Yes, that's true. Developing wholesome states is clearly important. I think it is a mistake to jump to the conclusion that when people talk about starting with: "bare awareness" or "just be with the experience" that they are advocating that the whole
of the path is about "just observing", and there is no development. But "just being with the experience" is often a good place to start, because going in with the idea that you can directly
manipulate things also doesn't work very well. What often seems to be required is a somewhat sneaky "setting up the right conditions".
For example, it's almost impossible to "let go" of something (such as wanting
to be in a relaxed state) by willing
oneself to let go of it. That, of course, just makes it worse. One has to use a different strategy, such as focussing attention on the wanting, and figuring out what actually works takes some experimentation.