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Note: the image above originally only had the halo or nimbus around Shiva’s head. When I saw this, I went into the image using Photoshop to give Parvati, who is Shakti, her own halo also. -P.
Learning to read the aura is not hard to do when you know a few very basic techniques and things to look for in order to begin to tune in the energy field that is called the aura. This is the first installment of a two-part series that will delve into the subject based on my 30 years+ of experience and others who I have known over the years who have the same ability.

You will want to experiment on yourself first by sitting in a room that has diffuse lighting and a wall with a light, neutral, background. What you are looking for are few objects in the background that will disturb your view of your hands which will be what I will have you look at first. Once you have situated yourself in a room with a light wall in a room with diffuse light, I want you to raise your hands up in front of you so that they are resting comfortably and bring your hands together fingertip-to-fingertip and begin to look at them. This is not a usual kind of look, though.

The type of gaze that you want to cultivate for reading the aura is more like looking beyond the object. Your focus will need to be slightly beyond your hands even though you may be looking almost directly at them. You might say, “Huh?” Try it…and you might know what I mean.

There is a lot to be said for using peripheral vision and not the center focus of your vision for detecting the aura. In truth, the center of our eye focus tends to be fairly narrow once you start observing how you actually see. Doing this may not be natural to you at first, but it is a critical component in seeing energy fields. It is critical, I observe, because the part of your perception that is engaged in “scanning” is the part of your brain that will be most closely tied to translating the energy into a form that your awareness can work with and understand. This observation has come from over 30 years of reading energy and examining within myself the mechanisms that are at work.

This gaze that looks “past” the person is a gaze that has been used by people from many different walks and traditions. Shaman in healing rites can be observed using this same method when seeing into spirit as they look at the person being healed. Saints, prophets, and yogis, all have been known to exhibit this type of focus. It is not hard to do- a subtle defocusing is all that is required.

Scanning in this way is important, and you may need to practice it for a while to become comfortable with it. What can be helpful is to pick a spot on the far wall and hold your focus on that one spot while you gaze. The type of gaze will be one in which you will be looking at your hands but beyond your hands so that you are detecting your hands in your vision but not focusing on them directly. Then as you do this, place the tips of your fingers close together with the fingers on each hand slightly apart so that each finger on each hand will line up with the fingers of the other hand.

Now, slowly bring the hands in together until they are touching and then slowly draw the hands apart while you gaze in the way that I have just described to you. You will be looking for something that is extending beyond your hands and fingers as you draw them apart.

You will want to practice this a number of times because you will want to try different kinds of lighting conditions that will work best for you. This can also give you the opportunity to try this exercise while in different states of mind, too, to see which works best.
In my next installment, I will go into why your state of mind is important.

There is something to the fact that you should not be trying too hard to accomplish this seeing. It is better to have a calm and empty mind, relaxed, but not trying too hard as you do the gazing. If you try too hard, you will most likely wind up blocking your perception. Don’t try with your mind. Try only with the eyes and body awareness. I will go into body awareness more deeply in my next post.

Most often what people will see as they do this exercise is that they will begin to see slightly darker and lighter lines of force that run between the fingers from one hand to the other. The effect or the appearance of these lines will be extremely subtle and will almost seem as something similar to heat distortions that occur in the air as it rises off of the ground in the summer. This isn’t the only phenomenon you might see in the beginning.

Sometimes the effect of having looked at a brightly colored object and then looking away and having an after image burned onto your retina for several seconds can approximate some of the way an aura can appear to you. The trick here is in being able to differentiate between this “burning in” effect and actually seeing the aura. I say this because when you gaze in the way I have described, it is very easy to get a lot of instances of “burning in.”

The color or the energy will be very light and very subtle in the beginning (most likely). As you practice this and begin to see these very very subtle effects, it is possible that you might think that you are imagining it. Don’t let this throw you in any way because the truth is, your eyes do not have the ability to see such a fine form of energy as the aura! Even though it appears as though you are beginning to see them with your eyes, in all truth what is happening is that they appear to be seen. But the brain, which is now trained on the topic of energy, is put to the task of translating the energy that is coming in through your body (and energy field) and is active in creating an image that is consistent and that will make sense to you. This actually is the truly amazing part, which is that all psychic ability is the brain’s ability to translate energetic phenomenon into a sensory field of experience so that it makes sense to you physically. I will get more into this in my next installment to explain how this is so, so make sure you read the second installment.

As you practice in this way, you may also simply hold your hand up in front of you and gaze at it, slowly moving it in order to see if you can detect the aura around your hand. Holding the hand beginning at about arms length is a good distance to start with. In most cases, people will see no color but the appearance of some kind of small disturbance around the hand (in the beginning) which, again, will seem as though it’s a trick of the eyes, or maybe they’re imagining it. But when you see this effect, you want to pay attention to it, and observe it long enough to determine whether or not it is an afterimage (which is very possible because by gazing in the way that I have described to you, you may in fact get after images burned on your retina that will last for a time) or not. However, once you have begun to pick up the energetic phenomenon in the way that I just described to you, you can then move on to looking at different parts of your body and also looking at the energy around other people’s body.

It may be possible that after trying to see the aura in the way I have described, that you have no luck at it. In this case, it may be helpful to find a willing participant who will sit and let you practice this as you chat.

The best arrangement that I have found is that there should be at least four feet between the subject and a neutral back wall and 10-12 feet minimum between you and the subject. The best type of lighting is well-diffused. One of the best ways to get diffused light is either a room with many windows that scatters the light during the day so that the windows are not facing the Southern Exposure or you have a lamp that shoots the light on the ceiling that is far enough away from the subject that you do not create any hot spots in your vision.

I have found, as a result, that for as much as I dislike fluorescent lighting, I can see auras in this type of light rather easily. What I observe is that the nature of fluorescent lighting is that it is much more diffuse. There also appears to be some kind of effect on me the viewer when I am in fluorescent light and my ability to see auras. I noticed this early on several decades ago when I first began to see the human aura. I noticed that when I was in a classroom with a teacher at the front of the room, that the fluorescent lighting created a sense of non-local light. That is, that the light was coming from “everywhere” because of the nature of how fluorescent tubes work. However having said this, I have also been able to read people who were on stages giving talks and performing who were under very intense light such as spotlights and I have had no problem.

Experience is going to tell you what particular lighting environments work the best for you. I have always found that having some degree of distance between me and the subject is of great benefit. Sometimes sitting across the table from the person I am reading works as well as far away. It often depends on a host of factors including lighting, neutral backgrounds, and distance. Sometimes when one of these factors is optimal, one or more of the others may be less important.

What I suggest that you do is you simply try this same method, whatever you are using it on, your hands or whether you are watching or trying to read a person from a larger distance, the gaze is the same. When it comes to someone who is, say, 15 to 20 feet away, I will tend to look around their head or near their body but in fact what I’m doing is I’m picking a spot that isn’t at the center of their body but is actually a few inches away from the surface of their body. So, for example when I am reading the aura of someone, I will begin to gaze and look at their head, say. I will not be looking them in the eye, but will be gazing over their whole body. I will be using my peripheral vision in a much more localized way that is just beyond the center focus of my eyes, and I will pick a spot just to the right or to the left of their body. While my center focus is perhaps on a wall that is beyond their body, I will in fact be concentrating my awareness on the area around their body all at once. This is not always as easy as it sounds because it is the not the most natural way for us to look but it’s, again, very important that you create this defocused effect in your vision, and it may take some practice to cultivate it.

If you wear glasses, I would ask that you take them off prior to viewing the aura. Now I know that you might have very bad vision, and I am saying this because nearly every person that I have ever known who sees the aura has always had to take their glasses off in order to see them better. To explain why this is important, a quick story…

When I was in college I had a roommate who had extremely poor eyesight – you know those glasses that look like coke bottle glasses? Those were the type of glasses that my roommate John wore.  One day we were in our room and we were having a conversation, and I noticed that I was feeling this movement of my energy that I have always associated with healing energy. It suggested to me something was up. I could feel that John was tuning into my energy. My “aware” energy was really moving, a state that I have felt every time I have passed on my gift, directly, to another person (yes, you can do this). As we were talking John began to look away from me, as if he was looking at my hair or something. It was as though he was distracted. After several minutes of this, I stopped talking and asked him what was going on. He then said that he thought he was seeing something around my body which was like a light or a colored light. In that moment I put one and one together, and very quietly without much fuss, I tested my theory about glasses (for the first time) and I said, “John could you take your glasses off just for a minute?” When he did so, he registered a great deal of surprise. He exclaimed, “It’s bright! it’s a light!” I then asked him what it was that he was seeing, and he explained and described to me what he had been seen and that when he took his glasses off he was actually able to see the energy much more clearer and more brightly than he had before. Bear in mind, John knew nothing about auras, let alone what the effect would be to take them off. But from that day forward, John had entered the world of conscious energy awareness and observation.

Since I have never worn glasses in my life, except until the last few years for some reading, I have never had to take off my glasses. I have never run into this issue, so I can’t really speak to it very well, except that I do know that everyone that I know has been able to see auras better without their glasses on. I would urge you to do the same. I know that for some of you your eyesight may be poor but I want you to try it anyway. I want you to try it anyway because I suspect that you will find that even though while your vision may be poor, your ability to see the aura will be enhanced by using this method.

In my next installment, I will be going over issues related to color and how to begin to tune in color, which often is the next step for a lot of people who are just beginning to see the aura. I am also going to be covering some things that you may want to bear in mind when first seeing the aura, which fall into the category of certain mechanisms that may very well assist you in creating the bridge between your own energy field and your brain’s ability to translate that information. I will discuss the five “bodies” of energy that make up the aura, the colors, as well as the numerous energy effects that often show up in the field and what they mean. I will include work on body awareness and how we all feel energy and how we can utilize this for healing, greater awareness, as well as spiritual growth.

So for now, practice! If you have questions, feel free to ask. I will be happy to answer any question or to clarify anything I have said in this post. Until then!

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