In the second Noble Truth, the Buddha identified taṇhā – the urge to become, to have or consume more – as a main cause of our subtle discontent and ongoing stress. However, this underlying drive to consume can be observed and then its power diminishes. This is one meaning of “waking up”: becoming free by cutting off the momentum towards unhappiness at its source
If you sleep, restless craving (taṇhā) grows in you like a vine in the forest. Like a monkey in the forest you jump from tree to tree, never finding the fruit – from life to life, never finding peace. If you are filled with this restless craving, your sorrows will multiply like the grass growing after rain. But if you let craving go, your sorrows fall from you like drops of water from a lotus flower. This is good advice and it is for everyone: as the grass is cleared for fresh planting, let go of grasping lest death after death crush you as a river crushes helpless reeds. For if the roots hold firm, the felled tree grows up again. And if restless craving is not uprooted, sorrows will grow again in you.