Samskaras and Safari 4

In my classes this week, we’ve been discussing the concept of samskaras, our habitual actions, and experimenting first with becoming aware of them and second with the idea of moving out of them, to live more mindfully. (If you’d like to read more about samskaras, check out this lovely Yoga Journal piece by Bo Forbes.)

It struck me as I was “working” (I use the quotes but keep the word working because I firmly believe that piddling around is part of the working process, a swing toward rest that brings me back toward more focused attention) and opening a new browser window that the Top Sites feature in Apple’s Safari 4 browser is a visual reflection of my habits. It shows the 16 websites I visit most, and by presenting them, it encourages me to continue in this habit. Although I’ve noticed this, I won’t go so far as to disable the feature—seeing these Top Sites gives me a cue to remember and appreciate that most of my actions are born out of habit, and to consider whether the habitual actions are the appropriate ones.