The waves on a seashore are erratic. A small wave that breaks early is followed by a larger one that breaks later. A large wave that breaks early gives way to a smaller one that breaks later.
Our craving follows a similar pattern. At one point, our craving is intense. At another, it is non-existent. When we let guard down after one wave, the next one washes us over. When we give in to a craving repeatedly, we reinforce a habit.
Several other of our sensations ebb and flow and waves. Desire, temptation, anger, grief, pain, suffering, pleasure, resolve. All of these are waves that pass through us. As surely as they rise, so will they subside.
To be mindful is to surf these waves – to see them coming and to ride them rather than have them catch us by surprise.