The Unruly Buddha has always existed. Yet, this incarnation came into existence when I moved out to suburban Houston and began to think really hard about what it meant to live a good life, what it meant to be successful.
In the midst of this thinking, the phrase "zenful disobedience" struck me. Success looked like a path that I carved on my own, a path that sought peace and harmony and didn't require me to give into the rat race that those around me had taken for granted. My culture had handed down to me a set of rules that I didn't find helpful, so I started to examine each of them. Ultimately, I decided it was best to just chuck them! I created the unrules, instead.
My love and admiration for the teachings of Buddhism—and really all religions—supplied me with the "buddha" part. A buddha, an awakened one, lies inside of each of us. As we walk around the world, we look out and see a thousand buddhas every day. But, to steal a phrase from one of the sages, Jesus of Nazareth, only "if we have eyes to see."
The unruly buddha is about finding those eyes, seeing the beauty in the world around us, living in harmony with a modern world that seems at odds with a slow, contemplative sort of life.