Cultivating Home in Our Hearts: For Adult Adoptees, Fostered, & Child Welfare System Survivors

This page houses the talks and meditations given by Sean Oakes and Lev White at our Nov 2, 2019 daylong workshop at East Bay Meditation Center.

This class was for us who experienced separation from birth families at early ages to explore the heart of the Buddha’s teachings: that pain and loss are built into life and are the seeds of wisdom and liberation.

We explored our experiences of family rupture, and discussed tools for cultivating self-love, compassion, and the possibility of home in ourselves as a deep refuge. All adult adoptees, formerly foster home or system youth, and any adult who was forced/separated from their birth family at young ages was welcome.

The day was beautiful, with intimate stories, sharing, and connection between folks with this similar experience, including some who had never been in a space with other adopted folks before. We want to thank Laura Callen, founder of the Adoption Museum Project, for encouraging us to teach this class, and we hope there will be more to come.

** Caregivers and others were not invited to this daylong, to preserve the space as a survivor caucus, but all are welcome to listen to the recordings here.


Intro: Lev White & Sean Oakes

Talk: Lev White, “Two Arrows,” forgiveness, healing blame

Talk: Sean Oakes, “Two Arrows,” early attachment rupture

Talk: Lev White, trauma & healing

Talk: Sean Oakes, heart work

Meditation: Sean Oakes, “restitching” ancestry & place

Meditation: Lev White, body scan


If you want to connect more with either of us about this material, or find other resources for healing, here are a few ways to begin:

Connect with me (Sean Oakes)

Connect with Lev White

Adoption Museum Project

PACT: An Adoption Alliance

We’ll add more resources soon…

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