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Jan 31, 2014

Breathwork - April 12

Hi Ed,

I wonder if you might want to consider hosting a Breathwork session on this weekend as well since it seems to be a worldwide event. Just a thought. I would be happy to attend /assist if you have any interest.

Thank you for the heads-up.

I can advertise it and see if we can develop a gathering.

Jan 30, 2014

What System

Hi Ed,

I'm a big believer in trend trading...curious as to what system do you use???

best regards

I do not recommend trades or discuss specific system parameters on FAQ; see the ground rules.

For a general idea, see the Whipsaw Song and the Essentials Card at Resources, above.

Jan 30, 2014

Govopoly at Work: Layoffs


The current financial crisis may force some tough decisions - like whether or not to lay off Fred.

Fred Might Get a Pink Slip

Thank you for sharing your observations.

Jan 30, 2014

TT in France

Dear Ed,

I am a proprietary trader based in Paris, France. I trade mostly futures and options on the CAC40 index.

I just read your Trading Tribe book and find it fascinating. It reminds me of Joseph Campbell and his work on mythologies.

Is there a Trading Tribe in France? Is does not seem so on your web site. I would just like to make sure.

Thank you.

Kind regards,

Thank you for raising this issue.

You can start your own.

Jan 29, 2014

Banjo Cures Swelling

Dear Ed,

A few days ago I notice atypical swelling in my legs and ankles. The doctor suggests I monitor my blood pressure.

To my shock, I find my blood pressure unusually high: 150 /91. Again, atypical and unprecedented.

I immediately plan to watch my diet, and then I wonder what other strategies I might use.

The next day I run an experiment: I measure my blood pressure and then play the banjo for 30 minutes.

Before banjo: 138/80
After banjo: 114/64

I wonder if you ever notice this effect.


Thank you for sharing your process.

I notice listening to really good banjo players has a way of curing swelling of the ego.

Bela Fleck

Jan 28, 2014

Developing Calm During Crisis

Dear Ed,

Thank you for sharing your feelings, a-ha's, insights, models and research in Govopoly.

I feel pleasant surprise when I open my mail and notice how thick the book is. Right now I smile as I'm thinking about your work.

I usually feel the urge to wring my hands, grit my teeth and fight the Govopoly trend. I feel strangely calm and at peace with it. Most of my thinking is in the direction of how my family and clients can prosper from the way things are.

I notice a shift in my perspective on our fractional reserve system from fear and loathing to deep curiosity. It's also pretty cool your book answers a question I ponder at the Incline Village Trading Tribe sessions four years ago: is there an optimal tax structure that allows the free enterprise system to grow and still produces revenue for the government?

I feel inspiration to follow through with Prof. Forrester's K-12 challenge on a local level - I am planning an outline for a Systems Dynamics presentation for my son's first grade class.

If this isn't "under-Fred" at work, I don't know what is: last summer, I search "39th day" on your site.


Thank you for sharing your process.

Jan 28, 2014

Tribe Report - Proactive Management

Hi Chief,

We have 3 tribe members join today's meeting.

After drumming, I share with the tribe the few principles that we, as tribe members, practice. These include the SVO-p, No asking questions, System model vs. causal model. We do an exercise on requesting information without asking question, using "I wonder", "I'd like to know", or "I am not sure". Member practice using this new way in communication.

During report of status and issue, one member says he is newly wedded and have a disagreement with his new wife about the bathroom chores. Another member reports that he gets laid off on the new year and it is the first time in his life he ever has such painful experience. He doesn't wants to go back to work. He is at the crossroad where he has a mental conflict. He wonders if he start his own business and start to work for himself or he should go to find a job.

I relate myself to this member's conflict. I have the same experience last year and sticking to Austin Tribe and local tribe helps me a lot to find my own answer.

After having pizza, we start the process and the member wants to work on his feelings of going back to working place. After exploring several forms, the client says he feel afraid to go to work place or work for others. I ask him to freeze forms and he doesn't come up with meaningful incidents. Then he start to feel angry why he feels this way. We receive him experience more "why" feeling and then freeze.

He start to recall when he is a little boy, he once brings back his report card with straight Cs, his father is angry and scold and beats him as usual.

We then start role play this situation, and one member plays his dad. The client tells us he usually leave the report card on the table and go to other rooms when his father comes back. Sometime his father see his reports, and sometimes he doesn't. So he leaves the card on the table and goes out. The father comes in and find the report, then yell and the son comes in. The dad is very angry and snap the son. The client shutdown and then repeatedly saying that he already works very hard.

After the first play, the client says the member plays very well and struck a cord in his feelings. Then we role play again and I play the mother giving him 3 rocks, the first is to hide and hope the father don't see his card, or hide from responsibility, the 2nd is to shutdown and retreat when the dad yell and hit, the 3rd is to defend himself and keep trying to talk his dad out of anger.

Then we play again and when the scolding and hitting happen, I keep talking to the client to remember to apply these three rocks. I tell him it fits him very well and the entire family want him to keep doing so. Client agrees and keeps the rock. We play another couple times and then the client start to fore-give the rocks back to me even when I resist. I feel the feeling that he is out of my control.

Then we come to the phase of messenger providing heart rock. And right at the same time, the front door opens and my wife comes back from work. I immediately talk to her and she rushes in and becomes the the messenger. Perfect timing!

Then the client tells his father he is scared, he feel helpless and he ask how his father feels. The dad says that this reminds him of his own scores in childhood. Later the dad feels angry again and the client keep sticking to sending and receiving feelings. The interaction goes back and forth few times and the dad then wants to go to get a beer.

I enjoy managing the process and watching the client changing from a passive victim look to pro-actively participating in the flow of the incident.

Then we do another round. This time, the client waits in the living room and once he sees his dad coming back home, instead of going to another room, he gets up and greets his father. "Dad, how are you feeling right now", and he offers to grab a bear for his dad. When the dad see his report, he express his feeling of fear, anxiety and wanting to do better. And the dad even can't get a chance to scold him. The drama just doesn't start.

During the checkout, I thank the members to come and make another great meeting, and I thank the tribe member for bringing up his issue and benefiting all of us. In the role play, the client uses a paper as his report card. And that paper which I keep in the meeting room, is exactly my own son's report card, with a "C" too, and the similar story is happening right now, in my house! It's a great process for me too!

Few days later I get an idea to call the tribe member and share with him that I am wondering what happens after his session, and whether he notices any difference in his action and situation. The client reports that he notices two things happen:

First, instead of dwelling on his feeling of getting laid off and struggling on whether he should go back to find a job, he starts to reach out to his clients and communicate with them about his situation. He shares feeling with his clients and many clients support him. He creates rapport with his clients. He is not hiding at home and wait for the clients to find out he leaves his company, like waiting for his dad to find out his 'C's on report card, instead he takes pro-active actions and embraces new opportunities.

Second, couple days after his hot seat, he has a heartwarming experience with his 12 year old son. His son tells him that he loses the eraser and he needs a new pencil. He tell the son he is taking him to the store and get pencils right away. The son feel surprised and asks him why he does it now, for he knows that his father is always busy. He tells his son that what the son wants is the most important thing he wants to take care. His story moves me and I really appreciate the member's commitment to apply TTP in his essential tribe.

I suddenly notice that I am also benefiting from his session on being pro-active to take responsibility: I never call my tribe member before for a follow-up after a meeting. The most I do is to occasionally ask them to write a report before the meeting, instead of picking up the phone myself and making the call. And instead of passively waiting for them to update me, I am participating to make it happen!


Thank you for sharing your process, for documenting your meeting and for pro-actively following up.

Jan 28, 2014

Cancellations - Giving Up - Pressing On

Hi Chief,

On Jan 16, 2014, We plan a 4 member meeting as the start of a new season, and I am highly looking forward to this. But right before the meeting, I get two cancellations and I feel strong disappointment. I notice my feelings is much stronger than ever and it's unusual.

I feel hopeless for creating a fully functional tribe. And I also start to see connection of my feeling of wanting a fully functional local tribe and my feeling of wanting certainty or security. At back of my head I feel this sets me up as my entry point and I also feel frustrated that we can do nothing with only two of us on my perfect entry point feelings. I want to give up.

Then I receive the call from the last member and I tell him the cancellations. I ask whether he wants to cancel and reschedule. He says he is already here and wants to proceed. I feel encouragement and notice my feeling of wanting to give up easily, or feeling of hopelessness and response pattern of giving up.

We talk a little about Govopoly book and then starts drumming.

When reporting issues, the tribe member says that he wants to consolidate his trading account and not quick on action. He rubs his face, locks his finger. tribe help him to get more into feelings. I ask him to freeze and what comes to his mind. He says nothing.

I then ask him how he feels. He gets back into the feeling of not taking action. Shortly after I ask him to freeze again, he comes up nothing either. We feel OK about it and he gets back into exploring his feeling again. When the third time I ask him to freeze, he feels fears comes up. I then ask him to follow the fear and and recall what makes him fear or what he sees or hear.

Later he says he sees toys. I ask what makes him fear. He doesn't recall. We then talk about what the toy is. He tells me that it is a castle and he enjoys play it. I realize we start to get some material and ask him to recall where he is. He recalls that he is in his room when he is 9 years old. He overheard his father is talking to his mom or somebody else in the house. His father is unhappy since the client is playing the toys of a 5 years old. His father says he won't grow mature enough. The client feel hurts and then shuts down and keep playing.

Client then also recalls another situation, when he is playing some role playing game with his brother, his much older cousin comes and asks him whether he can join. He simply rejects his cousin. The client realizes he is projecting his cousin as his father.

Then we role play the castle situation. I play the father and ridicules him about he playing underage toys. client express his feeling hurt, embarrassed and sad. We do it again and he share his feeling again. We have only two of us so we skip rock donation and fore-giving. Then we role play the cousin situation. I play the cousin and he starts to play games. I come close and ask if I can join, he says no. I shutdown and leave. which is the real situation as he recounts. Then next time he wants to play intimacy-centric. So I come again, and ask him if I can join. He says he feel surprise I want to play. he is afraid, he feels confused that at my age why I still want to play the game not suitable for my age. I say why not, even I am much older I still like the game! He says now he feels comfortable and welcomes me to join. Then we go ahead.

I try not to share my feeling so make it harder for him to play sharing feeling and break the ice. I just try to be the original shutdown type cousin. And I watch and receive him expressing his feeling and reach his new resource. It's inspiring.

Then we checkout our feeling and I share that even with only two of us and we get to have a very good rock process and practice the intimacy centric relating. I also acknowledge my feeling of wanting to give up when not enough participants and notice my response pattern toward this feelings.

Then we take a break. I am thinking of a situation where I can role play. Somehow a incident comes up into my mind, I recall that when I was 7 years old. Once in my dad's office, I play the phone in his office. He works in the high school and there are other teachers in the same office. He sees me playing the dialer and yelled at me, "stop dialing, if you dial 911 I am going to the jail!". I look up and see his terrifying face and I am scared. I shutdown and stop playing.

When I write the report, I realize that the first half of the meeting with tribe member's session somehow serves as the first half of my own rock process, i.e. it triggers me to recall my own incidents with similar feelings. What a beautiful process.

I tell the tribe member this incident and say I want to role play this. So he plays the dad. I take out my phone and start to play the dialer. When he yells to me and start to blame me, I feel surprised, scared and embarrassed in front of others. But I shutdown. Then I tell the tribe member I get the feelings. Then we play again and I experience the same feeling again. I feel a little shorthanded and I wish if I can do a rock forgiving.

Interestingly, my wife comes into the room and asks if we need her help for role playing! We immediately say YES! Then she plays my sister and gives me the rock of shutting down, with some of instruction from tribe members. She picks up fast and starts to act like a experienced member. We then role play again, and I fore-give the rock to her.

Later she plays messenger and hands over me the new rock of sharing feelings and tells me to remember to do so when I feel scared, surprised and embarrassed. Then we start role play again and when dad stops me with yelling and criticism. I tell my dad I feel surprised, and scared. I also tell him I feel embarrassed, in front the other teacher(my wife plays the teacher too). I ask how my dad feel, he tells me that he feels scared too, He doesn't want the police to come. After saying that, he apologizes and shares that he also realizes that he is making other teacher uncomfortable too.

That's a new Aha for the process. I then start to feel that my dad's intervention is not that hurting, and I start to realize I am indeed reckless to play the dialer. It's not bad idea to listen to my dad and be cautious.

We role play this for a couple more times and check out feelings as role. Then we release each other from the role.

We three then do final check out and have a good talk after that. It's interesting I feel so down when the meeting starts and even did not want to do process. Thanks to the member's stick-to-it-ness or perseverance and we make a surprisingly great meeting! I feel so glad my wife volunteers to participate and be a great help in the process!

Thank you for sharing your process and for documenting the meeting.

Jan 28, 2014

Austin Tribe Report

Hi Chief,

Nov 21 meeting is our last meeting of this session in Austin Tribe. I have a really good time in the Austin Tribe. I appreciate your willingness to help others. There's something preventing me from writing this report and I keep trying it. Finally it's gone and I get to finish it.

In the meeting, one member reports that he is thinking of finding investors and start managing money. He think that his self esteem is in his way of approaching potential investors. Several tribe members including me relate to this feeling.

Tribe help him to explore this feeling and he feels that there's a pit in his stomach. Tribe helps him get into forms and he recalls when he was young boy, his father often criticizes him not learning anything. The dad would point out he doesn't know how to use a wrench, or other tools. He feels embarrassed, incapable.

It's the last meeting of this session, I feel I want to participate actively and role play. Recently I start to like role play and feel more confident to be in role. I volunteer to play the dad, and another member also wants to. We end up have four people play his dad. It's a interesting process. I scold him for not learning anything. It reminds me of my own recent frustration with my son. I take him to lots of activities, boy scout, tennis, soccer, basket ball, swimming etc. And I don't see him acquires much skills. Especially his tennis.

After the messenger delivers the heart rock, we replay the drama. I was going to talk to him and the client wants me to allow him to talk to the other dad first. I give him 5 minutes. After the client shares feeling with the other dad, he turn around and ask me how I am feeling. I tell him I feel angry. Ed tells him to ask me where I feel my anger.

I actually feel it on my back and goes to my toes. I then feel it's gone, and feel I am like a deflated balloon and don't know how to proceed. My anger is gone and I start to talk about my disappointment and frustration about his low achievements.

After working on his situation with his dad, the client wants to work on his issue with his daughter. His daughter is learning tennis lesson and he thinks she doesn't work hard enough. One tribe member plays his daughter. The daughter expresses her feeling that she likes playing tennis, but doesn't want to get too serious to play like pro. She likes play with her parents, rather than going class. The client tells her how important going class is. The tribe helps the client to share feeling instead of pervading. The client doesn't get into feeling at this moment and don't know how to do it.

The daughter asks him why he doesn't want to go to tennis class, he says that he is not interested. The tribe burst into laughter. It reminds me of my own situation. My son is also in the tennis class and I often feel he is not learning anything from it. His swing is weak and doesn't look like trained, and he makes no improvement on his serving. I start to doubt whether it's worth spending so much effort on him. I feel disappointed.

But Now I realize that I rarely take my son to practice, even several time he wants. It's not my son's problem with commitment. Instead it's me who have commitment problem to help him to improve.

In the checkout, I tell the tribe I want to be more active in three areas: be more active to involve into my two children's daily life, more active to find investors, and more active to expand my local tribe.

During the 2013 session in Austin Tribe, I don't have a hot seat on rock process. In the first few meetings I attend, I am not familiar with the process so I don't volunteer for hot seat.

And later couple months somehow my situations start to improve, I get a new job, trading and family all become better and I don't feel much strong entry point feeling to go hot seat. Many times I just feel I don't have much negative emotions going on. For things are smooth now. I feel the process works best when there's a burning pain, or very hot, right before the meeting.

After this last meeting, I continue to work on my 3 promises and am making progress on all of them. My experience with the Austin Tribe is the turning point where I achieve soft landing after I experience my mid-age crisis or spiritual emergence, as Dr. Grof mentions. I want to thank you for leading Austin Tribe and having me in the Tribe!


Thank you for sharing your process.

Jan 28, 2014

Reclaiming Feeling Safe


I have another insight to throw into the pot: that as long as you feel that the other person in the relationship has the power to make you feel safe, or not safe, you won't be able to experience trust.

Mature trust (as opposed to the trust we all need and don't always feel as children) grows out of a feeling that you can make yourself safe, by being there for yourself and supporting yourself, whether the other person is there for you or not at any given moment. (Now that I say that, I remember the poem I wrote to FAQ as my re-write of the previous post, about jumping into the water)

Perhaps what we do when we try to make ourselves safe is to just shut down and shut off feelings, and yet remain hurt and angry that the other person has let us down.

For example, my momentary distraction by something I am not in control of might feel the same to my partner as rejection. If my attention is divided, for any reason, he may feel hurt and angry.

I don't believe anyone can meet that standard of presence and attentiveness, except perhaps a good-enough mother during the first year of an infant's life.

After that, occasional empathic failures by the mother actually prompt and feed the natural development of a separate self in the infant, unless the failures are so extreme and frequent that the space does not feel safe for growth at all.

I think that might account for some early pre-verbal rocks.

Thank you for sharing your insights.

When you want someone, with all their flaws, mistakes, smiles, giggles, sarcasm and mis-spellings - when you just want them regardless - you can help them to want themselves.

Accepting Others

helps them accept themselves

Jan 27, 2014

Big Cheese see previous


Yes there are several people I trust at work, and I talk to them. There is an implicit contract with the big cheese - agree or keep quiet, and you get a bonus cheque ... so I am paid.

Thank you for clarifying.

Jan 26, 2014

The 39th Day: Wants More

Hello Ed,

Congratulations on the completion of your book, you must feel a sense of elation seeing the final product come together from those initial thoughts 43 years ago. The 39th day is an unconventional and thought provoking addition to the literature on economics, politics, trading and serves as a great introduction to TTP.

After reading through your book, I have a sense that I want more. Your work, The Trader's Window appearing in Schwager's 2nd Wizard book, is a powerful parable on how a trader learns about the markets. While I read it, I feel a sense of kinship with the legions of traders, past, present and future and what they go through during the learning process. I wonder if there is anything more to The Trader's Window that you may be willing to share with us.

Congratulations again Ed.


Thank you for your support.

I currently have a number of projects in the works, including publishing The Trader's Window.

Jan 25, 2014

Innovation in Ammo

Dear Ed,

I wonder what you think of these:

It still remains the only time I ever see or shoot a real gun is with you :)


Thank you for the link.

divert innovative talent

away from
raising the standard of living

and toward
overcoming regulations.

Jan 25, 2014

One Good Trend


It's True. "One good trend pays for 'em all". (Form The Whipsaw Song).

Best regards,

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Jan 23, 2014

Workshop and Breathwork Report : Willing to Experience Feelings


It has been a monumental last few months since joining the TT workshop, joining the Austin Tribe and the Breathwork Weekend. I have learned a lot about myself and overcome some major obstacles through TTP.

Prior to the workshop I have had a tremendous fear of uncertainty. I was so stressed about not knowing that I would panic. Unfortunately for me, not knowing is a large part of trading. You worked with me on this issue during the workshop. While I am no longer afraid, I still have a lot of anxiety about struggling financially.

I was very confused about many things when I started with TTP. I didn't understand why I constantly seem to fail at trading, especially at discretionary trading. According to the responsibility model, it was my intention to fail at trading, and this failure is what I wanted. I have found that the feelings that I have when I am struggling are very familiar and comfortable to me. However, I have found it is much better if I make friends with all of my feelings.

Whenever I am hesitating to make a business decision or I struggle personally with anything, I always find that my unwillingness to feel something at the root of the problem.

I think there is a root a problem that I have just realized. I started struggling with the issues of overcoming alcoholism and drug addiction at 16. Thankfully I have been sober since 17, but the feelings of struggling to achieve this are very comfortable, so I tend to feel them over and over. But they hinder my progress in other areas of my life. I also think there are some feelings of failure that I am unwilling to feel that I just realized as well.

I also have found that my unwillingness to feel has led to some patterns of procrastination. These are ways to distract me from reaching my goals and therefore have presented problems. I have numerous patterns that keep me from reaching my goals. I astonishes me that all of these are things that keep me from reaching my goals. Once I become willing to feel the feeling(s), I can immediately move forward towards the goal that was evading me.

I have learned all of this since starting with the TTP process.

Thank you for all that you do,

Thank you for sharing your process and insights.

Jan 23, 2014

Source of Macro Data


I share a website of macro data that might be useful for a variety of purposes.

Thank you for the link.

Jan 23, 2014

Clam Up or Hit the Road



Ed Says:

Workplace Effectiveness

depends on your skill
in sharing thoughts and feelings.


You must work in a very different environment than I do. Here my effectiveness and continued employment depends precisely on not sharing thoughts and feelings.

I imagine your skill includes discriminating between those with whom you share and those with whom you don't.

I would like to know if someone actually pays you not to share any thoughts or feelings with anyone.

Jan 23, 2014

Advertising on FAQ


I just wanted to check if you got my e-mail about buying advertising space on your site. Looking forward to hear from you.

Best regards,

Thank you for raising this issue.

I do not recommend commercial products or accept consideration for endorsements, ad space or editorial content.

Jan 23, 2014

Wants a Breathwork Weekend

Dear Ed,

I request for more frequent Breathwork - maybe a Spring Breathwork and a Fall Breathwork.

Best regards,

Thank you for raising this issue.

I host Workshops and Breathwork Weekends in response to demand.

Jan 22, 2014

Losing Hair Over Losing His Girl

Hi Ed,

We haven't talked in a while now but I hear from [Name] you still remember her and by extension, me. I feel stuck in this drama that I maybe having in my own head. I move to the other side of the world to get away from [her]. I keep communication with her to a minimal. I come out of my darkness. I surround myself with family. I get motivation for life back. I reach out to friends. I get back on the radar.

However, My hair continues to fall. I want to stop this. She has a spell over me. I seem to care for her more than she cares for me. She seems fine without me yet I cannot move on. I have the chance to date other girls but I do not want to. I feel the urge to pay for sex without emotional attachment, but I am emotionally weak.

I would probably get trapped again. I don't want to add to my problems. I feel trapped in what to do. I need to let go of her but I find she has ingrained herself into my spirit or my heart or where ever it is that people are connected to. Meanwhile I wait for her to get a new boyfriend so she can release me from her grip. I hope before I grow bald.

I wonder if there is a reason for my falling hairs and how to stop it. I think it has something to do with emotions which is why I ask you. The answer I got from the shaman is to quickly get a new GF but I don't want to have to chose one while under pressure.

I wonder if these stories entertain you. I sit outside the shaman's house and I chat with him and see some people yelling and releasing pent up emotions and it is pretty cool to see. I imagine this is what TTP zero point or freezing point is like.

Thanks for listening / reading and letting me share. For all I know you are just a program. But thanks anyway. Thanks for all the FAQ's and everything you've put out. It makes sense but also contains scary ideas / theories to accept. I'd like to hear your input on my situation. And I generally like hearing what you have to say / write. I find it insightful.

I ordered Govopoly to the States. Not sure when I can have someone bring it to me in Jakarta. Looking forward to read it. I wonder if you receive any e-mail from Indonesia.


Thank you for sharing your process.

Your hair loss might have to do with stress from wanting to control everything. If so, your shaman's suggestion to quickly get another GF might give you temporary medicinal relief and also distract you from dealing with deeper issues.

If you want to go deeper, you might consider taking your feelings of <wanting her to do what you want> to Tribe.

Control-Centric Relating
works pretty well

as long as both parties enjoy it.
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