Full-Presence

In daily life, our quality of presence is reflected in our way of feeling concerned in our life, of getting involved in it, and by the desire to communicate positively with those around us.”

Danis Bois

Full Presence – What is that ?

Confusion is common between ‘full presence’ and ‘mindfulness’. For most people, these two concepts convey the same meaning. Yet there are notable differences between the two.

Mindfulness meditation is a collection of exercises that come from various backgrounds and cultures. We thus find in the proposed programs a set of techniques: Yoga, Western relaxation, Cognitive-behavioral therapies and other obediences linked to Buddhism and science, in particular to neurosciences. Through ‘mindfulness’, meditation has become an object of study and of interest to researchers.  

Full Presence Meditation® is at the cutting-edge of several disciplines including the humanist stance and its concept of the “actualizing tendency”: a natural propensity that pushes man to become the best version of himself. It is also part of the phenomenological stance, which places perception as the primacy of consciousness and finally, it is based on educational neurosciences which emphasizes the theories and practices of learning.

The full presence meditation initiated by Danis Bois is related to mindfulness in certain aspects. Like mindfulness, it’s view is part of a secular vision, it mobilizes attentional resources, awareness, and invites you to enter the present moment. However Full Presence Meditation® has specific characteristics and a particular signature.

Characteristics of Full-Presence

“The more we are fully present, the more we become fully aware and vice versa.”

Danis Bois

A paroxysmal perceptual quality 

Through full presence we perceive what habitual perception does not allow us to perceive. In this context, to become fully present is to perceive a maximum of things while making a minimum of attentional effort.

A universal human quality 

Full Presence represents the highest relational expression of human nature, human warmth..

A catalyst for potentiality

Full presence optimizes cognitive abilities. It notably optimizes perception, attention and awareness. It also deploys relational skills such as empathy, kindness, compassion and alterity.

A positive and caring attitude towards others and the world 

Becoming present to the present honors life and avoids going through life at a too high-speed. Being present to oneself invites you to receive all the things in your life as well as possible and to make the best use of them.

A type of meditation

with innovative aspects such as self-perception, the quality of presence, the internal movement, the sensitive body and the step by step educational process.

The Full-Presence Educational Process

This terminology highlights the educational dimension which is central to our practices as well as the notion of model and process used in the teaching and practice of meditation. It is a teaching method that acts as a stimulator of interest where each practice reveals a new challenge, a new feeling and a different way of doing things.

One can imagine the educational process as an elevator that allows the person to explore the depth of perceptions that were until then inaccessible to their/ his or her consciousness.

Verbal guidance helps the meditator to successfully complete the proposed task. And thanks to the progressivity of the exploration, the experience becomes intelligible to the one who experiences it.

The meditation that we propose requires high capacities being at the extreme limit of habitual and naturalistic perception. This observation led us to simplify the pedagogy by making it more progressive. Ten steps begin with a first, then a second and so on, a true chronological process that starts from the simplest to the most complex.

Incrementally things require an increasingly complex modus operandi up to the tenth step. The notion of complexity is not a negative one, but an overcoming of oneself which results in the actualization of that which was until then in the domain of potentiality. This actualization is made possible thanks to this step by step pedagogy. We start from where the meditator is, respecting his capacities of the moment.

We start by using simple, tangible, and easy-to-achieve aids recruiting slightly more attention than he or she uses in his or her daily life. Then we create conditions of experiences which require high-level attention, being more difficult to access when applied to feeling and to subjectivity

Table of evaluation concerning the degree of accessibility of the tasks to be accomplished

Step by StepCharacteristics of the Full-Presence Educational Process
Step 1
Represents the set of tasks showing a certain number of criteria :
The tasks are easy to perform, do not require much of attention ; under the control of the meditator’s will ; and requiring little involvement
Step 2Begins as soon as the instructions are more implicating and require a qualitative and subjective relationship with the task to be carried out.
Step 3Is very involving and begins as soon as the instruction solicites the connection with the internal movement, the full presence and the various manifestations of the sensitive state of being that results from it.
Step 4Favors the autonomy. the person realizes what he or she could not do on his or her own. He or she meditates in silence without having recourse to verbal guidance and lives his or her meditation in full presence.

The distinctiveness of full-presence meditation®

The relational dimension of presence

Usually the notion of presence is most often geographical and expresses the fact that we are present in a place or a given situation: we are present when we attend an event or a celebration. This vision is reductive when we consider the more qualitative aspect of presence.

In the context of Full-Presence Meditation, we emphasize the temporal and relational dimensions of presence.

Caught up in the frenetic pace of our lives, we are not always aware of the importance of each second passing. Yet, penetrating the present moment is the first step towards a better understanding of the course of our life.

Practising meditation is first turning our attention to the now moment : being here, present to the moment, in a particular place, fully aware. This is a universal tenet of meditation, whatever its form.

The relational modality of presence

The way in which we are present here refers to a quality of relating to ourself, to others and to the world. It requires a degree of engagement and of interest life – our own and that of others.

The notion of presence to the other is easy to grasp: we naturally know if we feel close to someone or not, in the same way that we recognise people who have a caring attitude towards us.

The notion of self-presence is more abstract at it is both intimate and private. We can sometimes be hard and judgemental towards ourselves, leading to negative thoughts and a loss of self-esteem which are the first harmful signs of a lack of self-resence. Being present to ourselves is to have self-caring attitudes.

In daily life, our quality of presence is reflected in our way of feeling engaged in our life, of getting involved with it, and by the desire to communicate positively with those around us.

The primacy of perception over consciousness (perceiving before being conscious)

In mainstream meditative practice, consciousness is the preferred path to exploring bodily and mental states, and perception is often relegated to the background.

Full-Presence Meditation is in line with the current of thoughts that asserts the primacy of perception over consciousness. This means that we are conscious of what we perceive. It is easy to understand that to be conscious of something, we have to have first perceived or felt it.

Admiring the beauty of a landscape, smelling the scent of a flower, touching a tree, listening to birds singing or savouring a delicious fruit is only possible through our five so-called exteroceptive senses. These allow us to apprehend the world and depending on our sensitivity, to grasp the subtleties between listening and hearing, seeing and observing, touching and being touched, and tasting and savouring.

Curiously, to optimize our relationship with the external world, we have to turn our attention towards our inner world. Nature has given us sensory receptors that are located in our organs and body tissues, allowing us to perceive our inner world. These structures inform us of the internal biological states  that influence our mental state (such as pleasant, unpleasant, tense, relaxed). During meditation, these various senses allow us to position our body within space, to position ourself within our body and to feel the biological effects from within. The essential role that sensory perception plays in meditation is generally not given much consideration. Full-Presence Meditation is based primarily on sensory perception in all its aspects as a way to explore and discover a form of bodily perception that sometimes changes the course of a life.

Body-mind Unity

What does ‘having a body’ mean ? The body is often perceived as just a useful machine, the compliant executor of our will. 

Conversely, ‘experiencing our body’ usually implies experiencing the body as tension, pain, pleasure or a relaxed state.

It is only when we ‘inhabit our body’ that it becomes the locus of self-expression and a more elaborate perception is involved. The body then becomes sensing, an inner resonance chamber that conveys information emerging from its depth. We are then able to perceive a spectrum of positive and beneficial inner tonalities.

Full-Presence places bodily perception at the centre of a process towards ourself and towards others, and asks this central question: ‘What happens within the body during meditation?’ The body is the locus of self-experience. It is from it that we experience ourself and feel that we are alive. How we engage in a relationship with our body defines our degree of self-presence.

We give the body, or more precisely the body-mind unity, a fundamental importance. It is a fact that the mind influences the body, and vice versa.  Using the experience of the body as a starting point opens new perspectives in meditative practice. Contrary to Descartes’ viewpoint, thought alone is not enough to exist. Body and mind cannot be dissociated. As human beings, we ‘think’ the world because we live it.

The inner movement, as expression of life

In the context of Full-Presence Meditation, perceiving the emergence of the inner movement is dependent on the quality of stillness of the posture. Being motionless and relaxed provides a supporting point from which the movement can expand its force and penetrate matter in the form of a dense and moving texture. Externally, the body appears perfectly motionless, though internally meditators feel a motion circulating within their matter. Being motionless reveals to the meditators’ awareness the presence of this inner motion.

The inner movement is at the heart of our practices. It is considered a driving force, and participates in maintaining our health balance and in to our personal growth process. Behind the notion of inner movement, we are touching on the principle of life itself: what is alive is in motion, and what is fixed is a kind of little death. What are we able to change, transform and renew in our ways of thinking, our reactions and our attitudes towards our life?

Some people report that, when in contact with the inner movement, they experience a gradual shift from one state to another state, with the impression that their deep structure has been set in motion. Something opens within them; they perceive distinctly and with a great slowness, the moment when the stillness in which they rest becomes animated within their bodies and life takes form. They then feel fulfilled, satisfied and full of hope.

Moods and feelings, as regulators of self-esteem and benevolence

When we are in contact with sensing and sensitive inner body tonalities, it is possible to stand back and open to new perspectives, given that our moods and feelings play a role in our becoming aware, and the decisions and actions we take.

Moods and feelings are part of our constitution. They inform us of what is going well and what is not, what we need to change or not, and to do or not. They are reliable indicators. We feel whether we are happy or not, at ease or not, guilty or not, and we know this from the inside. They are true regulators of our attitudes.

Meditating on our moods and feelings changes something deep. Some people are ‘badly equipped for happiness’ (pessimistic tendency), others on the contrary are ‘well equipped’ (optimistic tendency). What is hidden behind these moods and feelings? Values of all kinds, representations, past hurts, education. Meditation touches everything that affects our inner life.

Our objective is to enable the person to move from negative moods and feelings to positive ones through our practices, so that it is then possible for them to see problems differently and open up to new perspectives. By shifting a negative mood or feeling towards positive ones, the person can distance themselves from issues troubling them.

An exclusive program to optimize self-esteem and benevolence

We owe to a large part the growth of modern and scientific meditation to Jon Kabat-Zin through the MBSR program he created in the US in 1975. This program has now been taught in Europe since 1990 in hundreds of centres.

Full-Presence has taken from this approach the principle of a ‘program’, but this is where the comparison ends. The teaching modality is different, as is the way of accompanying learners around specific concepts and practices.  Also, the program is particularly focused on self-esteem and benevolence.

Who is this program for ?

For those who wish to learn to meditate in order to benefit as much as possible from the physical, psychological, existential and spiritual effects of this practice.

For those who want to improve their self-confidence, the opinion they hold of themselves and the ability to love themselves.

For those who wish to improve their relationships in their personal, familial or professional surroundings, by developing well-meaning attitudes from a place of authentic self-presence.

A scientific approach combining science and humanity

Scientific literature on meditation and its positive impact on physical and mental health abounds. Though the studies were originally carried out within medical contexts, they are now beginning to involve non-clinical populations or populations ‘in good health’.  Thousands of references already exist, which open the way for meditative approaches that are not therapeutic, though healing.

The fundamental question that runs through the Full-Presence process is directly linked to Danis Bois’ enquiry : How to cultivate human warmth and harvest its fruits in order to share it ? Human beings crave human warmth; it is at the basis of knowing how to live together. The lived experience offered in Full-Presence Meditation reveals a universe of internal warmth that warms the heart and diffuses throughout the body, stimulating in this way our humane qualities.

Practising Full-Presence Meditation points to a more embodied humanity where human beings become more present to themselves, to others and to the world. It activates what is greatest in our humanity.

Mainstream thought in science hinges on quantitative research and experimental studies. We prefer qualitative research, which is more appropriate to studying how people live inner-body experiencing. No imagery, however sophisticated, can give account of this.

To access lived experience, qualitative research uses questionnaires, videos, interviews or journals in which the experiencing can be set down. A few details aside, this reveals a common description in terms of the presense of the inner movement and its effects on body and mind. Nevertheless, we have also carried out quantitative research which brings to light the benefits of Full-Presence Meditation on anxiety and self-esteem.

The internal movement is at the heart of our practices, it is considered an actuating power and participates in maintaining a balance in health and in the process of personal growth. Behind the notion of the internal movement we touch the very principle of the living.

Danis Bois

On this website you will find three activity possibilities : to learn to meditate, to deepen your practice by meditating with Danis Bois and to learn how to guide meditation groups.

“Full Presence Meditation®” is a trademark registered on March 31, 2014 at the INPI by Danis Bois. This trademark is registered under the number 4080005.

The “Full-Presence Educational Process®” is a registered model in the form of an e-Soleau envelope as well as the “Full-Presence MDB” (number 204649485). As this model is being used in many foreign countries, we have chosen to file it in English.