The Trading Tribe
(c) Ed Seykota 2003-2011 - Write for permission to reprint.
Ed Seykota's FAQ
Thursday, March 31, 2011

FAQ Editing Policy

Chief Ed,

I send email to FAQ's email address.

The send does not appear on FAQ after a reasonable delay. I begin an exercise in guessing what this might mean.

I resend, after a delay, stating that "I wonder if FAQ is receiving my emails".

A fragment of my original send subsequently appears in FAQ, with editing and revisions.

I ponder this, experiencing various feelings about FAQ, FAQ edits, FAQ revisions, FAQ delays in publication of letters, etc.

I go to FAQ, and click through to FAQ's Ground Rules page  and carefully examine the words.

The Ground Rules are clear:

"Letters...may appear...with editing and revisions..."

I greatly appreciate the clarity of the FAQ Ground Rules, and the work you are doing with FAQ. The work useful and interesting in several dimensions.
Thank you for sharing your process.

I tend to edit toward items that show emotional engagement and commitment to moving forward through issues - and away from those that merely pontificate or attempt to advertise products or services.

Mensa is an organization whose members have very high IQ's.

A few years ago, at a Mensa convention in San Francisco, several members lunch at a local cafe.

While dining, they discover that their saltshaker contains pepper and their peppershaker has salt.

How can they swap the contents of the bottles without spilling, and using only the implements at hand? Clearly this is a job for Mensa!

The group debates and presents ideas, and finally comes up with a brilliant solution involving a napkin, a straw, and an empty saucer.

 They call the waitress over to dazzle her with their solution.

"Ma'am," they say, "we notice that the peppershaker contains salt and the saltshaker ..."

"Oh," the waitress interrupts. "Sorry about that." She unscrews the caps and switches them.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Going with the Flow

Hello Mr. Ed

Greetings! I remembered your thoughts on 'going with the flow' while reading this quote from Eckhart Tolle.

With best regards,


To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly. Things, people, or conditions that you thought you needed for your happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part, and you are free to enjoy and appreciate them - while they last. All those things, of course, will still pass away, cycles will come and go, but with dependency gone there is no fear of loss anymore. Life flows with ease. -  Eckhart Tolle
Thank you for the quote.
Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bush Hogs, Smirking, Superman and Elvis


The tribe begins with drumming…I always enjoy drumming and listening for all the individuality within the main beat. I feel happy that we are all so different.

I get very little sleep the night before tribe meeting the next day. I feel this as an intention to lower some of my defenses…there are some feelings I am unwilling to feel.
Ed asks if anyone has issues to work on and we go around the circle. I mention I have an issue when I am in a relationship with women that get very angry and blow up…I tend to shut down. I feel this incredible anxiety and feel somehow that I am supposed to solve whatever problem that exists for them. This feeling is probably rooted in guilt. I mention also that my mother calls me sometimes presenting some problem that she wants me to solve for her. It feels to me that she is simply involving me in her drama. I notice that I seem to attract women that require rescuing in some sense.

My feeling also is there are occasions when others truly require help and this feeling I have can be a form of empathy and caring.

The tribe member next to me begins on the hot seat and describes circumstances when he is a child. He is very young and working on the farm and his father requires him to handle a full workload from an early age. He is somewhere between 5-9 years old. In the drama he describes his father giving him a long list of tasks including fertilizing several pastures. He has a feeling of being overwhelmed. His father is disappointed that he gets confused and applies the fertilizer wrong on one pasture. As he is getting into form on this process and describing his feelings I notice many feelings very similar and circumstances from my childhood.

 Tears begin to fall and soon, in basically all respects, I am enjoined with my tribe member and friend in this process. I recall when I am 7-9 and required to work on the farm. We have many pastures to bush hog (mowing but with a lot of saplings sometimes or briars). I recall mowing this pasture and wanting to get everything right for dad. There was a small thorn tree somewhere in the middle of the pasture that, if left, would stand out. I tried backing over the thorn tree and was successful. The next morning when we arrived, all 4 tires on the tractor were flat. I recall his anger and I got all the blame.

My father sends me an email the week before tribe and he references this event. I can hear his chuckle in the email…it is not a friendly chuckle that simply recalls a humorous event. The laughter my father likes to make is more about making fun…it feels sinister to me. I grow up noticing my father’s racism. When I picture the smirky laughter in my mind I see a white man talking down to a black slave doing the smirky laugh saying “Boy, you are just stupid” in a slow southern drawl. I notice this same pattern all my life. In my life today my father still seems to bring up on a regular basis some event in which I make a mistake and then goes into this mode.

We create this drama in tribe and discuss resources that my fellow tribe member can use in this situation with his father as a young boy. Ed says we will create this drama with a surrogate first and my friend picks me to play him in this drama. We recreate the situation and the first time I play this role I just allow my father to load me down with all these chores without asking questions and explaining my feelings of being overwhelmed and not understanding some of his directions.

I can feel the weight of this assignment and hope I can get it right. We do the drama again and as my father begins overwhelming me I express my feelings and ask him about his feelings. I express my feelings about being overwhelmed and that I need further clarification on what to do. I ask for his feelings and he explains his feelings of frustration and feeling overwhelmed himself…that “daylight is a wast’in”.
I develop a connection with my father eventually and we work through this event together. As I go through this process I notice new resources myself and that I am able to use them. In the second process of the evening a tribe member has an issue or a block with math. The issue is related to his father and a situation in which he is made fun of and belittled…he is made to feel stupid.

I relate to this process and feel it relates to the previous process. The event is recreated and as my friend and tribe member is implementing this process with his father I notice his countenance changing…there is a shift that occurs.

After the tribe meeting I notice I have a similar feeling about music that my friend has about math. When I am young, maybe 3 years old, I have a small guitar and I like to listen to records and sing along while strumming my guitar. Elvis Presley was one I listened to often…I liked rock music from an early age. I imagined myself playing and singing just like Elvis.

One day my father comes in with a tape recorder and records me. I recall my father, little sister and mother being around the area as he replays me singing. The sinister smirky laugh is still on the recording as he is telling me to listen to how bad I sound. I feel very small…the picture comes to my mind of the white man looking over the black man saying with a smirky laugh, “boy, you are so stupid, you are incapable of doing music right”. I tried to pick up an instrument several times after that but it always feels like there is a reverse magnetism going on. Feels like superman and kryptonite.

Interesting that this video demonstrates how this process works psychologically. How our parents hang whatever “rock” around our neck. If I apply the system model I am able to dissipate the energy associated with the “rock”. The week after tribe I go to the music store and pick up new strings for the guitar and start getting together what I need to learn guitar. I feel ok about this somehow and I notice the kryptonite feeling with music seems to have disappeared. I am thankful to be involved with the Austin Tribe and their willingness to work on these issues. I feel grateful for each member and how their involvement reshapes me and my inner world.
Thank you for sharing your process.
Thursday, March 31, 2011

Right Livelihood


How do you define Right Livelihood ?

Marsha Sinetar, in The Psychology of Right Livelihood states:

As a way of working and as a way of thinking about work, right livelihood embodies its own psychology - a psychology of a person moving toward the fullest participation in life, a person growing in self-awareness, trust, and self-esteem. Abraham Maslow…calls them “self-actualizing.” The phrase simply means growing whole.”

The Buddhist tradition:

Right livelihood means earning one's living in a righteous way and that is legal and peaceful and avoids dealing in weapons, living beings, and intoxicants.

My version: Right Livelihood is the willingness to honor all your feelings.

I hold that each of us has a unique talent.  The positive intention of our feelings is to align us with sharing our unique talents.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Overcoming Scolding for Mistakes


I think often about what is holding me back and I write about my attention to details and making mistakes to FAQ. Ed replies, “Your relationship to details may have roots in agreements you are still holding with your parents. I think about my relationship with my dad and how he doesn’t pay attention to details, and I wonder how I learned some of this from him. He has made some costly errors in his life and it seems I have do the same things. Evidently we made an agreement to support each other in this way.

When I take the hot seat I have no idea where this is going to go. Because I have worked so closely with my dad I seem to find excuses for his behavior when I was young. As I was growing up, I always defended my dad. When the stress of the situation we were in caused people to express anger, I was always on my dads side. I remember while on the hot seat, that my dad would give me lots of responsibilities to do while working throughout the day. If I forget something or did it wrong, I would get yelled at. I recall one incident when I did something wrong, I was chewed out and I felt stupid. So I have a hard time asking for help because I don’t want to feel stupid to people that know more then I do at certain times. If I’m lost I don’t mind asking for help. But the real feeling is I don’t want to come across as stupid or that I’m wasting other peoples time. I don’t people to be irritated by wasting valuable time in helping me.

As we role play, Ed has the scene played 3 times with the way I usually do it and then with a positive outcome by expressing feelings. It is my time to role play and through watching the role plays I get “It” intellectually but I don’t feel different. As the role play goes along I am not feeling different but once my dad started to get irritated and raise his voice because I was asking question and trying to be careful, I was able to look at my dad in the eye and ask him if I could tell him how I was feeling, through tears in my eyes, I expressed the feelings inside. I felt like I had broken through a brick wall and as I went through this wall, there was a pressure I had been feeling all around me just released. I was relaxed, calm and happy.

I hear several other members speak about feeling lighter and happier days after the hot seat. That is exactly how I feel now. I look at people differently and I believe they see me differently.

There is a positive intention of not wanting to feel stupid. It can be a motivational push to learn and experience things. If you can’t experience the feeling of not wanting to feel stupid, you are likely to do things that are not socially acceptable or dangerous.

This experience also relates to the feelings of being overwhelmed. When my dad gave me so much to do, I felt overwhelmed and would shut down. I do this today and have learned this is part of my procrastination. I feel better about everything today. I don’t feel overwhelmed; in fact I have been more productive this week than I can remember though I’m not focusing on being productive.

I have lots more to express but will do that in following notes to FAQ

Thanks Ed and my tribe members
Thank you for sharing your process.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wrestling With Addiction - To Asking Questions

Ed says, "You might consider re-writing your email (yes, the one on the left) so it communicates how you feel."


OK, I appreciate the suggestion and I like the challenge, and here it is my revision of the email. Before I begin though, I'd like to note that I feel a little annoyed but also quite curious as to what would come out of it. My a priori belief is that there is a time and place for thinking, and a time and place for feelings. It is a FAQ forum that attracts questions, and questions tend to be less emotional than opinions. If I try to engage in an intellectual conversation, I'd want to be more objective and less emotional on the subject. In any case, I am putting this aside and rewrite my email so that it communicates how I feel:

Hi Ed,

I feel very excited about this observation I have, as it seems to help my understanding of nature and life in general, which is my passion and interest. I feel somewhat concerned though as I am aware that sometimes I might be too subjective and cannot see the flaws and shortcomings in my thinking. I'd appreciate if you may share with me your insight.

My observation is this: Anything or any action, can be either resourceful or dangerous, and it largely depends on the person's intention. The implication is, just observing the outward behavior may not be enough, but it can help greatly if people can also be aware of their own intention.

Here are some examples:

1) A knife is resourceful when we use it properly on the dining table or cooking; it is dangerous when we let a one-year-old play with it or let an assassin use it as a murder tool.

2) Crying is resourceful when we fully experience with the feelings and use it as a motivation and understand what we truly value; it is dangerous when we use it to manipulate others or to avoid taking responsibilities.

3) Telling how we feel is resourceful when our intention is to genuinely share our feelings; it is dangerous if our intention is to manipulate others (e.g. guilt-trip) and use feeling-sharing as a tool to arrive to that objective.

So by extension, I speculate that TTP can also be very resourceful, but also potentially dangerous. As a leader in my own Tribe, I feel that it is my responsibility to be keenly aware of the potential danger, and to avoid the medicinal trap. My worst fear is that if we are practicing TTP medicinally and not knowing it, then we are just going to be in this loop forever. To counter this, I'd like to become more alert, learn and hear more about it from people who have very strong TTP experience, and see if they have thought about the issue, and how they would distinguish resourceful TTP from medicinal TTP. Thanks.


After rewriting it, I can see the difference in the style, and I guess the new version may be easier for others to understand my perspective and where I am coming from. I am still confused though as I don't see how the old style is medicinal and the new one pro-active. I wonder if it may be something to do with conditioning that I am so used to the old style that I just don't see the problem (much like a person in a dysfunctional family may not see the dysfunction in it because it feels so "natural" to him).

You repeatedly hint at my unwillingness to share feelings (when I ask questions in the FAQ). I feel somewhat appreciative that you are sticking to it and I feel excited over the possibility of having more intimacy in my life if I can learn about this mode of communication. However, I also feel very annoyed and upset because I feel like you are accusing me of unwilling to share feelings (which I guess you judge it from reading the email), yet ignoring the possibility that it may not be a lack of willingness, but it's just that it isn't something natural (based on years of conditioning to do otherwise) and I feel lost at what the problem is and don't even know where to begin to change. I am not using this as an excuse. I am open and willing to learn, and I appreciate your help and support. Thank you.

I am surprised to note that I don't have a "?" at all in this email.

Rereading the whole thing, I feel a little bit uneasy now that it feels like I am blaming you.

DISCLAIMER: This e-mail message and any attachments are intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is confidential or legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying or other use of this message or its attachments is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and permanently delete this message and any attachments.
Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider the possibility of going for a whole day without asking questions - and with going for rapport and sharing your feelings - and then reporting back about your experience.
 Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Hi Ed,

Is there a difference between want and the feeling of wanting?

Many times in the Workshop, or during the Snapshot Process, or even in response in this FAQ column, you ask what do we want? What do we want to do? My understanding is that getting clarity is an important first step. Your famous quote "Everyone gets what they want" is also about "want."

But you also associate the feeling of wanting to blockage (FAQ, Oct 26, 2008), so I am curious about this paradox.

I am curious and would love to hear from you on this, thanks.
You might consider the possibility of going for a whole day without asking questions - and with going for rapport and sharing your feelings.

Alternatively, you might consider preparing a looping list of 10,000 questions, each one questioning its predecessor - and the first one questioning the last.

Note: the requirements for attending the Austin Tribe and the upcoming Breathwork include the willingness to share feelings.

Pair o' Docs

check out the latest on FAQ

and resolve to supplement
their Q&A intake routine
with intimacy-centric relating.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

TTP Intimacy Model Vision


Ed says: “Sometimes I dream about the possibility of lots of people noticing that Intimacy-Centric relating works better than Control-Centric relating - and enough of them adopting it - and achieving some sort of critical mass - and releasing a huge wave of personal freedom and creativity - and then I wake up.”

This is the first times I notice you sharing your own feelings in FAQ.

Thank you for sharing your desire for the world to have more intimately and more harmony as well as your disappointment that the take up in intimacy is so slow.

I believe are definitely making an impact in the world, the intimacy model is changing peoples lives for the better right now. Even if you were to only manage to help a handful of people I would classify it as success.

You are having a dramatic impact on many peoples lives as well as those of their families.

You can be very proud of your achievements thus far.
Thank you for your encouragement.

Running the Tribe and writing this column is somewhat about holding an evolving vision and largely about suiting up and doing the work, one item at a time - and noticing feelings, like pride and disappointment, as indications to get back on the path.

Occasionally, I share specific feelings by sending them in, like everyone else, anonymously, on the left side of the page.
 Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Questions as Avoidance

Hi Ed,

If I understand correctly, you associate "need to know" with blockage, and "delight in knowing" with natural learning (FAQ 10/26/08)

Recently I read something that is somewhat similar, that if you wish something done, affirming to yourself that you "like to do it" is better than convincing yourself that you "need to do it." The former pulls you toward it while the latter brings resentment. Do you have similar observation?

However, I also hear a conflicting viewpoint, that we are more motivated and tend to devote more effort to go after the things we consider a "must have", while we generally slack off in the first sign of trouble on things that we would "like to have." Do you see this too?
You might consider analyzing the feeling of wanting to analyze.

Be sure to analyze the changes that may occur in the feeling while you are examining it.

Asking Questions

can be a pretty good way
to avoid revealing feelings.

 Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Austin Tribe Report - Feeling Stupid


At our last Tribe meeting a fellow Tribe member takes the hot seat. He starts the hot seat by reporting on having a problem with making mistakes in his system development.

He feels that he is careless and that he would like to do a better job. He goes and explores his relationship with his father. I find his story heart-braking. Since he is about five years old his dad, a farmer has him do all kinds of tasks around the farm. By the time his is about nine he does everything: drives the tractor; spreads the fertilizer; and feeds the cattle.

His dad gives him many tasks for every day. Tribe member has a tough time remembering everything and a tough time asking questions. He is just standing there nodding while his dad is telling him all the stuff he needs to do that day, wondering how is he going to do all that, how he is going to correctly remember and do all of that.

What usually happens then is that the tribe member makes a mistake, sometimes very expensive mistake. His dad than loses his cool and lets the little boy have it, calling him stupid. Tribe member develops lifelong drama, where he sets up situations where he can feel stupid.

The Tribe member is emotional when remembering the stories and situations but always stops right before he can truly get into the feelings of sadness.

Ed brings this to his attention and encourages him to do that. We go into these great circles of tribe member re-telling a story, getting emotional – hot, and then cooling down. Ed keeps asking the tribe member questions like “How does it feel? Where do you feel that? What is it about that feeling so awful that you cannot allow yourself to feel it? Who told you that you shouldn’t feel that?” Member at first reports things like “I feel sad, I feel less worthy, I feel not good enough.” After a while the answers change. The tribe member starts reporting “I feel hot, I feel pressure”. Eventually the tribe member lets himself grieve for the little boy’s situation.

We role-play the situation of him listening to fast instructions from his dad. This time several tribe members trade roles of the tribe member as a little boy and his father. It is quite challenging for the tribe member to have his father open up to the intimacy communication. In one of the role plays it doesn’t even work. We can see though that even then, when the dad is not willing to open up, the role player can manage a favorable outcome by staying intimate.

After the process the member seems calm, relaxed and happy. I learn from the process how these on-surface hidden agendas end up running our lives – whether we like it or not – no matter how hard we fight them. Until we really tackle these agendas with effective process like the TTP, there is almost no chance to escape the drama they bring. The process of avoiding the drama is actually feeding into the drama and keeps making the drama bigger.

I can relate to the Tribe members situation. I too do not like to feel stupid for most of my life. So I do not ask questions, I pretend to understand, I do not ask for help. I do things on my own. Often this would get me into situations I can feel soooooo stupid. Nice, warm - fuzzy stupid, you know.

Second hot seat of the night is dealing with feelings of inability to progress on his system development project. He literally runs out of the room whenever he starts downloading the price data and goes to do something else, like watching TV.

Once his process is under way, it turns out his dad used to verbally and physically abuse him while teaching him math. His dad would write the numbers 4 and 9 in very similar fashion. The math problems would get very confusing. The tribe member would get them wrong and then get yelled at or get beaten.

As it is usually the case with hot seats, this is a powerful emotional process. The hot seat is eventually able to share his feelings of fear and feelings of not liking to be treated like that to his father. His father backs-off, almost surprised, wondering what he is doing wrong. It seems like he truly believed that he had been helping his son get better at math.

During both of the processes I have moments of feeling very sleepy. In Trading Tribe we hold that this might be an indication of “checking out” or not wanting to deal with something important.

The following week I am preparing the latest information for my website. I am almost drawn to several mistakes I have there and up to this point I am unable to see. I feel quite stupid and fix them.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SEC Enforcement Division To Focus
On Hedge Funds That Outperform The Market


Interesting - it seems the government presumes that if a trader generates more than 3.0% excess returns above a benchmark index, the trader must be cheating...

In response to the Madoff scandal, the Division of
Enforcement for the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission is focusing on hedge funds that
outperform market indexes by 3% on a steady basis.
This initiative has raised a number of questions ... referred to such performance as “aberrational,” and stated that
Enforcement is “canvassing all hedge funds” for
such “aberrational performance.”
Thank you for the link.

You might consider taking your feelings about <preferring to report facts to sharing feelings> to Tribe.

 Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bliss Function

Mr. Seykota,

I was reading through your recent FAQs and came across one titled "MAR". I agree with your statement of MARs potentially being arbitrarily high.

In the many scenarios I have been running I was using the MAR to rate the systems. I started to notice some of the best MARs, the CAGRs were low and there was almost no draw downs.

I want to be able to accept some draw downs to achieve higher rewards. This bring into question your Bliss Function that I found on the following webpage: .

Your bliss function seems to be no different than the MAR. Your just using a different way to calculate the rate of return. The values could still be arbitrarily high. Yes, my stomach would be able to handle a low return with no draw down, so in that sense the Bliss Function is correct.

But in order to rate systems I believe you would need a function that weights the your returns and draw downs appropriately which will take into account your trading personality and gut reactions.

Without having a weighted bliss function then I don't understand the use of a bliss function with the equation that you have shown to rate systems/system factor levels like you did in the steamroller spreadsheet on this page: .

Best regards,
MAR may be useful in comparing systems that are very similar, not so good for ones that are dissimilar.

In first link, I use MAR to illustrate the advantages of diversification.

In the second link, I discuss the impracticality of testing every combination of every parameter.

You might consider taking your feelings about <what is appropriate> to Tribe.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Moving from Control to Intimacy - in Litigation

Ed -

As I enter into litigation against a large financial institution (I am the Plaintiff), I wonder how I might approach this from a System perspective, rather than from Control ? I don't enter litigation of this kind lightly, nor without great trepidation, but I have a very clear gut feeling that it is the right thing to do.

I don't see how saying how upset I feel is going to make one iota of difference to their lawyers (who as expected throw up a wall of denial on behalf of their client) and the purpose of the litigation is to establish responsibility / liability for misleading me, the client, i.e.. it's a Blame Game.

I feel there is a key in turning the whole thing around, "System" style, at the very least in making my intentions very clear about the outcome I wish to deliver, but I'm struggling in seeing this clearly.

Any helpful comment you might be able to make very greatly appreciated.
People who live in the intimacy-centric model rarely attract litigation in the first place.

You might consider taking your feelings about <adversarial relationships> to Tribe.

When you come to understand your intention as a system that attracts litigation, you may be able to re-engineer your intention, say to avoiding, settling, or winning.

In case you want to win, the best attorney for you might be the kind corporations fear the most, one who can connect intimately with a jury and allow them an opportunity to redress great injustice through awarding punitive damages.

In Baker v. Exxon, an Anchorage jury awards $287 million for actual damages and $5 billion for punitive damages.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Alternatives to College Education

Dear Ed,

You may find this interesting:

Thank you for the link.

Private solutions, erupting from the crucible of competition, tend to work pretty well; gummit solutions, yawning from the bed of entitlement,  tend to gummit all up.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 6:11 AM


Dear Ed,

Ed Says: "If you define MAR as the quotient of your long-term compounding rate of return over your biggest drawdown, then you can get an arbitrarily high MAR by keeping most of your money in a daily-compounding savings account."

At the end of the day , to pitch one's value proposition, a gain to pain ratio is required. While there is no one foolproof ratio ( for example, two funds with the same strategy would have different MAR depending on the length of their track record), what in your opinion are a set of metrics that can be used to draw investor's attention to one's trading business?.

I have one more observation to make - I find that it is easier to pitch the long term trend following idea to entrepreneurs and end investors directly. Most people who allocate other people's capital , cannot stand the short term volatility ( cannot stand looking bad over the short term). Thus, financial intermediaries act in their own interests to invest other people's money in funds that behave conventionally and also fail conventionally.
You might consider re-writing your question in SVO-p - so as to identify who is doing the pitching and who is doing the requiring. 

In intimacy-centric sales, you establish rapport and come into alignment about the fit between you and the client.

You might, as part of the sales conversation, bring up pain-to-gain or MAR or the Sterling Ratio or the Sharpe Ratio, or even Sortino and such.

Thank you for your observation about capital allocators.

Capital Alligators

Like to congregate in pods,
move slowly, move together
and protect their tails.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wonder About the First Commandment

Chief Ed,

I wonder about the 1st Commandment: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

I wonder if the commandment is consistent with effectively managing the complexity of living, via good boundary management, especially if life is just a borderline: see , referring to a borderline (a boundary component)
Thank you for sharing your wonder.
Monday, March 28, 2011


Hi Ed,

What, in your experience, is an extremely good MAR ratio value? My feeling is 1.5-2.0 is fairly good and possibly the outer limits of the real world over the long haul but I am curious at what you feel is possible?
If you define MAR as the quotient of your long-term compounding rate of return over your biggest drawdown, then you can get an arbitrarily high MAR by keeping most of your money in a daily-compounding savings account.

In evaluating traders, you might consider focusing less on the MAR and more on the Man.
Monday, March 28, 2011

Entry Points

Hi Ed,

I notice that in your FAQ response you often use the phrase "You might consider taking your feeling about <X> to the Tribe." My understanding is that this is an entry point to the Process. The sender begins with feeling <X>, and that may lead to experiencing a variety of other feelings, and we as receivers simply encourage the sender to go with the flow and experience whatever feelings that come up until all the feelings dissolve, and what the hot seat experiences may or may not have any connection to the entry point feeling but that's perfectly OK.

I wonder how important it is to have an entry point then. For example, if someone takes the hot seat with this thought, "I don't have any particular issues nor any particular feelings to 'work on' per se, so I don't really have an entry point. However, I do like getting on the hot seat, since I'd usually go through some cycles of muscle tension and relaxation and the end result is that usually makes me feel good."

Is that a proper use of the TTP technology? After all, the sender does feel "good" (and presumably that puts him in a better state of mind to work on other things), and "feels good" is the term that he uses. Or would you consider this kind of usage to be medicinal?
In TTP we currently use an entry point and further encouragement to develop forms as a method for identifying the intention of the system.

If you carry a form all the way through to catharsis, it tends to dissolve - leaving Hotseat feeling "better" and leaving the Tribe without much insight about the intention of the original system.
Monday, March 28, 2011

Asking Questions as a Resource

Hi Ed,

In our last tribe meeting, we do a role-play: a child comes to his mother, noticeably upset and nervous (b/c he made a silly mistake and lose money on a simple job). He needs to fess up to his mother. We actually end up having four different members (including the original hot seat) to role-play the child:

a) CRP (Child role player) #1 tries hard to share feelings, but cannot really connect.

b) CRP #2 volunteers. He tries to communicate via body language (appears to frown, hunch his back, and hold his head down). PM asks CRP #2 to share his feelings, and CRP #2 responds, "But I *AM* sharing my feelings." PM says, "Well, TELL your mother how you feel." CRP #2 decides he couldn't do it the way PM requests.

c) CRP #3 steps in to role-play the child. He was very much into the feeling, visibly scared, constantly sobbing, and that has a big impact on the mother. Mother is very concerned and nervous, not knowing what happened. She does a good job telling him that she cares most about him. She also repeatedly tries to get assurance from the child that he is OK, but was getting increasingly impatient as the child could only sob and not able to tell her what happened.

d) CRP #4 (the original hot seat) has a difficult time sharing feelings with his "mother", perhaps a cultural issue. His approach is to get the situation resolved "efficiently" (i.e. calmly explain the situation, sincerely apologize for the mistakes, and move on).

Through the role-play, one thing I notice is that when the mother tells the child "Don't be scared", even in a calm and peaceful voice, it actually stops the intimacy flow. On one hand we encourage to "share his feeling", and on the other, telling him "Don't be scared" is essentially telling him not to feel the way he is feeling.

A lot of questions pop in my mind as I observe the role-play:

1) When sharing feelings, is it necessary to be verbal? My gut feeling is no, as I suppose body language is also a way to share feelings. However, in this case, if I put myself in the position of the mother, and a seemingly nervous and upset child comes to me, how do I receive him? I might say, "Sweetheart, I can see that you are upset. Can you share with me what makes you so?" But then doesn't it just put myself in the causal model (implicitly assuming there is a "cause" that makes him upset) rather than receiving him?

2) I guess I might also share my feelings as a mother to the child. Seeing him visibly upset and not knowing what has happened, it naturally makes me very nervous and worry that something very terrible has happened. This makes me (as the mother) freak out myself, and if the kid sees me so paranoid and if I tell him that I am scared to see him crying like that, wouldn't that even scare him more from speaking out what happened so that the adult can help decide what is the most appropriate action to take?

3) Is there ever a time the Intimacy Model might not be the appropriate response then? For example, if the child comes in crying with blood all over his hands and face, as an adult, wouldn't the most appropriate action is to first stop the bleeding, make sure the child is OK, and get an understanding of what happened in case some other children are in danger (e.g. what happened to your sister? Where is she?) - before taking the time to allow the child to open up and share his feeling?

4) As a father myself, I can't help but think that I might actually prefer teaching my child to go with CRP #4's way (i.e. calmly explains the situation, sincerely apologize for the mistake, and move on). It seems very advanced for a 7-year-old, but it certainly makes my job a lot easier. My concern is that receiving the child's feelings, patiently, without judgment, and to allow him the time and space to calm down at his own pace - all of the necessary ingredients of the Intimacy Model - may cost me the precious time to react in case of some kind of emergency that demands immediate action.

So I feel torn. On one hand, I like the Intimacy Model a lot and I think it's great; on the other end, I can't shake the feeling that knowing what happened is very much necessary, perhaps even more so than sharing feelings, to effectively handle the situation.

Moreover, I wonder if it is just a matter of setting the priority (seek to understand first, and then to share feelings), or maybe if that is just an unconscious trick that I am doing to avoid sharing feelings, even though consciously I know I'd like to share?

I'd love to hear your insight. Thanks.
You might consider taking your feelings about <asking questions as a way to avoid intimacy> to Tribe.
Monday, March 28, 2011

Pro-Active and Medicinal

Hi Ed,

I have this observation that a lot of behavior can be both medicinal or resourceful, depending on the intention of the person.

For example, a person cries. If he uses crying into manipulating others, or uses it to avoid responsibility, then it is medicinal; if he cries and experiences the feeling, it might be resourceful as he gains some useful insight or he might find motivation through the sadness / losses.

Or telling people how he feels. One may use this technique to manipulate others, say, in the form of a guilt trip (e.g. "When you say such and such, it hurts.") However, one can also genuinely tell people who he feels and that leads to intimacy (e.g. "I feel hurt when you say such and such.")

I wonder if it is just a general rule that anything, any action, can be either resourceful or dangerous, and it all depends on the person's intention (e.g. a knife is resourceful when we use it properly on the dining table, it is dangerous when we let a one-year-old play with it).

Take it a step further. I am guessing TTP, undoubtedly a powerful tool, can also be both medicinal or resourceful.

I wonder if you have observed cases where people use the TTP technology medicinally, and more importantly, how can you distinguish one from the other so that we don't fall in the medicinal trap?
You might consider re-writing your email (yes, the one on the left) so it communicates how you feel.

By comparing the new and old versions, you might then come to a sense of the difference between medicinal and pro-active.
Monday, March 28, 2011


Dear Ed,

In the last weeks I observe a series of curious developments. The level of drama in my life increases substantially: I surprise 2 thieves in my living room, someone shatters a window of my car and steals a bag while I sleep, somebody starts calling me by phone in the middle of the night and hangs up as I pick up...

I move to a new department and develop a relevant sleep disturbance. Every night I wake up several times, bathed in sweat and with a sensation of catastrophe. I am tired most of the day.

I take the issue to Tribe. By three hot seats about it I recall events in my childhood (getting a T-shirt stolen, moving to a new house as a little child) but I still have the symptoms, feel irritable and out of balance.

A further hot seat leads to an epiphany, an incredibly deep and prolonged state of bliss, full of love, understanding and peace, lasting for about one hour. I suppose it is Satori. I understand how mystics who renounce to the world feel: the state is extraordinarily joyful, but it is not possible to carry a normal life while in it. After this experience I still have the sleep disturbance, I feel very anxious and I react to several events with very intense anger.

I don´t know what is happening. Right now, I feel like stuck in a swamp. I feel as I used to feel before starting my Tribe two and half years ago.

I suppose that I am trying to run away from deeper issues, but what? And how to find it out, since the hot seats drive me in circles?

I appreciate your opinion.

Best regards,
As I recall, you are primarily taking forms to term as a way to achieve emotional catharsis.

This generally delivers short-term relief from symptoms as do other "medicinal" approaches.

The results you are getting are consistent with medicinal practice.

In the Rocks process, we use forms as an entry point to discover the intention of the system. 

Through role playing we then re-wire the intention to get different results.
Sunday, March 27, 2011

Processing in Trance

Dear Tribe Members,

I want to acknowledge my feeling of sadness at missing the last tribe meeting in Austin.

I think that it might have been my intention to miss it since I left the planning until the last second, I realize I am doing this a lot lately. I also realize that the tribe meetings are priority number 1 for me since I can feel the change in my life everyday, it is my intention not to miss any other tribe meeting no matter what.

I also want to comment on my experience in the last meeting. A tribe member takes the hot seat, trying to work on an issue of "being afraid of saying something stupid", Ed asks everybody if they can relate to this feeling, everybody does except me.

I am never afraid of looking stupid and I consider this to be good thing, however Ed kind of let us know that this feeling is a good risk management tool for avoiding actually saying stupid things, I get very angry at Ed because I feel this comments is directed to me, I feel humiliated and I feel attacked too, I start thinking that people might think that I talk too much.

They way I deal with this is by shutting down during the process, I fall sleep during and hour even with people shouting next to me. The incredible thing is that somehow I get to work on my issue while sleeping, I have many AHAs when I wake up:

* I always want to be a smartass, I interrupt people a lot and this makes some people to develop not very good feelings about me. This is an issue that has been going on during the Tribe series. I am happy to report that I believe I am making huge improvements in this regard by way of my intentions.

* For some reason I cannot stand the sight of people being abused, all the process that involved abuse make me feel very uncomfortable, I have a tremendous hate for abusers and bullies in general. I am proud of never making fun or abuse anybody, however I wonder if this feeling of being uncomfortable in this situation might mean something.

* Somehow related I cannot stand people saying something really stupid or being ridiculous in public, it also makes me feel very bad. I would like to explore this feeling.

* This trading tribe is the coolest thing since the invention of the toilet.

Ed tells me that I am making a very big progress since we met at the workshop, I get the same feedback from my fellow tribe members and my mother too, this makes me very happy.

Thank you.
Thank you for sharing your process.

You may recall our discussion of various ways to get through personal resistance - including by going into trance and associating with someone else's process - and you making an agreement to do it that way.

In this way, we find a positive intention of your proclivity to shut down and "fall asleep."

I notice some of the other Tribe Members are now also using your method to "flush out" their issues.

Marissa Puts Treasure into a Trance

To trance a bunny,
flip it over on its back
and pet its cheeks and nose area
at the same time.

People go into trance the same way,
more or less.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Save Cowboy Poet Funding !


According to Politico, funding for cowboy poetry is hanging in the balance.

Thank you for the heads-up.

Well, I reckon I better git after some of that good ol' QE(x) grant money while the goin' is still good.

Cowboy Poet Waddie Mitchell

with the

 Cowboy Poet Sensitive Wrangler Band
(Ed Seykota and Easan Katir)

performs in Nevada
 on August 10, 2003.

Click to hear Dream by the CPSWB
Saturday, March 26, 2011

Intensity, Overwhelm and Errors

Dear Ed:

This tribe meeting is the most intense meeting that I can recall. On the surface it was the same old stuff that we deal with.

However, the first hot seat, seemed to have brought up a core issue that has numerous layers underneath. The topic was making errors.

I saw for myself that I make errors when I get overwhelmed. I can get overwhelmed even if I do nothing, because there
are layers and layers of charged content outside of my conscious awareness. At the moment of overwhelm, which appears to be caused by hidden charged content being triggered from internal/external sensory data/objects, I experience a temporary loss of control which results in the error.

In my case, I have an issue overtrading and in general "over living" - expecting more of myself than my current performance level. I am constantly swinging for the fences expecting to hit a home run each time.

While this statistically results in many home runs, it also creates many overwhelming experiences. I now see that this mechanism of wanting glory is a distraction from important matters right in front of me, such as my wife & family.

My goal is to figure out what the minimum I should do, so that I can spend time on these important matters instead of "over trading" and "over living". I continue to face the fact that in my trading career, I have made more on one trade than all the other thousands of trades combined.

Extrapolating this, if I connect at the deepest level with my wife, that will be more important than all the other relationships in my life.
Thank you for sharing your process.

Marriage and Other Forms
of long-term commitment

seem to work better

if you don't use them
as a way to medicate feelings
about lack of excitement
or lack of right-livelihood

and if you are thoughtful
and considerate.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Toxic Parents

Dear Ed,

I finally "got around to" the idea of buying this book, but simply could not recall the exact title (or something even close) until i saw the cover in one of your older FAQ replies. I am just wondering if there is a reason why this book does not show up in your list of favorite books?

I am buying this book today.


FAQ does not generally respond to "why" questions or provide "reasons" or otherwise employ the causal model.
Friday, March 25, 2011


Hi Ed!

Your feedback from March 25:

"Selling off positions during a rising market does not sound like Trend Trading. Nor does trying to predict the non-existing future.

Both are consistent with impulsive, medicinal trading, useful to mask the feelings of deeper issues.

You might consider taking your feelings about <wanting to outguess the market> to Tribe."

Since I find out in my backtests that I get much better results when I add to stocks with low RSI when they are in my defined up trend, I consider it stupid to go on with models that add on break-out just for the benefit of calling the system strict trend following. As I am trying to maximize my bliss, I use what I have as resources to make it better. If I find out that I have a better probability of getting good bliss results by using another entry, how can that be impulsive and medicinal trading?

I feel I am trying to understand what you say above. Maybe it is a kind of medicinal behavior I have...? I am definitely not impulsive, not in trading at least. I backtest, backtest more and never launch any of my ideas. I wanna be certain before I expose myself. Of course I can´t be certain but at least I can be confident. I also have deeper issues - of course. But the medicinal behavior in my view is my constant struggle to backtest and never be satisfied. I think it is a thin line between wanting to outguess the market and backtest the market. I guess you wont of approve of my last sentence.

I find it interesting that you have much harder critiques when I write you what just pops up in my mind. When I write you to discuss a certain mission, you have mostly responded with "thanks for sharing your process". Suddenly I feel like everything I do is medicinal.

I think I have a resource for almost every thing I do in my life. It´s like I keep myself on the path only thanks to all these resources making me stay away from bad behavior.

But naturally I would just... well who knows? Be much more open and less afraid? That was what came to my mind. I would expect that I would say - really go down... in some way... It doesn´t feel good any more to write. I think I will end there.

Have a nice weekend.

Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider taking your feelings about <wanting approval> to Tribe.

If You Are Working for Approval

you might consider identifying
who's doing the approving.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dealing with a Blaming Wife

To Workshop Members,

This morning, my wife confronts me with a storyline that tries to cast me as less than I really am.

She seems to have intention to hold certain beliefs about me to justify a compromised and controlling relationship. She projects her own disappointment about her father onto me and wishes for me to be just like him. She then gets to keep on being mad and disappointed and “blamey”.

Rather than get embroiled in her characterizations, I recognize her behavior as being less than fulfilled. Others might call it shallow, vindictive and very much lacking understanding or compassion.

I feel deep emotion and wonder how I can be compassionate and helpful to her, and also live towards what I desire. I wish she was still on the phone so I would be able to share my feelings. The moment is already gone…

I sense other workshop member’s bravery and courage. I feel reinforcement for choosing my destiny purposefully.

I feel strength in setting boundaries and honoring commitments.

I choose to not accept her vision of my future and trust my own feelings about who and what I am and where I may go.

I thank you.
Thank you for sharing your process.

The Causal Model understands blame and guilt. We look for  a single reason for an event.

In the System model, we have co-evolving elements. If we wish to change a result, we operate on the intention of the system - and look change the policies for how people react to each other.

In the Causal Model

people blame just about anything
except the causal model.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wants to Help with EcoNowMics

I have a degree in Economics and read Dana Meadows book “Thinking in Systems” so I guess that gives me a background.

It occurs to me that both you and Dana had the same mentor, Jay Forrester.

If you are looking for a person to fill [Name]’s shoes, I would take the job seriously.

Thank you for your interest in advancing the EcoNowMics model library.

I wonder if you have any experience building system dynamics models.

If so, I'd like to see a couple of them.

In particular, I wonder if you have a working pendulum model and/or a predator-prey model.
Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wants Baby Steps

Mr. Seykota,

Is there a particular book that you would recommend that breaks futures down to the basics for beginners? I am trying to be efficient as possible and minimize my readings to only books that move knowledge forward and not sideways.

Best regards,
You might consider taking your feelings about <needing someone to do everything for you> to Tribe.
Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wants Husband to Do a Workshop

Dear Ed,

Thank you so much. Have forwarded your note to him as he couldn't seem to get an email through for some reason. He would like to do a live workshop and then perhaps spend some time with you after as well.
Thank you for your inquiry.

After you finish teaching him how to work the email thingy, you might consider making sure he has your permission to work on his issues with strong women.
Thursday, March 24, 2011


Hi Ed,

I love the EcoNowMics section. If you intend to progress with the next subject (the nature of price), I intend to read and study it.
Thank you for your support.

I am currently extending the work for my upcoming book.

If you have a background in System Dynamics and would like to assist, let me know.
Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Missing Link


On the FAQ page dated Sunday March 20,2011 there is a picture of a girl cutting the grass and a link to [a site] which takes me to a porn site with explicit nude pictures.

Some people may use the computer and read with other family members present and maybe even children present and there is no warning what is coming if one clicks on the link.
Thank you for the catch.

The links no longer work by (1) clicking on them or by (2) cut and paste.

If you or your friends search around on the web under "lawnmowers," you may be still able to harvest these photos.

I do not know how to prevent people from visiting porn sites.  Nor do I want them preventing me.  I gather that you, too, like to follow such links and might object to people telling you what you can view.

You might consider taking your feelings about <sex> and <regulations> to Tribe.
Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tribe Meeting Documentation


The Tribe meeting convenes with a drum beat from Ed's bass drum. Many of the members are still downstairs, and there's a scramble as they rush up the stairs, grab drums, take their seats and join in the beating. The drumming continues for what seems to be a longer than usual period. I feel a lot of energy in my drumming - really getting into the rhythm and the flow of the sound in my ears and body.

When the drumming dies out, Ed resumes a discourse about intentions and results. He declares it is his conscious intention to have half of the people late for drumming. If it had been his intention to have everyone on time he could have done it. Normally he would have asked someone to "herd the cats" upstairs so we could start the meeting, but he decided this time to do it a different way.

There is no blame in the system model. No blame in the pendulum model.

When formulating an agreement, make sure you know what everyone's intention is. He explains "when I make a business deal with someone, I intend for the success for the other person. The result flows from the intention.

Law is a societal agreement that there is cause and effect. Without causality, the whole thing just falls apart.

When making agreements, you can't do it part way. The more committed you are with your agreements, the more power you have. When you make an intention to follow your intentions, then you prove to yourself that you are one hundred percent reliable. You are solidifying your own intention to succeed.

If you have a tendency to get into a snarl, it is part of your intention. Sometimes you see a role model and you copy that behavior and it becomes your own. You agree to adopt the way of behaving which you see modeled by your parents. The rocks process allows you to go back and discover where you made a critical agreement with your parents. Sometimes those agreements produce results we don't like, so the Rocks Process allows you to discover those early agreements, choose a new resource, a new way of dealing with situations, which works better than the old resource. The old agreement is "for-given" away, and replaced with a new agreement.

The structure of the Trading tribe is intentional because the group supports the intentions of the members. One on one therapy doesn't work - professionals in the field are now simply using drugs to help people deal with their problems.

Good therapists are willing to go into the dark places of a patient's past to help them deal with them, but for many, there is a "penumbra of unwillingness" into which they are unable to go, and so for those situations they are unable to help.

One of the members is attending the tribe meeting and it is his wedding anniversary. He calls his wife and puts her on speaker phone and the tribe wishes them a happy anniversary, and honors the wife for supporting her husband, and allowing him to attend on that special date. She honors her husband with compliments and well wishes, and it makes me feel warm and joyful to know that this man is blessed to have such an understanding and loving spouse, and I feel honored to have shared this moment with them.

The tribe members in turn read their Pendulum Model descriptions. When everyone has done so, Ed offers his comments about each member's explanation.

He offers a causal explanation, which involves passing a law to prevent people from kicking the pendulum, with Federal Agencies set up to study pendulum kicking to stabilize it.

He offers a system model. "Someone kicks a pendulum which starts it oscillating. The kick doesn't explain the pendulum or cause the oscillation. The pendulum is comprised of components which work together to produce the oscillating motion, including the kick. To see how the oscillation works, you slice up the story into tiny time intervals so we can think about how the components operate on one another during these small slices. Things can only operate on another in the same slice of now. Events from the past or future cannot operate on the now." He describes each slice from the initial stable hanging down point, to the kick which gives it the initial velocity. Then he takes a snapshot slice an instant later showing how the initial velocity carries the bob a small distance which is constrained by the string, in an arc. Each slice is described in turn until the extreme point of the swing, and then back down through the full swing to the other extreme, with the effects of friction dampening on the action.

Ed asserts that modeling the pendulum this way is more accurate than using mathematical models, which can become intractable. He pulls up a model he has created which graphs the position and velocity of the pendulum through time using this method, and has the ability to tweak the parameters of the pendulum system with the resulting behavior plotted on the graph.

Ed has used this method to create models of the economy, with sliders which allow him to show how controlling the money supply in the economy by adding capital to it can delay the recovery from recessions.

Our TTP work at this meeting involves a member who is having difficulty talking to potential clients about his trading methods. The process identifies an agreement he made when helping his father in a home improvement project as a child, and dealing with his father's angry reactions to his failing to perform a helper task to his father's satisfaction. His behavior was to accept his father's verbal and emotional abuse, and not say anything about it. Watching another member play his role in this drama, the member learned a new way of dealing with that situation, using the intimacy model, where he expresses his feelings to his father, builds rapport with him, and he hears his father's feelings.

The situation brings up feelings I have had in dealing with my own father, and it provides resources for me to use in dealing with similar situations where I bottle up my feelings in response to someone criticizing my work.
Thank you for your documentation of the Tribe meeting.

you might consider  taking your feelings about <sharing your feelings> to Tribe.
 Thursday, March 24, 2011



I have spent a lot of time thinking about what is holding me back. I think of a few things that could be causing me problems but the clearest issue in my mind is my tendency to skip over details.

For example, I am learning the spreadsheet and I find I am constantly making errors in the formulas. I am just not careful to get everything in the proper order or I leave out something. So this causes the spreadsheet not to work correctly and I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what I am doing wrong. This same thing happened in school when doing math. I know how to do the problem but I leave out a neg. sign or misplace the decimal.

I want to be more conscious when I do things so I make fewer errors. I want to be more in the Now with whatever I am working on and enjoying the process.

I have other snarls but this is what keeps coming back in my mind recently. This has been a problem most of my life and I have wondered why I am not more careful. I have many thoughts about how this may relate to other parts of my life.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.
Thank you for sharing your process.

Your relationship to details may have roots in agreements you are still holding with your parents.


You can use them pro-actively
to ensure quality

or medicinally
to support distractive drama.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 7:22 AM

Dealing with Snarl

Dear Ed,

At the last tribe meeting a member takes the hot seat to address a feeling of stupidity he experiences when prospective clients call.

During that process we learn that when he is a child his father calls him stupid when he is trying to help his father with various projects at home. You describe this as an agreement he has with his father.

I do not recall you describing the rock process in this way before. I find it to be a helpful metaphor. I see that as children we make agreements with our parents about how we are to respond to events. We also make agreements about our roles within the family, and the labels we are going to wear. Even though we are just kids, we enter deals with our family members that we live under our whole lives.

When I return home from tribe I continue with my goal to live a snarl-free life. I make an effort to clarify an important business relationship. My business associate does not respond. I make another effort. He again does not respond. I experience a great deal of frustration. I worry about the situation the entire time. I feel like I'm in a snarl

In another business matter, an associate asks that I send him a contract. As I draft the contract I focus intensely on generating a snarl-free agreement. I draft prior contracts with a reluctance to make my wants known. This time I decide to express every wish I have, no matter how audacious, within the contract.

I do not want to lay the groundwork for a later snarl by not making my wants known. When I call my business associate to talk about the contract he sounds put off and shut down.

After the call I realize that a contract is a controlling method of communication. While it is useful for memorializing a final agreement, it is not a good tool for connecting with other people about one's wishes and dreams. Once I realize this I feel terrible. I care about my business associate a great deal, and hate the fact that I chose this method of communication. I beat myself up about this for days. I feel like I'm in another snarl.

Finally, as all of this is transpiring, I get sick with the flu. For the first time in years, I am so sick I cannot function. I am in bed for nearly a week worrying about my various snarls. So much for living a snarl free existence.

Thank you for your support.
Thank you for sharing your process.

A snarl can be a tangle of complications and also a vicious growl.

You might consider taking your feelings of <anger> to Tribe.

A Snarl Sometimes Indicates Anger

Thursday, March 24, 2011 6:38 AM

Abuse and Success

Hi Ed,

I wonder what your thoughts are relating to why so many successful people come from abused families and I rarely hear about someone who is successful that comes from a nurturing family background?

Thank you for your question.

You might consider taking your feelings about <abuse and success going together> to Tribe.
Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hot Legs

Dear Ed and Austin Tribe,

I feel really hot and am now more aware of the agreements that I make as a youth with my parents. As a type this email, my legs are running in place.

I see some patterns in how I deal with tough issues or new problems. I run away from them by medicating, by watching TV, or by eating.

I wonder if it’s possible to be on a hotseat simmering for two weeks. I get so much out of the tribe member's process who is holding the vacuum for his father. I also have an AHA when another tribe member mentions that we really have no business entering into some of the agreements we make as youths.

I want to feel all my feelings and not medicate. I want the tribe’s help, and I’m willing to do the hard work. I want to make forward progress instead of running in place. I want change.

Thank you for sharing your process.

You Can Run Faster

if can get all your legs to go

in the same direction.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Dear Ed,

I am interested in making a better life for myself. After some backtesting I have come across a trend following system that I am happy with and I have been trading it now since December. It is slightly down after the recent volatility in the stock market but I am confident it will recover.

I am also interested in doing something else as trading does not provide me with enough income yet and only takes a few hours each day.

I would love to write novels or make music. I would also like to start a small business making artisan cheese. I need something to get me out of the mundane office work that I seem to have been pigeonholed.

I have many ideas and dreams but for some reason, I never manage to fulfill them. I guess I should work a bit longer to save money and then try and fulfill them.

Thanks for reading.
Thank you for sharing your process.

You can engage your dreams pro-actively, to guide your path - and also medicinally, to distract you from the feelings of missing right-livelihood.

Soybean Dreams

Monday, March 21, 2011 6:58 PM

Birthday Candles


I have interest in attending a Breathwork weekend. I make a commitment to attend my niece's birthday party and do not apply for the upcoming Breathwork.

I purchase a couple of Grof's books including The Adventure of Self-Discovery to read in preparation for another Breathwork.

As the weekend gets closer, I feel sadness for missing out on a fantastic opportunity to experience Breathwork. I wish every participant the best.
Thank you for sharing your process.

Perhaps you might have an insight during the blowing-out-the-candles ceremony.

A Breathwork, like a Birthday

contains elements
of moving air and wishing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 7:41 PM

Dealing With Feeling Stupid -
Advertising his talent Without Reservation
Intimacy-Centric Selling

Dear Ed,

At the last tribe meeting I take the hot-seat. My issue is I do not like asking questions for fear of looking stupid. I am in the process of getting my trading business off the ground and feel this is holding me back greatly. One example is that I am in a support group with a Market wizard, yet I am afraid to ask him questions. I worry that my trading approach is to simplistic, that it may have hidden flaws I do not know about and I will look stupid in front of him.

I introduce the issue and reference a recent drama I experience. I am a CTA. Our trading program has had strong returns recently. Barclay Hedge listed us in the top 10 three months out of the past four for CTA’s with fewer than 10 million AUM. We are also in the top 10 in several online CTA databases for performance in the last 12 and 24 months. Naturally, in light of these strong returns prospective clients begin to call.

Seasoned CTA investor with 25 years of experience investing in managed futures sends me an email expressing interest in investing with me. I look up his name and see how well rounded he is in the industry. Right away I feel anxiety about talking to him. I feel like my trading is just too simple to impress him, I feel like I have good returns only because I got lucky and take too much risk and he is going to see it. Once I get on the phone I just freeze. I cannot talk to him. I worry about what I am going to say. After the phone call is over I am upset about the way I speak with him, the way I trade – I feel like I cannot do anything right.

Ed asks the tribe if they can relate to my issue of not wanting to look stupid and almost all hands go up. Ed makes a point that the feeling of being afraid to look stupid is an important quality control management tool.

As he goes through examples, I notice I am feeling more willing to feel this way, I notice I am happy to feel it, even slightly smiling. I feel true acknowledgement.

Ed makes it so friendly to me that I am proud for feeling this way – I understand the feeling better now and accept it as my tool – even before we started the role play process. Now looking back I find this initial process very cool – in a very gentle manner, it helped me accept my feelings as something very useful to me.

There is a Tribe member who reports on exactly the opposite feelings he experiences. He lets the Tribe know that the feelings of fear of looking stupid are completely strange to him, something he never experiences, does not even understand it.

Ed explains how not being willing to feel these feelings which ensure good quality control may lead us exactly to that – saying and doing stupid things. As Ed describes this and gives more examples member seems confused and little aggravated. Ed tells him that he is simultaneously working on this issue with him.

Ed continues the process by asking me if I recollect the first time I experience these feelings strongly. There are so many, but one stands out.

My father is working on a project. He usually asks me at some point (mostly when he is already getting aggravated with something) to come and help. Once I hear him working I feel anxious and do not want to help. So he calls me to come and help as he is drilling some holes into a concrete wall of our apartment. I am supposed to hold a vacuum cleaner below the point where the drill bit is penetrating the wall to ensure that the vacuum catches all the small concrete pieces and dust before they hit the ground.

The vacuum is heavy and my hands keep slipping. Every time they slip he gets angrier and yells at me. “Can’t you hold it there? Are you stupid or what? Can’t you do anything right?” I cannot look at him; I fear to look in his eyes and see the disappointment. I never answer his questions. I feel tremendous sadness for myself; I hold back tears and just stand there very unsure of myself. I wish he would just stop.

As I describe the story I push myself to hold tears back. Ed asks what my mother does. I tell him that she usually protects me. I can even recollect one situation when dad is yelling at her she grabs me and hugs me in a corner of my room. Ed makes a point that she is the one who taught me the resource of shutting down and to her I shall return the resource and then adopt a new one.

We go ahead and role-play the situation. It is so real and vivid that I break into tears, my chin is shaking, I am very sad. While I am so emotional I feel support of the whole tribe – true friendship and acceptance – it is so powerful.

I calm down and Ed asks another member to role-play me while using my own resources of shutting down. Role-player of my mother comes in to the scene just as a voice, to provide a dialog on subconscious level between the rock recipient (me) and rock donor (mother). We work the scene a few times fine tuning the reactions. Then the member uses the resources of sending and receiving. I notice we spend quite some time on this and he gets a lot of coaching from Ed on what to say. I start to have an idea on what to do now.

As the role-play process is evolving, the Tribe notices that the member who never feels fear of looking stupid checked out. He is completely asleep. There is a lot of yelling going on but he is just out. Ed explains that the process is working for him too.

Now is my turn and Ed looks straight into my eyes and asks me “Are you ready to use your new resource?” I am confused. I feel like I have it all figured out in my mind but I did not get to practice it yet, so how do I know? I stumble and say something like “Well, I do not know yet” So Ed asks me the same question. Now I catch up with him. No maybe’s, but or I am not sure - Yes or No. I say “Yes I have a new resources and I am ready to use them”

This is a very powerful experience for me. I feel like I am in this weird control-out-of-control state all powerful-vulnerable at the same time. I am devoted to the process and opened to change. I am in a flow with the Tribe, Ed, and my intention.

As I slip first time with the vacuum my Dad starts yelling. I right away talk to him with very understanding tone of voice: “Dad, dad are you O.K.? How is your day going?”

My dad looks at me and says that he has a rough day, a lot of work and that he is tired. I thank him for telling me that with compassion and understanding of how tough the days can get for dads sometimes.

I tell him that the hole he is drilling in a wall is very important to me. I tell him that I wish I can do a better job helping, I just feel like I cannot do anything right. Dad ridicules me now wondering what I am talking about, of course I can do things right. I thank him and let him know that I still do not think I can do anything right. He is getting upset about this and repeating that of course I can do things right, not to be ridiculous.

I thank him again for being so supportive of me. I tell him that even though I am happy that he thinks that I can do things right that is not the way I feel. He stares at me and I think now he gets what I am saying. We start discussing the project looking for ways to get this thing done and my dad is now very supportive of me. My dad helps me to figure out how to support this heavy vacuum that I do not have to hold all its weight.

The voice of my mother comes in at this point. My mother is deeply concern about what I am doing. She advises me to shut down. I thank her for her kind advice, the best she can give me and happily let her know I have my own resource now. She does not believe that and urges me to use the shutdown technique instead. I thank her again for her advice and concern and assure her with confidence that I have my own resource now and I like it.

She gets the message and we hug. I am happy to have a great process – I cry, I connect, I feel powerful.

Thank you everybody for support and your friendship. I am very thankful to all the members participating in my role-play and all of you supporting me.

The Tribe member with opposite issue to mine wakes up after the process is done and reports on his feelings. He seems unusually relaxed, somehow confused but happy. We all have few good laughs about his process while sleeping and his reporting and wonder how cool this Tribe stuff really is.

On my way back home I start feeling more comfortable with who I am. I notice that part of my problem when talking to prospective clients is that I trade on the riskier side, and I do not want to share it - not to scare them away. I discuss this with my fellow tribe members on a way home and find that I truly enjoy trading with a lot of heat. I am happy now to understand this in such a positive way. I now see that my trading is not for everybody and I feel great willingness to share what is it about to find the right kind of investors for me.

This is excerpt from an e-mail from a fellow Tribe member as he saw it the day after the meeting:

“I was happy to see you smiling when you visualized speaking to your client and saying you were a high heat trader. I feel like you are on the right track and you now have a way to get clients with less effort and get into good relationships. Personally, I would invest with you, if I could, but I have some real estate "snarls" and need to remain highly liquid right now. But I have been thinking if I get into a better situation, that I would consider it very seriously.”

Then I got to test my newly adopted resources back in office first thing on Monday morning. There is a message from one prospective client and I receive a phone call from another one. I talk to both of them with joy and curiosity for quite some time that day. I feel that I am able to share my passion for trading with them and accurately describe my trading style. If we are match remains to be seen.

Thank you for sharing your process and your insights.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Has a Better Relationship with his Sisters -
and More Fun on Dates


The last session was very good for me. We had one role-play that allowed several of us gain from. At times I feel a fear of rejection or not being good enough. I wasn’t the one on the hot seat it was your plan for those of us with similar feelings to be a part of this.

In the previous two weeks I see a significant change in my feelings. As an example, I don’t date many different women. Unless I really like a lady I won’t spend time with her.

Well when I returned I felt like having a date with one lady that I was quite sure I wouldn’t be interested in for a serious relationship. I actually had a good time and will continue to see her.

One reason I don’t date people unless I feel a strong attraction is that I don’t like to end a relationship. I don’t want to cause the other person to feel the same feeling of rejection that I feel at times. I still need to work on this belief.

While on this date I kept thinking about the story Ed told the group about how Ed was able to get one lady, who volunteers for a hypnosis demonstration, to be turned on by Ed whistling and turned off by snapping his fingers. I was constantly laughing on the inside during the dinner about how funny this would be to do just once!

Another example, I have the hard time opening up to mentor and friend that has helped me immensely in both business and being a friend. This friend invited me to spend the weekend with him to attend a basketball tournament. I felt more comfortable and had a great weekend with him and I know it was because of the work we have been doing in tribe.

I learned how valuable the intimacy model can be by my sisters interacting. I have spoken to my oldest sister about the intimacy model and how to interact with people more intimately.

My oldest sister was having surgery so my mom and other sister went to spend a week with her to help. The younger sister has felt rejection from both the older sister and our mother for the longest time. This same drama began to play out causing the younger sister to feel rejected on one day.

As a young person my sister would become angry and things would boil over but now she backs away and holds it inside. This feeling of rejection caused the younger sister to plan to get away and go shopping or do something to get away from the older sister.

I’m not sure how the two sisters began to talk and the older one realized that her sister was feeling rejected and wanted to get away from her. My older sister prayed asking to understand what her part was in this situation. The older sister had many feelings and recollections of times when she did reject her younger sister as they were growing up. They were able to talk about the issue and I believe became closer because of this.

I had no idea this event had happened until the younger sister came to visit and asked about what I do in Austin. I wasn’t sure what to say, was she interested in the trading or us dealing with issues?

So I told her about Ed and tribe meetings and said we do very little work on trading in these meetings, it’s about dealing with things that prevent us from living a great life and not living in never ending dramas. She then said that my older sister told her she needed to visit with me about what I am learning at these meetings. As I was talking about what we do in Austin, my sister wanted to tell me her feelings she had growing up, I simply received her and listened. It was very nice to have my sister open up to me and express her feelings.

I have had an issue of not wanting to feel rejection and not being good enough. I kept quiet about what goes on in Austin and my desire to trade, as I feared being rejected for my goals.

So what has happened since the last few tribe meetings? I have gone out on dates and simply enjoyed myself. The few people I opened up to about what is happening in Austin and my life have been helped and were completely supportive.

Thank you for making a difference in my family, Ed.
Thank you for sharing your process - and how you are bringing intimacy-centric relating to your family.


practice with each other
what they learn from their parents.

Monday, March 21, 2011



I think of you when I view this. What time is it? NOW.
Thank you for the link.

He reminds me a little of Professor Feynman - except that Feynman actually has the goods.