however, "letting go" is a useful tip at some points in the practice.

I wonder why do we have a base object, like breath or moving stomach. Why dont we just let go from the very beginning and just aware and accept any sensation as it is, without any default object?

Because insight into reality need some faculties developed. Two of them are concentration (samadhi) and mindfulness (sati). It so happens that is very difficult to develop concentration without something to anchor our attention: meditation objects.

Finally, samadhi and sati are not just random faculties. Both are listed in the Noble Eightfold Path and in the Seven Factors of Enlightenment.

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Two reasons:

  1. The mind gets lost in the contents very easily, so having an anchor (base object) will not let it go too far and for too long. The anchor forces you to let go of stuff every time you come back, which is very useful and pushes the mind into the practice. Letting go of control and judgment (or letting go of anything in the moment it arises -- to see it clearly as it is, just as a momentary eruption of activity of the mind) is is the goal(*) state, but not an effective means of arriving there (in my experience, at least).

  2. In dry vipassana (Mahasi, for instance), you train (momentary) concentration along with mindfulness. Keeping mind on the base object trains concentration, acknowledging and coming back trains mindfulness.

(*) (EDIT) not the ultimate goal of vipassana, but the highest mundane state, knowledge of equanimity regarding formations (sankharupekkha-nana).

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The meditator uses the meditation object to center his attention (concentration—samadhi).

When his attention is 'wandering' away, the meditator uses the object (i.c. the breath) as his 'base camp' to bring gently his awareness back.

Mindfulness—awareness (sati) and equanimity (upekkha) are the two wings which lead to wisdom, to insight (panna): they show the meditator the phenomena as they really are (yathabhuta).

Rosenberg, Larry, (2012), Breath by Breath. The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation p. 91:

'To be mindful of something—of anything—is an act of generosity. You are giving it life by allowing it into your world. But the greatest benefactor—because you're showing respect to your own life—is you'.

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