The Trading Tribe
Ed Seykota's FAQ
Home | Send Mail to FAQ | Resources | Ground Rules | FAQ Index

Contributors Say Ed Says

Wed, Jul 31, 2013

Life Lesson in a Pickle Jar


Another take on full and empty glasses:

Thank you for the link.

Wed, Jul 31, 2013

TSP - Question Regarding Exponential Average Calculation


I have begun to get into the calculations for the Exponential Moving Average system, and I have a question for the calculation of the exponential moving average.

I follow your example where you have a price that sits at 10 for a while and suddenly jumps from 10 to 20 in one day, so the initial EA is simply 10 and then goes to 11 when the price jumps to 20. However, for the S&P data you posted for the Exponential Average system I'm curious what method you use to get the initial EA value in order to calculate the future values. Also, I'm curious as to whether you are using the open, high, low, close, or some other combination for the EA calculations.


Thank you for raising this issue.

You can initialize your Exponential Average (Lag) at the first price in the series, or at the simple average of the last N days. If you start it more that three time constants before you use it, your error envelope decays, exponentially, to about 1/30, or (1/e)^3.

You can lag any series. Typically, you use the close.

Wed, Jul 31, 2013

Trading Tribe Process (TTP) and Therapy

Dear Ed,

I am excited to report progress in my efforts to integrate TTP concepts into my traditional psychotherapy practice.

Since learning about, and actually experiencing, the significant impact that can result from using feelings to identify critical incidents, I am shifting my focus more to the body and the physical experience of the people I work with. While the unique power of the group and role-playing cannot be directly translated into a one-to-one therapy setting, the use of feelings as an entry point is a valid and productive method that is yielding some impressive results.

Yesterday, a 61 year-old woman (who is very bright and creative but remains stuck in an unsatisfying job) reports on her "homework" of planning a vacation for herself. She searches thoroughly, plans out her trip, reports excitement about the entire process, and then cannot click on "purchase ticket".

She begins to wonder about things that might go wrong; she imagines arriving at the airport in [City] and learning that her friends are out of town and cannot pick her up to take her to their home. She touches her chest and describes a strong feeling of fear, almost panic. I ask her to stay with the feeling and see if any incident from her past comes to mind. She immediately says, "No, there's nothing."

Realizing we are back in her head, I ask her to return to the image of herself in the airport, all alone. She feels the fear again and begins to talk in a rush of words; I comment that she sounds and looks like a child. She looks at me and says, "I feel like I'm three years old and I don't know what to do."

She continues to experience the fear and talk about how it feels. After a few minutes, she says "I'm remembering when I ran away from home when I was three." She describes how her mother now tells the story as a humorous anecdote about her daughter, that she runs away from home but then gets to the main street and remembers that she wasn't allowed to cross the street so she turns around and goes home. She reports her mother answering the door and saying, dispassionately, "Oh, you're back."

She reports vivid memories of the feelings at the corner of the street, the confusion and fear, the painful feeling of having to return home where her father, an angry, violent and unpredictable man, had recently begun sexually abusing her. We have our critical incident!

The rest of the session is spent exploring the feelings and connecting them to her current fear of "not being prepared" for every unknown possibility, leading her to choose to control the fear by preventing an unknown possibility from occurring. No risks allowed.

She goes on to talk about her mother's difficult childhood, and how her mother also learns to "turn around and go back" rather than leaving her abusive husband. Together we wonder about parents who would allow a three year-old to "run away" from home.

I also enjoy offering her validation and admiration for the spunkiness of a three year-old who tries to improve her life in such a bold manner.

Grinning broadly, she tells me that she has been in therapy many times, for many years, with many therapists, and has never gotten to this emotional connection before. She feels quite certain that she is ready to book her trip.

All of these details do not begin to capture the intensity and aliveness of this session. I feel as excited as she does.

My excitement stems from making the emotional connection myself: our thoughts don't have the power to move us forward if our feelings are not guiding them. My inability to help others, as well as myself, integrate thinking with being and doing, has long been a source of frustration and confusion for me. My work with people has taken on a vitality that has been lacking before now.

I read that traumatic memories are stored in a completely different part of the brain from "ordinary" memories. Feelings appear to be the gateway that liberates us from the grip of the past and the compulsion to repeat it.

Thank you for sharing your process and your progress integrating TTP into your practice.

Good work!

TTP Can Help You Find

and comfort

the little girl inside.

Wed, Jul 31, 2013

Sharing Feelings - Viral Video


On a lighter note, here is a video I suggest to a couple to help them understand the importance of the man learning to listen to a woman and not always try to fix things.

Thank you for the clip.

Wed, Jul. 31, 2013

Looking at Breasts Makes You Healthy


Here's to good health Ed ...

OK, Count me in.

Visual Health Care Program

Wed, Jul 31, 2013

Working on Trading System Project (TSP)


It was good talking with you this afternoon, I went ahead and looked through the website and decided that a good project to work on was the "Exponential Average Crossover" system that essentially trades the S&P continuous futures contract from April 1982 to July 2005 using a relatively simple long-only approach. It appears that other visitors to your site have been able to replicate the system performance to the penny, so I'll see what I can put together in MATLAB and hopefully achieve the same result. The link I am referring to is:

If you have any other project that you'd like to see results from feel free to let me know, I'd probably be interested in almost any kind of automated system analysis that you can think up. Not sure how long this will take considering my work schedule, but I'm hoping to get something put together in the next month or so.


Thank you for helping to extend the work.

Wed, Jul 31, 2013

Old Guy Beats Younger Men at Basketball



Thank you for the link.

Wed, Jul 31, 2013

Panhandler Party

Dear Ed:

You can count on New York to take it over the top.
Thank you for the link.

Wed, Jul 31, 2013

Day Trader

Dear Mr Seykota,

I am not quite sure what to write for my very first FAQ email as I have a lot on my mind that I would like to share with you. I've been trading intraday on and off since 2007 when I moved to the States from Australia and have come across your name in various media. The reason I never followed you more closely is because of the fact that you are a trend trader and I'm not which I thought would not be beneficial to me no matter how successful the trader. How wrong I was!

Now, I know that I am not going to get an answer to anything I raise in this email but given there are no Trading Tribes in my area and I am not at a level where I can start one of my own, I thought I would send the email as a way to share it with you and the rest of the community. I guess I find this a means to open up and acknowledge the issues I have in an open forum that FAQ provides.

I am an I.T. professional, hating his field of work who got interested in trading back in 2004 and have loved it ever since. I guess it is my passion and I never get tired of looking at and studying charts for hours on end. I have traded a number of markets in the Futures but have settled on Oil as a day trading vehicle.

I have read 2 years of the FAQ entries. Those being from 2003 and 2013 so far. I am working through 2011 right now. One thing I have come to realize after reading all the entries, is that your words and wisdom have had a tremendous amount of impact on me. More so than any mentor or trading psychologist I have worked with in the past. And I would like to take this opportunity to Thank You for your immense generosity in sharing your profound knowledge and wisdom with us all.

In saying the above, I feel there are instances when you make very general sweeping remarks which I do not totally agree with. One such comment which I have come across on several occasions and which relates to me directly are your views on Day Trading.

You say that those who day trade are trying to cover up deeper issues of right livelihood. Of course, I can only speak for myself but my choice to go with day trading is the ability to make money on a daily basis. I am an I.T. professional but hated the field and so, back in 2010, after having discussed it in detail with my wife, I decided to leave the technology world and dedicate my whole focus and attention to day trading the Futures markets.

An incorrect move? Perhaps, since I am now struggling to make money and my wife has been the sole breadwinner of the house for quite some time which puts added pressure on me and my trading. I guess, if you want to say that I am running away from a career field that I did not like, then you are right but I'm not sure if I'm hiding a deep personal issue by turning to day trading.

I could be wrong though but at this point in my life and given the our current financial situation, I do not see any other way of approaching trading right now. In any case, I have been doing this for quite some time and feel that technically I am a sound trader capable of picking good entry points. I have also become very intuitive which I think is a natural progression for anyone spending as much time as I have, studying the live market. I also made the decision to stick with one market, the Crude market, and I think this has helped in my intuitive instincts as well. However, my biggest problem in trading right now are my EXITS! I can't seem to be able to take profits when they are there for the taking. I'm always looking for the home run on every single trade. Who knows how much money I've left on the table, not taking my profits, only to see the trade go against me to take me out with a few ticks profit or worse still, stop me out.

So what does someone who CANNOT recall many traumatic or formative experiences from his childhood do in order to be able to get past the obstacles which have prevented him from achieving his goals in trading? As I go through the FAQ entries, certain events which I've always been aware of, pop up as perhaps an area that needs to be worked on but I'm not sure if these are really issues that can affect my trading. I have listed below the major events or instances that stand out in my memory and I would appreciate it if you can just tell me if these are indeed important events that need to be worked on. Again, I know you don't give specific answers to questions in FAQ, so perhaps a yes or a no will suffice. I apologize if there isn't a nice flow to what is to follow but I wrote them down as I was reading FAQ and whatever triggered in my mind, I quickly typed in.

1. My dad has always been very indifferent about money, meaning he has never cared to accumulate wealth and does not regard money as very high in his priority list. Don't get me wrong, he is very calculating when it comes to getting a good deal and making sure the numbers stack up but he has never been worried about having or not having a 'lot' of money. Instead my mum is the exact opposite. It's interesting that even though they both come from a poor up bringing, they have totally different attitudes towards money. I totally understand why my mum would have the issues she has about money (or lack of it) but i find it amazing that my dad does not share the same intensity about money. Perhaps, I've inherited a bit from both parents in that I yearn for wealth and being rich and yet, I cannot hold onto profits and have the same sense of carelessness about money as my dad.

2. Someone in FAQ said: "Somehow I do not feel worthy / deserving of the small fortune I acquire through my trading....why? Is this related to my constant self belittling talks and comments and self-victimization?" Are they talking about me :) I know consciously I feel deserving of whatever riches I acquire through trading because I've put in so many hours into it but perhaps subconsciously, I also feel undeserving. Yes, I also play the victim or belittle myself but I always thought I do it to seek attention. Am I wrong? Is there more to it than just a futile attempt at seeking attention?

3. I remember an instance from not that long ago when I was still in a long distace relationship with my then girlfriend that my dad made a comment about me not being ready to get married yet because I don't have a stable job and he doesn't think I'm capable of supporting a family yet. I don't think he considers me a 'man' yet but rather a boy who still has to rely on his parents and sister to provide for him. Even though I don't think about this on any given day, could it still be affecting my trading at the subconscious level?

4. I remember when my mum would be tough on me for not wanting to go to school. I would cry on most days not wanting to go to school and I specifically remember a particular song she loved to listen to in the car which I hated with all my being but still had to listen to it on the way to school. I was so depressed and miserable on the way to school but ok once there with friends.

5. She also whipped us into shape if we disobeyed her and were too noisy or if we made her angry. I guess in those days, spanking a child was a normal thing to do and boy, did my sister and I got our share of the spanking :) Is this why I am so afraid to make a mistake? Is this why I am a perfectionist to a certain extent in all I do? But do any of these cause a hinderance in my trading success? I just don't know!

6. A contributor writes: "I find that teasing someone makes them mad at me and then they turn around come after me and I wind up being the victim." This relates to me as well but mostly in my interaction with my wife as I hate those who are bullies or tease others to make themselves feel good because inside they are hurting.

I guess there are still little bits and pieces of other issues but I have pretty much outlined the major ones. Again, I know you are not going to address each one individually but I would like to know if any of the points discussed, can affect my trading in some shape or form? I mean, my mum would hit me and my sister a lot to keep us disciplined but how would that show itself in my trading? I can't seem to put the cause and effect together so to speak.

Mr Seykota, I also think a lot of what you teach and talk about is also what I learned from watching 'The Secret'. Not sure if you have seen it or not but they also talk about the power of the mind and how training your mind to focus on whatever you want will manifest itself in the physical form in due course.

Finally, I would like to thank you once again and even though I am not a trend follower or a systems trader, I very much appreciate the psychological aspects of what you teach in these pages. Although I cannot afford to attend your workshop or breathwork at this time, I hope to be able to attend a TT meeting one day soon.

Thank you. God bless and I look forward to your response.

Thank you for sharing your process.

Hating work, hating school and living off your wife's earnings seem consistent with day-trading, and also with using drugs and alcohol.

At this point, I do not see you have a problem as you state nothing you wish to change. You seem successful in avoiding Right Livelihood and you appear to have an enabler for a wife.

The Rocks Process can help people locate and resolve deep issues; however, they first have to acknowledge they have a situation they want to change, and then somehow muster the willingness to move through it.

Absent desire to change, issues serve as little more than justifications for delinquencies.

Perhaps your e-mail to me signals some willingness to get on the path.

If so, you might consider replacing day trading with activities that serve others.

You might also consider discussing our interchange with your wife, perhaps also telling her your feelings about <getting back at your mother>.

Day Trader
resting up between trades.

Hey, honey, bring me another beer.

Tue, Jul 30, 2013

Applying for the Austin Tribe

Hi Chief,

Thank you for having me in the TT meeting. I already book the air tickets for this Thursday, August 1st, as well as for the Aug 15th, Sept. 05. Plus the trip for the TTP workshop in Sept. 13th and the Breathwork on Sept 27th. I commit to a TTP intensive 2013.

I have quite a few rocks in my pocket. I don't expect to fix them all quickly. I would like to work on them when I get chance to be on hot seat. I believe I also benefit a lot to be the receiver.

I have two current hot issues:

1. I am feeling some fear when I design & test my trading system. I have been trading on some ideas in the past 9 years. I trade small and infrequently so I lose slowly. Recent 3 years I make sporadic discretionary trade on some of my observations which I think are right way. I feel agonized when missing signal while I am busy on work and taking care two children, and also there's something between me and doing back testing.

The tension and frustration of trying to do the three things(Family, Trading, and Work) grows recent year and eventually affect my job performance. After I leave my job I plan to spend few months on the trading system and test before I look for a new job. While doing full time trading system design, I start to play with other easier ideas to try to get a profitable system ASAP, instead of focusing on my original idea. I somehow start to feel my original idea may not work or too hard to code. I want to work on these feeling and finish my plan.

2. I am having a back condition and doctors can find nothing. Now I am doing stretching everyday and I can manage them better. It's not pain but some numbness and weakness. My doctors believe my brain is doing something to my body. I want to explore it on hot seat.

Here are some more rocks I want to work on in the long term.

My first Rock is self doubt or self invalidation when I have conflict with others. When people yell at me me or blame me like an authority, I tend to shutdown, agree and give in, only later I find out it's unfair or I was right or I am not "that bad". I tend to please and attract people who is rough on me, treat me without respect and I train people well around me to do this on me. I tend to look for and please somebody who is more capable than me and hope to feel safe or happy to be secondary. Recent year after tribe work part of me wakens and I start to say nos and breakup with my "best friends" and my boss. I am a little lonely, and disoriented now, or independent.

The second Rock is I am easy to give up when a task looks formidable or things temporarily not going well, specially for those goals which need long time consistent commitment. Or after starting a work, when things turn out not as easy, simple or straight forward as I expect, when things need extra effort than I thought, I have a rock to withdraw and distract myself, or take shortcut. I am easy to feel pessimistic and give up further effort. It also happens in communication, I don't bother to elaborate situation to other people. A typical thought is " Oh I have to explain the situation again to her from start, it's not worth the bother." or "writing report of this is hard, let me do it later".

I like quick solution and I know I won't stick to anything long enough and won't have any follow through, even my conscious mind wants to. From childhood I envy other student who can stick to something and eventually show achievement. I would start something loud, let everyone know my goal , and forget it couple days later. A example is few years ago I finish a program to lose weigh quickly, I lost 28 LBS in 1 week, for eating nothing but vitamin and water for 7 days. It might hurt me and cause or worsen my back pain. For I am sure I wont' be able to stick to a gradual program exactly for a week. Recent success on snapshot process is a improvement ( ,March 18, 2013 Sticking to the System). But I still have the fear this might still lurk around somehow. There's no more actual failure of stick-to-it-ness for I set no more conscious goal recently, except I am still sticking to my plan of trading system design now. But now I have a fear that my trading system design might going nowhere as another karma.

Thank you,

Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider localizing your back pain to the exact area it occupies.

Depending on its location, it might associate, among other things, with overwhelm, lack of financial support and / or withholding affection. The Tribe can help you sort this out.

Since you are a new member, you might not take the hot seat until some of the other members finish their work. Still, you can observe and start to participate in the processes.

Your Back Has Lots of Room
to hold issues

until you resolve them.

Tue, July 30, 2013

System Design

Hi Mr. Seykota,

I have been working on the development of computer codes to back-test various trend following strategies over the past 8 months, and have finally put together a complete program that tests the standard "turtle" system of buying 55-day high break-outs with a "2N" stop-loss.

I purchased forex data to test the system with, and the most promising results were trading the Euro which showed an approximate 300% return over the span of about 12 years, which is not stellar but seems to be a good starting point.

At any rate, I am now at the point where I could spend a whole lot of time trying to optimize different variables but I'd really like to find some other like-minded individuals to work on this project with or to possibly get some guidance from to possibly help speed up this process of discovery. I am curious if you have any advice for me.

Thanks for your time,
Thank you for the invitation.

I can collaborate with you if you'd like to post some extensions to the Trading Systems Project (TSP) on line.

Tue, Jul 30, 2013

Keeping the Juice

Hi Ed,

I realize after reading your milk theory in relation to trading systems that I can relate to it in a different way.

I related to this when my team of traders would make a coffee cup full of money. I called this coffee (juice) because it was usually done off of commodities and it never made it into the cup to stay. My traders would know how to make a lot of juice, but they struggled with understanding when to condense the cup. They never knew how to pack it down so they wouldn't over flow the poor of the milk. In my terms let the juice overflow the coffee cup, and let the profit out of the account. Well every morning I fill my coffee cup up, and this morning I was able to relate it to your milk theory of system.

This becomes knowledge to me, because I shape my systems faulty in a way off of this problem. The fact that they did not keep the juice in the cup, I ended up developing it into a method that did not let all my profits run.

This is something that is a problem in one way, but a success in another. The fact that I have a system developed into making money and securing it that is a good thing. However, after years of seeing my system still working, and still holding levels of entry's into the system it shows me that it is flawed, and does not take advantage of the (one trade pays for them all). This has led to over trading and letting the juice out of the cup.

This is my first attempt at FAQ and not sure if it is that accurate, but just felt like i needed to write it when i had that aha this morning.

Thank you for sharing your process.
July 29, 2013

Wants to Attend Austin Tribe


I had filled out the course application and ... all I needed to do is write the check. After really giving it some thought I don't think it is the best thing for me right now due to the cost of the course.

I would like you to know that I have been keeping up regularly with the FAQ's web page, and been further developing my growth through it. I have read The Trading Tribe book in the past and it sits daily on my desk. I am aware of the process of his methods of teaching and advancing individuals growth through tribe work. The only pre-requisite that I have not had to attend the Tribe would be the actual attendance of the workshop.

I do think highly of your ways of teaching, and think it is something I would like to stay in tune with to further advance my growth and ability in the business of trading, life, and developing my automated system for trading. The reason why I think I would be a good participant for the Tribe is because I am willing to work, and I accept the process he uses with individuals.

I would like to attend the August 1st. Tribe if you would allow the exception.

Please accept my appreciation for taking the time to discuss matters in the past over the phone last November.


Thank you for raising this issue.

Austin Tribe members know, from actual Tribe experience, how to take the hot seat and how to assist others through the processes.

When I allow someone with no actual Tribe experience into the group, especially late in the series, we generally have to stop and train him, and that may take a couple meetings - even if he is Superman.

Your ambivalence about the Workshop indicates you might have some other issues that might impede effective integration.

You may re-apply for the Austin-Bastrop Tribe when you have some Workshop or actual Tribe experience.

Having Super Powers

does not assure
you understand the culture.

July 29, 2013

Trading Tribe Process (TTP) Report


We begin by drumming. I feel relaxed after. Ed asks if anyone wants to work and several raise their hands. I raise mine as well. A process involving more than one hot seat ensues…it seems it becomes a spontaneous chemical reaction.

A tribe member expresses her issue of wanting to "hold back". She is afraid she will hurt others somehow if she really expresses herself. The tribe challenges her to let it out. I relate to the issue. She gets into a form and recalls a time when she makes a really good grade and her father chides her to not get the big head. He basically withholds giving her the praise she deserves and refuses to celebrate her accomplishment with her. We do a role play. She has a difficult time connecting with her feelings. She gets into another form and begins feeling sadness. We do the role play again and it appears she connects with her feelings.

Another HS wants to connect more intimately with his wife. HS1 plays the role of wife to HS2 in a role play and feelings are explored regarding what each is looking for regarding intimacy. They discuss coming up with a menu of activities to do together to bring some new things and experiences into the relationship. After doing the role play it appears they have an agreement to pursue some common activities together.

I am not sure how my HS gets into the direction it goes. I mention my issue in the beginning and make a comment about a scene from the movie "the king's speech" and Ed suggests I will give a talk in front of the tribe using only "bad words". I find there is a feeling of guilt surrounding certain words.

I begin saying all the words I think of that are "wrong". I also say words that my father, for instance uses a few times when I am young that trigger feelings regarding sadness to some degree. Racial words that affect my view of others that is inaccurate…words that put a barrier between me and just loving my friends that I grow up with. I say a sexual word and a tribe member calls me the "naughty boy".

It triggers lots of laughter inside…there is a naughty boy inside. He is sexual but fun and wild…I think of Robin Williams playing Peter Pan. I get into a form and I describe an energy box around me that serves to keep The Pan in check. I do a drama with my parents and me just accepting them the way they are. I feel good loving them as they are now. Three weeks before this tribe meeting I decide to explore a new relationship. I have been in limbo with a previous relationship for a long while.

I notice I come out of the box a little to initiate just a little conversation. We had not met…just send a few text messages. We decide to meet 3 weeks later on the weekend after this tribe meeting. We had not been communicating and I had really thought maybe she was not interested. I ask if she still wants to meet and she says sure. I almost back out though…but decide to go ahead and just meet. I drive to Houston.

We meet and seeing her the first time was breathtaking. We go to a movie and hit it off great. Dinner and dancing ensues. After our first meeting I tell her I want to know her more and maybe we can come up with a "menu" of things we would love to do together. She likes that idea. I ask her often how she feels about everything. She tells me. We play, we dance, we laugh, we love.

Thank you for sharing your process and the link.

Congratulations on your date.

July 29, 2013

Online Education

Hi Ed,

I wanted to reach out one more time regarding the piece - - that I shared about a week ago.

Did you have an opportunity to review the project? If so, please let me know if you think it's a resource you'd share on your site with your readers.


Thank you for the link.

July 29, 2013

Trading Tribe Process (TTP) Report


I arrive at the Tribe meeting on time.

The first process has to do with a Tribe member who wants to connect more intimately with her father. During the role play, she shows how she interacts with her father by going to him when she gets a good grade in school and is very happy. Her father says things that dampen her spirit such as, "let's not get too excited" and "you may not do as well next time." She shuts down. The Tribe member role plays again but this time she shares her feelings of sadness and disappointment when he reacts the same way to her grades. She doesn't shut down. I can relate to this situation because when I would seek approval from my parents, my brother, who feels jealous, would always chime in with a negative comment. This would irritate me.

The next process is about a Tribe member seeking a more intimate relationship with his wife. She makes deprecating comments toward him. He is a "Stay at Home" father and she makes comments like he doesn't measure up to her expectations of a man such as having a huge career. During role play, he learns to share feelings with his wife. He finds out that she doesn't want physical intimacy all of the time. Sometimes she would just like to do things where they are sharing an experience such as going to a movie or dancing. Throughout this process all I could think about was how much I wished I that would have had a "Stay at Home" father then, maybe I would have had a closer connection with my dad. This thought gives me a feeling of sadness and regret.

The last process involves a Tribe member who feels that his parents expect him to conduct himself in a way that would always please them. For example, never using "foul" language or expletives to express how he feels. During role play, his parents find the language he uses offensive and he shuts down feeling trapped as if he was inside of a box. During the next role play, he uses the explicit language again and his parents react negatively as well but, he expresses his feelings of sadness. He realizes that they love him but, just can't tolerate that kind of expression. The Tribe member figures out that when speaking to his parents he should refrain from using explicit language in order to maintain lines of communication and out of respect for their feelings. I can relate to this process because sometimes I have felt trapped in the box of my parents always expecting me to be the "good" son and I would feel angry and resentful.

Thank you for sharing your experience of the processes.

July 29, 2013


Dear Ed,

I want to take my sweating to the hot seat at the upcoming Tribe meeting.
I am particularly afraid of failing and of running some sort of hot seat drama.
I also feel very inexperienced and I feel embarrassed to be in front of a skillful and experienced tribe.
I also chuckle as I see how these fears and anxieties are related to my drama.
I also wonder how can I go about "sweating" at will when on the hot seat as it's an unconscious process over which I have no control.
I had a few moderate bouts of sweating whilst writing this email.
I think about writing it since last Monday,but I have procrastinated and I have also experienced a lot of resistance at the idea of coming to Austin.


Thank you for sharing your process.

like most everything

can provide a TTP entry point.


July 27, 2013


Dear Ed,

I wait more than two weeks to write my report of our third Tribe meeting, wanting to observe my reactions and notice what, if anything, is different. I also want to read what my fellow Tribe members have to say about my first time on the hot seat, as if to amplify my process. I am having trouble identifying what I want to say.

My certainty about my "rocks" seems quaint, almost comical, now. I feel grateful to the members who empathize by recalling their first time on the hot seat and don't judge me for "wanting to control the process." I feel unapologetic for being myself and needing to do it the way that seems necessary for me.

I feel surprised and relieved to learn that my focus on "holding back" for fear of hurting others is an illusion that I use to justify not being myself. Everyone agrees that they will be okay with my "letting it all out" and possibly hurting them, and when I "try" to do that I can't find very much waiting to explode. My judgment of myself and my fear in that area seem to dissolve.

I then wonder what lies behind the fear and keep running into my need for approval. Even when I am crunched into a ball in the middle of the Tribe, shouting that there is nothing wrong with me, I am worrying if the roots of my hair look unattractive as my head hangs upside down! I feel very uncomfortable exposing myself, right now and then as well.

With both the other members who work that night, I spontaneously slip into playing roles in their process. I am aware of worrying that I am having to guess as how to respond and that I am not getting it "right". My own role-play, with a member playing my father, displays my sadness that he seems not to be proud of me for my accomplishments.

At the same time, I notice that the past two weeks have included some major steps for me, in which I rely on my feelings to make decisions that I might have held back from previously. I am more frank and forthcoming in a relationship that is usually controlled by my need for approval. I make a decision to sell the lake house that I have owned for twenty years and cast my retirement plans to the wind.

My second thoughts are fleeting and easy to push through. Moments of insecurity and doubt are more comfortable to me now and so I don't have to worry about them so much, I can just let them be. I don't have to be confident of being "right" or having someone's approval all the time because I can accept the feelings as I have them.

This feel both good and confusing, and I am less afraid.

Thank you for sharing your process.

In Life as in Trading

certainty follows
acceptance of uncertainty.

July 27, 2013

Applying for the Austin Tribe

Hi Chief,

I like the idea of Rock Process helping improving the situation without conscious effort. Every performing art is about replacing rocks, like music play, acrobat, Kung Fu, dance etc. The best moves are always unconscious moves, without need to touch up. It is essentially 无为而无不为. (Doing everything by doing nothing).

As you mention in the Market Wizard, Psychology decides the quality of the analysis. I really feel it during my recent trading system development. To design a really robust and profitable system, one needs to be willing to experience all hard feelings to do the thorough, hard work. One source code bug can disguise a bad system as a good profitable system. Scrutiny is absolutely necessary. Sometimes a good testing result is entertaining, and prompts me to move on and ignore some suspicious points. I log such feelings and prepare them for the tribe meeting.

Now I am more clear on the realization of two goals, one is to develop a robust, adaptive, fully automated system, to express my trading idea in code. Build it as a well trained Fred. Put them into backtest, and then connect them to trade server, liberate myself from the chore of day-in day-out trade decision and temporary results.

The other is more important, to develop the organic part of the system, which is myself, with Tribe tools, and train myself in everyday life, to nurture my relationship with the world around me, including my trading system, by working on my Rocks.


Thank you for sharing your process.

I plan to have meetings on the 1st and 15th of August and the 5th of September.

July 25, 2013


Hi Ed,

My goal for experiencing the Disappearance Process is to learn a method to stay present during painful emotion. Currently when painful emotions arise I use various methods of distraction to avoid my feelings. Maybe if I can learn how to stay present I can get to know my feelings more intimately and this will lead me to understand their positive intentions.

I have a commitment on August 1st, I wonder if the Austin tribe meets any other days?

Thank you.

Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider bringing an actual situation to Tribe as an entry point.

I plan to have meetings on the 1st and 15th of August and the 5th of September.

July 24, 2013

Wave Rider


Thank you. Under your guidance. You are an invaluable resource, thank you for sharing your wisdom. My trading vision improves alongside of training. I learn to watch what I ask for. Universal answers are always more challenging(wonder), new intent fuels my writing(precision) Systemic inputs definition my process management(focus). Trades flow. I enjoy my Boogie Board. A Morey Boogie boarder is the banjo player among surfing pro Guitarists. I do not need the schematics of a wave construction to know when to catch it, and when I should dive under it. My Stops in place. I integrate my policies regarding trailing stops and calculate potential loss before entering a trade. I find new time to study and catch waves.

Thank you Ed.

Thank you for sharing your process.

In Surfing as in Trading

you have to know how
to enter and exit.

July 23, 2013



Hope your week is off to a good start! I'm an independent researcher gathering resources for an article about the intersection of post-traumatic stress disorder and drug addiction and, as such, I came upon your site.

I'm writing because I was wondering if you had any resources on my topic to which you could refer me, whether they be about treatments, research studies, or really any other form of information. I'm leaving all doors open until I develop a better sense of how these two issues are discussed, both separately and together.

Also, I thought you'd like to know that there's a broken link on your site (on this page:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD has moved from to a redesigned site with no redirect. If you'd like to correct it, the updated page is at Sorry to add another item to your to-do list!

Thank you for the catch and link.

July 23, 2013


Dear Ed,

Thanks for your comments on FAQ. Your humility and humbleness is indeed commendable.

Being an agnostic person, I learn from every religion/faith. To be good and to do good - that is the whole of religion (quote by Vivekananda) is my belief system.

Ganesh, the God of Wisdom and the master of removing obstacles is a symbol in itself. The attached picture explains the qualities one learns from its symbolism. Such behavioral qualities help remove the obstacles.

By the way, I am not removing you from the lineup. One gets what one deserves not what one desires :)

Thanks again for sharing your wisdom via FAQ.

With best regards,

Thank you for your support and information.

July 23, 2013

Applying for the Austin Tribe

Hi Chief,

While I patiently wait for the big workshop, I notice your standard for qualifying Austin Tribe is "1. Have Workshop or considerable Tribe experience."

I wonder if I qualify to apply for the current session, with the next meeting on August 1st.

I notice that since this year, it's getting harder to summon local TT meetings. While I continue my effort on hosting local meetings, I would like to consider fixing myself before I can "fix" the situation of the local tribe. I have plenty of Rocks in my checklist.

Thank you for your consideration!

Thank you for raising the issue.

I wonder if you can send me a description of your issue.

July 23, 2013

Picking Nits

Perhaps I am nit-picking (though I feel it is an act of caring to pick all the nits I can find!). Anyway, in your comments on clients who display the form of "wanting to control the process" you state that they may start off by "declaring their issue up front".

Then in your list of criteria for attending the Austin Tribe you include, "Define your issue in advance, in writing, to FAQ."

I wonder if this means we might define it in advance in writing to FAQ and then discard it as we sit ourselves down on the Hot Seat.

Nit or not?

Thank you for the catch.

The item (Holding Back, directly below) now differentiates between "defining the issue up front" and "declaring the outcome up front."

Pickers of nits (head louse eggs) provide a valuable service of keeping heads clear. Same with pickers of FAQ nits (typos).

The best pickers of all, in my opinion, however, carry banjos.

You might consider taking your feelings about picking nits to Tribe.


"Whoever is careless with the truth
in small matters cannot be trusted
with important matters."
- Albert Einstein

July 23, 2013

Trading Tribe Process (TTP) Report - Holding Back

Hi Ed,

Thanks for hosting another tribe meeting.

I travel to Austin on Thursday morning for the tribe meeting. When I get to the airport, I realize that the airline cancels my flight to Austin. I start to think about the possibility of missing the meeting or not getting to Austin on time. I feel lost for a few seconds. I want to attend the meeting and be on time. I start to search for options and I end up booking a flight with another airline. I arrive to the ranch just 10 minutes before the meeting starts.

However, I have difficulty to focus during the first half of the meeting. I feel that I do not fully support hot seat in the first half.

During the meeting, a tribe member takes to the hot seat her issue of "holding back". She expresses fear of hurting people if she really opens up. It seems to me that hot seat plans her process beforehand. She already knows the critical incident (or she thinks she knows it), she has the medicinal rock, she knows the rock donors, and she also already choose role players for the process. She is trying to control the process.

I recall trying to control my first processes too. In my experience, my processes end up developing completely different to what I originally plan.

Initially, hot seat has difficulty getting in touch with her feelings. She is in the analysis mode. She finally experiences some forms and feelings. She recalls an event with her father. She gets a 98% in a class or exam and she wants to share her accomplishment with the father. However, the father invalidates her and tells her to do not get too excited about the grade. We role play this event. As soon as hot seat shows some excitement, the father automatically invalidates her. Hot seat expects some reaffirmation or congratulation, and somehow tries to change her father's response.

For this process, Ed follows a "free form" approach. I find processes with sequences easier to follow.

Hot seat gets into another form. She expresses sadness. She is now into feelings. We role play the event again. This time, it seems easier for hot seat to just accept her father's response. I wonder if this process might be the beginning of something new for hot seat.

We jump to another process. Hot seat wants to connect and share feelings with his wife. The wife is busy and does not seem to want to connect. The previous hot seat role plays the wife. During role playing, it seems to me that they just want different things. Hot seat wants to connect sharing feelings. The wife wants to connect doing couple activities together.

Finally, a tribe member takes to the hot seat his issue of "feeling inside a box". He reports that previously when he wants to get out of the box, he does wild things. However, he does not feel like doing wild things anymore. It seems to me that hot seat's parent teach him how to live inside the box. This way, hot seat does not do things that make the parents look bad in their community. During role playing, hot seat does a good job accepting his parents the way they are. I relate to this process in a way that I am learning to accept my parents the way they are.

For the past week, I feel discouraged and with difficulty to focus at work. I want to change some aspects of my work, and I notice that I am postponing this. I feel relatively "safe and comfortable" at my current job. Somehow, I am waiting to be completely clear of what I want to do next before I make a move. I wonder if this might be my excuse for doing nothing.

Thank you for sharing your process - and your feelings about and during the meeting.

When a client has control issues, he naturally figures ways to control the Rocks Process, say by bringing in prefab Rocks, declaring the outcome of the process up front, etc.

In this case, I typically allow the client to run the process for a while, since that displays his actual form, and let the form grow and observe where it goes. Somewhere along the line, I look for an opening to assist him in amplifying one of his feelings that associates with the form, say <sadness>, and go on from there.

Trying to get the client to do the process "correctly" does not work, as he already has his form on display. If the Process Manager finds something "wrong" with the client's form, he (the PM) might have some associating issue that the client's issue triggers.

In another recent case, the client, relatively new to Tribe work, tries to dig himself, furiously, into the rug. The Tribe encourages this, and finds no associating incident; the floor drama, then, turns out to represent the client's idea of how to please the Tribe. The underlying issue, <having to please parents and developing ways to rebel>, may likely develop as the Tribe progresses.

In this way, Process Management has a lot in common with Trend Following.

TTP Process Managers

have to go with what they get
even if it doesn't look
like an emotion.


July 23, 2013

Wants to Go Further


I have read Ed's the trading tribe book and I am interested in taking the TT process . However I am currently living in Hong Kong . Could you please advise me how to get started?


Thank you for raising the issue of taking the work further.

1. You can look for a Tribe in your area; Resources \ Tribe Directory, above.
2. You can sign up for the September 13 Workshop, see above.
3. You can start your own Tribe.

July 22, 2013

Wants to Disappear in Austin

Hi Ed,

I wonder if I can attend a Austin tribe meeting as a guest with the intention of experiencing the Disappearing Process?

Thank you for asking.

We meet next in Austin, on Thursday, August 1, 5:00 PM-11:00 PM.

The requirements for attending include:

1. Have Workshop or considerable Tribe experience.
2. Define your issue in advance, in writing, to FAQ.
3. Send a report to FAQ after your process.

I use the Disappearance Process as an introductory demonstration of working with Forms - and also as a demonstration of pacing resistance.

In the Rocks Process, we do not generally take forms to term, to the zero point where they disappear. We go the other way, amplifying them to help locate a critical incident.

I wonder what you might like to accomplish with the Disappearance Process.

July 22, 2013

Guru Purnima

Dear Ed,

Greetings from India!

Guru Purnima is an Indian festival dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers. This festival traditionally celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists, to thank their teachers.

Happy Gurpurnima!! Attached please find pics of 3 people whom i learn the most from.....Charlie Munger (Rationality), Warren Buffett (Do what you love, do it well) and Edward Seykota (Everybody gets What They Want!)

Thanks Guru!

Thank you for the greetings, and for the honor of appearing as one of your teachers.

I wonder if you might consider replacing me in your lineup with a very wise old soul and true master of removing obstacles.


master of removing obstacles.

July 22, 3013

Workshop Pricing

What are the pricing changes after June 30th?

Thank you,

Thank you for raising the issue of Workshop prices.

The current price, $3,499, holds through July 31, after which it goes to $3,999 through August 31, then to $4,999 until one week before the Workshop. Day of event, bring $5,000 cash.

We Still Take Dollars

Next time around
you might have to pay in ounces.

July 22, 2013


Dear Ed,

I sweat when reading your reply. [Directly below]


Thank you for sharing your process.

Your analysis of issues with your girlfriend, Grof and character provides an example of the DIM (Do-It-Myself) process.

Reporting a form, such as sweating, gives us an entry point for the Rocks Process.

Nervous Sweat

provides a good entry point.

July 22, 2013

Trading Tribe Process (TTP) Report

Dear Ed,

I really do not know what to write: all and nothing! I fell a lot of resistance to keeping up with the TTP work and even thinking about it. I also feel that a part of me really wants to work on my issues and when I read the members' report on the latest Austin meeting I regret not being there.

It seems to me that events and people somehow conspire (I do not know whether to say for or a against me...) to make sure that I move forward. I also feel I get something out of the tribe work ,one way or the other, even if/when I act or do drama.

As an example, an old/new member joins the Amsterdam Tribe (he is a former member and workshop graduate that returns after a hiatus) and he makes me realize that a very serious issue that I have is that I do not handle money responsibly, not only in trading but in personal life as well.

When I have to deal with money I either get overwhelmed by feelings and panic and act irrationally not knowing what to do or I just ignore the issue (such as by archiving bank reports without reading them carefully or even at all).

This issue of ignoring problems/not dealing with them or getting overwhelmed by them surfaces in other areas of my life, but there I am generally able to deal with it and avoid or limit damage considerably, to the point where it's more of a character weakness than a real issue. I also notice that I am making progress and that sometimes all it takes is a little practice and willingness to do the work and acknowledge the feelings that come up without getting sidetracked by them.

But with money it goes out of control. I also have no idea where this comes from: I can't pinpoint a donor or an event and no one in my family has a history of blowing up or getting into serious money trouble.

It's a major issue for me and I fear the consequences: I have already lost a lot of money and I do not want to continue on this path.

Before going to the meeting I read this paragraph from Grof's book and I feel it's very relevant to me: "And finally the root center [...] has above all distinctly anal connections. Work on the blockages in this area is associated with anal spasms and pain or concerns about loss of control over the anal sphincter (flatulence or even defecation). [...] It occurs particularly frequently in individuals who are obsessive-compulsive, have latent or manifest homosexual tendencies, or a rigid system of defenses and excessive fear of loss of control. Additional associations involve spastic diarrhea or constipation, irritable colon, ulcerous colitis and, on a more subtle level, serious difficulties in handling money."

Curiously,about at the same time( +/- 30mins)when I am at the meeting feeling huge anxiety about this "handling money" issue and thinking about it, my girlfriend is at home thinking about this same issue. We share and talk about it and then I make an agreement with myself and share it with my girlfriend: if by the time the Austin series ends I do not feel I have really solved this issue, I intend to close my fund and get a regular job and do not do any trading or investing.

I feel responsibility when stating it and I feel good about having a plan of action that deals with both the good and the bad outcome. I feel that either way I act responsibly: if I solve the issue I can trade profitably and prudently, if I do not I can minimize the problem whilst getting an income and continuing to work on it in a safe environment such as the tribe.

I feel the urge to get back to trading as I see gold might have bottomed out. I know this observation comes from my market experience and not from my desire to engage in drama, which makes staying out even harder. I am long gold and silver with a nice tight stop in my paper trading. I trust my ability to identify good risk/reward trades and good trends and trends changes, but I do not trust my ability to manage risk responsibly and cut losses without pulling my stops in real trading.

Another important insight that I get, this time from the Chief of the tribe, is that sometimes it's all about acknowledging feelings and then do what you're supposed to do regardless, such as "I have this back tested system that works,it generates this signal and I feel fear. OK,that's great,let's pull the trigger anyway."

I notice that when there's a knot about a certain feeling I am more inclined to act on the feeling when I shouldn't and then ignore it when it's message is really meaningful.

I confirm my participation in the next Austin meeting on the 1st of August. My plane lands in Austin Wednesday at midnight and takes off again on Friday at 7am. On Thursday night I may decide to leave after the meeting and sleep at the airport to make sure I catch the plane, as it sounds safer to me than waking up at the ranch at 4am to leave.

I notice provocation and overloading work well with me in uncovering my real feelings.

Thank you for sharing your process.

You might consider taking your feelings about <pleasing others> to tribe.

People Pleasing

may show up as fatigue,
performance anxiety,
loneliness and preoccupation
with what others think.

July 21, 2013

Two DIM Rocks

Dear Ed,

Hope you are in the best of health. Sorry that all these times I never wish u like this one though you are so important in my life.

I read your few replies about Rocks and Rock Donors.

Fortunately Yesterday I identify two rocks in my life. This has brought a lot of clarity and so thanks again.

First Rock donor is my mother. My mother from 1970 tells me: Do not judge. See only the good side. So my mind gets conditioned. It sees only the good things in people and thus I become patsy. I get NPAs after so so many years of carrying that rock. Even while all this is happening, my mind resists the feeling about reality. How can my mother be wrong about this? So I do not feel the feeling and take its positive intentions. This lead me to noticing only the good thing and ignoring the bad part of people leading to big NPAs.

Second Rock of behaving like mother Theresa, i e always helping others even while going out of the way. This leads me to say yes even when I want to say NO. Basically not accepting the reality that people could be bad. I suffer because I believe my mother completely. I do not see or observe that times have changed. That people could be bad.

I am till now trapped in the cocoon of unreality.

I now start living in the present moment of now and accept reality easily.

This realization - this awareness - this feeling I is helping me to become rational. I feel better. I observe better.

So my Dear Ed, Thanks again and again.

I am so glad about all I learned from you since last few months.

Thank you,

Thank you for sharing your process and your insights into some of your patterns - and for raising the issue of DIM rocks.

Some Tribe members show up to Tribe meetings bearing rocks in anticipation of taking the hot seat for the Rocks Process. Sometimes they name these prefab rocks with a magic marker or even decorate them with paint.

I call these rocks DIM (Do-It-Myself) rocks or pebbles. Members who bring them usually already have smooth logical analyses of their situations.

The TTP Rocks process does not start with the client (hot seat guy) presenting DIM rocks; it starts with the client stating a problem or situation that troubles him. By amplifying his forms and freezing his feelings, the client enters a deeply contemplative state in which he can identify a critical incident.

Then, through role playing the critical incident, the client in identifies how his feelings link to his deep reflexive behavior. We call these links, Rocks. A Rock carries the link between deep feelings and deeply automatic actions. The client also comes to know the identity of his Rock Donors, generally parents or other authority figures.

Then, through more role playing, while still in the contemplative state, the client re-programs his Rocks. This may involve returning or "for-giving" the "medicinal" Rocks to their donors, typically against considerable resistance from the donors - and accepting new "proactive" Rocks.

Then, through even more role playing, the client practices using his new proactive Rocks until the Tribe notices the client has new and deeply automatic response patterns.

Typically, after the process, clients report other people responding to them differently, and their problems clearing up although they do not have conscious awareness of behaving differently - or a theory to explain it.

Pebbles on the Beach,
like DIM Rocks,

lie close to the surface
and have smooth edges.

To Top of Page Reply Template