Have you ever dreamed of stepping away from the world, from all the noise and confusion, and finding a place of peace and quiet, where you were utterly content? Is such a thing even possible in our cruel, chaotic, discontented human-world? The most enlightened human beings who ever lived, from Buddha to Christ, Lao Tzu to Leonardo da Vinci, asked themselves the same question, and sought the answer in the same place: in the quiet and solitude of nature. They sought the truth not in abstract words and concepts but within in their own minds and hearts, while immersed in the beauty, health and sanity of the natural world. What price would you pay for the chance to release yourself from fear, pain, confusion and suffering? If I told you the price was giving up everything you owned and retreating to live alone, for 7 years, in the forest, would you pay it? After struggling, striving and failing, for over 50 guilt-ridden, pain-filled years, I was desperate for peace, for relief from my unrelenting worry and dread. I had to find sanity, once and for all, if such a thing were possible in this world. And so I gave up. I surrendered any hope of ever having a “normal job” or “career,” relinquished all connection to living a “normal life,” gave away or sold most everything I owned, left my home and retreated to the woods. I explained my inner turmoil as best I could to my two teenaged girls. In order to be a good father and the man I wanted to be, I had to step away and regain my sanity, or I’d be good for no one. Modern society was a whirlwind that had devastated me and, despite what anyone else thought or felt, I knew I had to find another way or lose my mind. And so I took this illusive bargain, walking away from the insanity of the world, to live in seclusion amongst the coastal giant redwoods of northern California. This is the story of what I discovered when I dropped out.