When we are practicing the counting method for a while, we are calm and have some clarity of mind; and then we just focus and keep the concentration there without counting the numbers. Without counting the numbers, our mind may stay in calmness but for a short period of time, the wandering thoughts may start to show up. At this moment, we should keep our mind in calmness and clarity without being affected by the wandering thoughts. This is very important. The moment when our wandering thoughts appear again, we are facing our habitual thinking patterns. If the clarity fades away and we start to think, at that moment, we lose our focus on meditation and we start to follow our habitual thinking patterns again.
Therefore, realizing our wandering thoughts, facing our wandering thoughts, and not being moved by our wandering thoughts are very important. If the clarity of our mind is moved by our wandering thoughts, we lose the awareness and do not have the freedom to generate the thoughts we want.