Our Story & Values

In mid-2021, poet, musician, and interviewer Simon Drew partnered with author Sharon Lebell and philosopher Kai Whiting to create the Walled Garden — an online community for like-minded caretakers who share a common goal of getting closer each day to a life of wisdom, virtue and flourishing. 

The Walled Garden is a place to engage in meaningful dialogue, purpose-driven wandering, creative exploration, and philosophical practice. Here, nature and culture are brought into harmony with one another, and together they bear fruits that nourish the heart, mind, and soul. 

The Walled Garden Values

The Walled Garden values are based around the idea of being a caretaker, both of the gardens that surround us in our lives as well as the gardens of our minds. The following wisdom from the Stoic philosopher Epictetus (interpreted by Sharon Lebell) will suffice as a value guide for our current and prospective members.

Caretake this moment.
Immerse yourself in its particulars.
Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed.

Quit the evasions.
Stop giving yourself needless trouble.
It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now.
You are not some disinterested bystander.
Exert yourself.

When your doors are shut and your room is dark you are not alone.
The will of nature is within you as your natural genius is within.
Listen to its importunings.
Follow its directives.

As concerns the art of living, the material is your own life.
No great thing is created suddenly.
There must be time.

Give your best and always be kind.

– Epictetus

Instructors/contributors

These are the official instructors and contributors of The Walled Garden. 

Simon J. E. Drew

Poet | Musician | Mentor

Simon Drew is a poet, musician, photographer, and philosophical mentor. He has a Bachelor of Music Performance (majoring in jazz trumpet and voice) from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and is currently studying a Master of Divinity at Trinity College. He is most well known for his work with the Practical Stoic Podcast, which has since evolved into the Walled Garden.

Sharon Lebell

Writer | Musician | Mentor

Sharon Lebell is an international best-selling author, speaker, and musician. She is committed to expressing ancient wisdom in accessible language so everyone can apply it to better their lives and experience philosophy’s enchantments. The imperative to marshal our gifts to improve the lives of others and the importance of art, music, and nature are central to her message of what makes the best possible life.

Kai Whiting

Philosopher | Professor | Mentor

Kai Whiting is a researcher and lecturer in sustainability and Stoicism based at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. His main research interests are how to better account for resource use and the practical application of Stoic philosophy to the challenges of the 21st century. His background is Environmental Engineering, but he recognizes that without philosophy we will never understand “why” we do what we do, which is why he combines both disciplines in my approach.

Enter the Walled Garden

Seeker

$ 12 Monthly
  • Access to Practical Stoic Podcast archives
  • Exclusive essays, podcasts, poetry and music
  • Read Simon's published books online

Caretaker

$ 18 Monthly
  • All Seeker membership benefits, plus...
  • Attend regular meetups with our contributors
  • Chat in the member-only forum
  • Attend live interviews/Q&A's with podcast guests
  • 10% discount on mentoring
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Patron

$ 50 Monthly
  • All Seeker and Caretaker membership benefits, plus...
  • Access to poetry, books, and music that are not yet published to the public
  • Receive a signed copy of any new book or album by our contributors

Too much?

While we do believe that our pricing fairly reflects the value of our art and service, we will not refuse the weary traveler who has fallen on hard times, but who still wishes to engage in the kinds of conversations we have in the Walled Garden. If you find yourself in such a position, please feel free to email us here, and we’ll be more than happy to arrange a monthly price that works for you.