© Ed Seykota, 2003 - 2005 ... Write for permission to reprint.

Ed Seykota's

Frequently Asked Questions

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April 27 - 30


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(Quotes from Ed in Red)


Sat, 30 Apr 2005


Musical Score


I am mailing a copy of the one-page musical score but without lyrics. I have a difficult time expressing my emotions & feel that music does it best for me. It doesn't have a title and the song is open for interpretation.

Unfortunately, I am unable to commit to consistent [Tribe] attendance. I honestly don't have anything to say.

Thank you, again, for all your help.

You might consider writing some lyrics about (1) not having anything to say and (2) being unable to commit.




If you have nothing to say

and no commitments to keep


you might not need to get ahead.



Clip: http://img.alibaba.com/photo/


Sat, 30 Apr 2005


Want to Start a Community

Dear Sir Ed Seykota,

I am deeply influenced by your work in the trading in stock markets i am starting trading as a full time career for my livelihood.

i want to join your community and want to participate in the FAQ's. I have some interesting question in my mind which you will find interesting to answer to .

I my area there is no community so I want to start one , kindly add my details in the procedure and allow me to start a community.

my details are ... [Name] [Email] [Phone].

Waiting for your confirmation.


To start a Tribe, follow the directions on the Directory Page, above, including identifying your city.

Fri, 29 Apr 2005


RE: 4.18 FAQ - The Present


I love it.

Then I realize the following: Hint: substitute “system” for “pocket” and re-read.



Fri, 29 Apr 2005



Dear Mr. Seykota:

I have found a number of similarities between the practice of Japanese Budo and successful trading.


Being an advanced practitioner of Karate-Do, some of your insights have been very well understood and appreciated. Before I address those similarities let me explain the similarities between Budo and Zen practice.

The objective of both is non-existent. That is to say, we practice because we love to practice, because it allows us to get rid of our "selves". This process of "getting rid" takes many phases. It commences with acknowledgment that we are not perfect, that we need to work on our "selves" and that we can improve. After a while (perhaps one year) you begin to understand (under + stand) something quite remarkable, that we are made of body, mind and spirit. Intensive practice of Budo (or Zen) allows one to bypass the mind.


The Japanese have, traditionally named this process in various ways, each with a series of unique ideograms (kanji) - "mushin", meaning empty mind, "zanshin", meaning ready mind, "fudoshin" meaning calm mind, etc.

The mind is a gate, a set of doors. It is totally devoid of intelligence. It is quite stupid and archaic. Krishnamurti talked about this during the last 10 years of his life. It takes an enormous amount of skill, intelligence and work to open those doors.


It is very important to loose resistance, to let go, not to ask anything back, to accept.

To flow with the river (again, there are plenty of analogies in Japanese Zen) is to be. And to be is to be with your "self", the "river", the world. This is WA (harmony). In karate we learn to "fight" by sensing breathing. You can attack before, after or whilst your opponent breathes in - wa no sen, sen-no-sen, etc.

To make this a bit shorter - any methodology to trade which involves "prediction", "natural laws", "being right", etc, etc, is bound to fail, because you can NOT predict, we do NOT know natural laws and we are mostly WRONG. These are dramas of the mind.

Learn to live with your "self". Learn what exactly is meant with your "self". Practice Budo and Zen.

Trading is as much an art form as Budo. Develop a technique based on the insights you obtain from watching your mind. There is no reality, only representations of it. Choose the most beneficial representation and continue on sensing your breathing, your body.

I practice 6 hours karate a week, am 45. When I feel sort of sick I go and practice. At the end of the training I'm fresh. After I sit for half an hour I'm strong. The body is strong, the mind is at rest and I was able to experience satori.


You might consider taking your feelings of wanting to get rid of your mind to your Tribe as an entry point.



Getting Rid of your Head


becomes less important

when you find

a good use for it.



Clip: http://eclectech.co.uk/





Thu, 28 Apr 2005


Sarasota, FL Back On-Line

Back a few months you posted a new tribe in Sarasota County, Florida ... [one member] ... expected the Tribe to be more of a group psychotherapy talk session and was surprised to find it so non-verbal. To each, his own path.

I remain committed to moving ahead with ... the Sarasota Tribe, so ... (if you would) please re-instate said tribe as a start-up, one member (myself).

Thank you,




Sarasota !



Sarasota, FL



Clip: http://www.usmicromap.com/


Thu, 28 Apr 2005


Snapshot / Trading Money


hope all is well. I have a question: I create a snapshot with my tribe. Part of my snapshot is a $1,000,000 trading account. When I revisit my snapshot to see what feelings come up, I tend to trade for money a while afterwards.


I anticipate signals "to make money faster" in order to get to my snapshot faster, I panic over losses feeling I am getting further away from my snapshot.


I forget about my snapshot and I follow my system again. How can I clarify my intention to make a certain amount trading, without being attached to the snapshot?

Best wishes

I do not know the process you use in your Tribe to create and implement snapshots.


Snapshots, as we use them in the TTP Workshop:


In the Present

Emotionally Vivid

No Motion

Tribe Buy-In

You see Your Own Face


We then use TTP to locate and dissolve whatever is standing between us and our snapshots.


We then build a support teams from our Tribes to follow our progress and assist us in experiencing our feelings as they arise.


This context, around the snapshot, is essential in executing the TTP Snapshot Process.


Without this context, your snapshot might just become part of your drama.



Panic may Arise

in pursuing your snapshot.


The TTP Snapshot Process

takes this as an opportunity

for you to experience your panic

and generate wisdom


and learn to stay the course

between you and your snapshot.


Clip: http://www.irtc.org/ftp/pub/


Thu, 28 Apr 2005


Being Right

Hello Ed,

You mentioned in your reply:

"You might take your feelings of wanting to be right, and to get a clever bargain, to a Tribe Meeting.” Thu, 21 Apr 2005

I mentioned previously: “I think I am wrong.” At the bottom of my email because I am not trying to proof my self right or wrong (No bias), in my research I try to have an objectively point of view to seek new insight that might be missed out because trend followers were successful and didn’t see it.


Success of trend followers doesn’t mean I shouldn’t even discuss and try to improve their methods and I am not trying to reinvent the wheel, what I am doing is looking for logical possibilities and this process involves being wrong many times until I reach to a conclusion or not at all but I will for sure leave behind an open discussion which one day someone might or might not benefit from it.

I will need to learn math to understand what is behind the Kelly formula for example or lose a fortune but its part of the game, and which I know many people will spend their life happily without having to engage in a risky objective which keep evolving and changing as you gain new insight like trying to bring logic into the idea of trend following and risking my own capital and time to implement it or trying an idea behind a restaurant which serves food according to the geographic location because it seems right.

Why do you analyze me? It’s never about me; it’s the logic behind the idea be it wrong or right.

You mentioned in your reply:


” Making up meanings and justifying them sounds like fundamental analysis.” Wed, 20 Apr 2005

Does the current price have any relationship with the previous high or low against a time frame? Does historical price make profits? Logically: Historical price is non-profitable unless you were engaged in trading while it was present and after that it is plain history and we can only learn from the possibilities of outcomes if we did or didn’t trade it with a system.

When I emailed you I was seeking your opinion because you are a successful trader, I didn’t want to email the trading tribe but it was the only way to reach you. The trading tribe applies a filter to the vocabulary that I use like


“FAQ does not answer "why" questions or tell people what they "should" do. See Ground Rules.”


I never forced anyone to do anything, I presented my opinion and reason to why “should” anyone accept it due to what I consider logic, if they don’t they will need to correct me, if I am corrected I would have benefited and I always accept being wrong as long as I get to an understanding of why I am wrong.

Please do not publish my emails to the trading tribe.


I ask for your opinion and I want a discussion if possible not only commentary. If not or if you want to charge me for it then I have no budget for that.

No personal grudge Ed, still you are the better than much other people who didn’t dedicate any effort for a reason but try to accept some non-acceptable ideas for they might be something relative to your success as long as they are objective.

I publish letters that I feel are of value to readers. 


You might consider taking your feelings of struggle and irritation to your Tribe as an entry point.





is an essential characteristic

of being alive


Clip: http://www.benyei.com/







often precedes innovation


Clip: http://www.atlaschiropractic.com/




Thu, 28 Apr 2005




... This is about fascinating changes in my life since I went through the snapshot exercise at the [City] tribe meeting three weeks ago.

In my snapshot I am looking at my completed software application, which addresses a specific need of various enterprises; my snapshot also includes an office with flowing water where the office itself is an extension to my home.

... the snapshot-process for me is a great blessing - on that day while I was driving to the tribe-meeting I was thinking of asking ... about Hard-Ball process and the snapshot went beyond that. To me the realization came in multiple waves - not as a single AHA right after the snapshot meeting.

At the end of the meeting, [our Chief] made me commit to the tribe that I will call him next day and confirm that I have taken first steps towards building my software application. It took some effort, but, by the end of the next day I have started my development. From that point on, it was an interesting journey for me - I sat all day in the library writing my plans for the application and future direction of the business.

What is remarkable is how much I have progressed in the three weeks since the snapshot-meeting - that progress is far ahead of what I thought and worked through in the last three-years. It is as if I have been waiting for this event to take place! I have built a basic-prototype already and demonstrated it to one of my customers to get them interested so they will pay some of my development costs - this went through quite well and I am working on the next steps. I also reached out to my business acquaintances to get me business-leads - getting out there and talking to my customers is my goal. My goal is to successfully implement my application at 10 Customer Sites within the next one year.

I also noticed a significant change in the way I look at people and issues. Granted: there can be any number of problems as I work through getting my software developed and sold, but, I have no doubt that I will be able to work out solutions as I go along. That I am thinking like this is a surprise to me!

To me: my tribe has become an extension of the family. It is a little like the loyalty that gets developed among the soldiers fighting together, like in a brother-hood - sort of like in a "tribe"!


I have taken hot-seat only 2-3 times so far - and, it brought back memories from my child-hood that I thought I erased a long time ago. There may still be a skeleton or two - but, that doesn't seem to bother me very much! Doing Yoga on a regular basis has dramatically changed my outlook towards life in general; it sharpened my thinking and removed the edge from the past negative experiences. Getting on hot-seat and practicing yoga seems to be the right combination.

I think saying a simple "thank you" to [you and to my local Chief] does not do justice. It is an enriching and rewarding experience - and, one that I am still going through. The last six months since we met at the work-shop have been an interesting ride.


Ed, to me the most important statement is "95% of everything is b---s---" - I would not have taken this coming from someone else! It prodded and challenged me into critical thinking about what I want to do. I am writing that statement on top of every page of notes I am making on my business plan - not to be negative about what everything else is, but, to ensure that neither I nor anything I do/say will fall into that 95%.


I even thought of putting it on my business-card! :-) Anyways, since that can be a little too strong - I am thinking of reverse "Only 5% of anything is significant". Hope you are okay with that - me taking a quote of yours to put on my business-card (and, marketing material in future).

I will keep you and the tribe posted - this is not the last of the trenches with the tribe. The journey is fun - and, I have a lot of ideas about the group of applications I want to build. You will hear from me again.

I have also started working on trend-following system ... in that context, I am fascinated by the continuous transmutation that happens in nature and cannot help but notice that trends are a natural occurrence in life. I cannot believe that there is an industry built up around valuation and prediction of so called asset-pricing! My goal is to complete my first phase of trend-following system ... by May 31, 2005.

And, before I finish: "THANK YOU". It always seemed like I have known the two of you for a long time. So, I think THANK YOU sounds too formal. Thank you very much. May you spread the wisdom of thought everywhere you go. With lots of affection,


Wed, 27 Apr 2005



... right to the point, I observe that life, everything and I myself are subject to trends, just like prices. Ups and downs, cycles of volatility expansion and contraction, growth and decline, war and peace.


So is the history of mankind, so is my history. Yet, in this search for meaning I find none. I just keep living, mostly with no real or strong sense of purpose or direction. I find even this questioning nonsense, and I feel more pleasure in drinking one or two glasses of pure wine, as I let emotions flow in and out, and turn off, slightly, the censorship of reason. Then I feel some joy.

You might consider taking the feeling of no purpose to your Tribe as an entry point.



Life is Like a Pencil


You get to

create your own point.


Clip: http://www.purposecreative.com/


Wed, 27 Apr 2005


On The Cutting Edge

Dear Ed,

When my manager said to me, "Unfortunately, you will no longer be in our plan," my life has turned totally upside-down. I've had great joy in my work because it allows me to backtest various trade ideas.


For example, when I do the assignment you give (S&P moving average) in the FAQ I feel a tremendous amount of energy. I feel proud and focused.

But when I hear the news that I'm let go, I try to act like I'm OK, when deep down I'm fearful, scared, frightened, uncertain. What can I do now? How can I face the harsh reality?

I have chest pain and just discomfort everywhere in my body. I feel like I want to pass out. My head is heavy. I want to cry but couldn't fully. I feel tremendous amount of pressure that I can barely handle.

I'm literally dying for TTP. I feel like TTP is the only thing that can help me. I've lost all senses of direction and focus, and I'm just desperate for TTP to help untie those k-nots that create such a huge drama in me. It feels so horrible that it feels I want to die.

Finally, it's the tribe meeting day. I wait on the subway platform very nervously. It's been 10 minutes without a train. If I don't get there in time, or if I don't get on the hot seat tonight, I can't even imagine the consequence. I think I will explode. I will die. (Hmmm, interesting the thinking only makes sense in future tense) As the train goes ever so slowly, I get more and more uneasy. The feelings are building up.

Fortunately I get to the meeting on time. With tons of emotions and a super strong intention I get my way to the hot seat. I cry out loud.

Tears flooding, mucus blocking the nose, just crying out loud. Many of the forms come out. I am rolling on the floor, kneeling, curling my body with my head touching the floor, screaming, crying, cursing, arms stretching for help, kicking myself. The receivers encourage me to feel my feelings. I feel fearful. I feel I have no direction and I don't know where to go.

There are two things I notice during the process. I keep thinking and trying to figure out a solution, and I am frustrated at that, because I know they are prohibiting me from fully experience the true feeling.

At other times when I am feeling terrible and every time the receivers says, "You may actually like this feeling," I just leash out a loud "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! (I don't like it)" I don't want to feel like this. I hate feeling this very uncomfortable feeling.

It reminds me about how you've reflected to me, "I don't like feeling uncomfortable. When I feel uncomfortable I like to blame it on others." Well, this time I am not really blaming anyone but myself. I hate myself for getting into the situation I'm in.

I feel very tired after all the emotional rides. I cry enough that I stop, but I still feel very uncomfortable. No posture feels right. I feel frustrated about the lack of resolution, about my insistence on an answer. I hold two tight fists, and hold them stronger and stronger until my head starts vibrating. As I keep on intensifying and holding the fists tighter and tighter, that feeling suddenly disappears. Hmmm, strange.

Finally, I have my left hand covering part of my face, and I am so frustrated that I press the finger nails into the skin to inflict some kind of pain. As I intensify that pain, suddenly I have a flashback.

It is the time when I am in my senior year of high school as I first come to America, my host-mother gives me until the end of the month to move out because she gets too fed up with my habits (staying up late at night for example).


I felt rejected, unwanted, and desperate as if there is no place in the world for me to stay. I felt fearful about the uncertainty. What can I do? One night, I took a cutter into the bathroom and tried to make a scar on my face! Fortunately, when it started to hurt, I stopped. Gosh, those are the exact same feelings I'm going through right there on the hot seat!! The rejections, unwanted feelings from my manager and the fear about the uncertainty. And I get the flashback right when I press the nails to the face.

Back then, I ended up moving to live with my French teacher and her family, and had the greatest time in my life that totally changed me to be a better person.


Thinking about them I start weeping on the hot seat. It's the tear of appreciation (to them) and also the tear of release (of what I've gone through back then) So while still apprehensive about my situation and worry about what the ever-evolving now-moment is going to bring, I feel a lot better after my TTP session. TTP really saves me as I'm about to break down. Thanks Ed!!

You might consider taking the feeling of wanting someone to save you to your Tribe as an entry point.



Sometimes Asking for Help

in solving a drama


is the drama.



Clip: http://www.depressedchild.org/images/






Sun, 17 Apr 2005

Intentions = Results

Now seems like the right time to share with you my TT and trading experiences since we communicated last summer, if you are still interested in hearing them.

You may or may not recall that after leaving Incline Village at the end of 2002 I went to work for a company in Manhattan ...

After working as an assistant for over a year I began to trade a stock market account for them in April 2004. Over a year has passed since then and I have failed to make any money. I failed to catch any long term trends in the stock market, especially the oil stocks uptrend that began last year.

Before I left Incline Village at the end of 2002 you told me that I needed more experience. More than two years have passed and I see now that you were right.

Until recently I have had very little experience in feeling my feelings. Going to Trading Tribe and regularly sitting in the Hot Seat for a year has helped me to see that.


... Thank you for reviving TTP and giving me the opportunity to finally experience it.

These past 18 months have been very frustrating and difficult for me, yet also enlightening. The feelings that I often find myself working on in TT meetings are the feeling of fear and the feeling of failure.


Now, I am afraid that my time with [Firm] may be coming to an end. Since I began trading in April 2004 my result has been negative, and we know that results equal intentions. This is where my path has taken me so far.

You might consider asking your Tribe to assist you in coming to enjoy your feelings of fear and failure.




Feelings of Fear and Failure


have positive intentions.


Clip: http://pages.sbcglobal.net/