Psychic ability is something we all possess to greater or lesser degrees, and it's something that can be consciously developed. Some people do have a an intuitive "gift," just as others may have gifts for art, mathematics, athletics, etc... Through focused desire and concentration, however, we can all enhance the abilities we were born with.
Meditation is the most commonly prescribed practice for spiritual development and increased psychic awareness. The word "meditation," however, tends to be daunting to beginners. What is really needed is simply to get quiet and pay attention. "Visions" and other experiences of extraordinary awareness happen when we're hyper aware of subtle energies and influences. It has been said that genius is simply energy focused intensely and consistently on a certain matter. To become good at perceiving, then, we must practice getting quiet and paying intense attention to small stimuli and subtle energies.
It's important to note that not everyone is visual by nature. There are three main modes of perceiving: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Those who are visual learn best by seeing, and think with pictures in their minds. Those who are auditory learn best by hearing, and "talk" to themselves more in their minds. Those who are kinesthetic learn best by doing, and tend to get "gut" feelings and to process experiences physically through movement or attention to their physical sensations. Just as we all have five physical senses, we all perceive through all three modalities, but most of us have a primary or favored way of perceiving life.
As this article focuses on "visions," we're going to be working with visual perception. We can begin to "flex" our inner vision through some basic exercises. We'll begin by better seeing in our minds something in our physical experience. Pick a simple object like an orange, apple, banana, or even a book, a shoe, etc... Look around and grab something that "catches your eye." Now sit in front of the object and study it for a moment. Study its features, but then "step back" and just take it in as a whole. Now close your eyes and try to reproduce it mentally. Study it again, and then repeat the process of envisioning it within. Your inner vision should get crisper.
Now close your eyes and simply envision color. Begin with red, and work your way up the color spectrum. See a splash of pure red, then imagine two or three objects that are red, then go back to seeing only the color. Then move to orange, then yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Take your time and try to move toward a sense of ease as you visualize the colors and objects.
Now we're going to advance our inner vision skills by picturing someone we're presently close to. If you have children, you might pick your child's beloved face, but you can choose anyone you see on a daily basis, as long as it's someone whose face you know well. Close your eyes and try to recreate his or her visage in your mind. Spend as long as it takes until you get a crisp image. You'll find it easier if you try to remember a specific experience and picture that person as you saw them then.
Now pick a person in your mind who you were once very close to, but whom you haven't seen for several years. Again, pick someone whose face you once knew very well, and try to recreate his or her image in your mind. You're likely to find yourself in a memory to do this, and that is fine. Get a very crisp image, and then choose someone you've not seen since childhood, and again recreate a clear image in your mind of this person's face.
Now choose a person you're presently close to but who is at some distance from you. It may be your mother in a nearby city, a child at school, or even your sweetheart at work. Hold a vision of his or her face a moment, and then say to yourself, "Spirit, show me what they're doing." Then trust whatever pops into your mind. Remember that you're playing, experimenting and exercising here. Pay attention to what pops in, versus what your rational mind may reason out. For example, I just said, "Spirit, show me what my mother is doing," and I saw her reading in her bed. I then looked at the clock and thought it was too early for her to be in bed yet. There may be a tendency for you to want to guess first, and base what you see on that. Try to just allow images to pop up, and don't analyze them for now.
Now that you have an image of someone and what they're doing, ask Spirit what they're thinking or feeling. Say, "How does this person feel?" As I do this with my mother, for example, I HEAR, "She's tired, and worried about your brother." I have no reason to think she'd be worried about my brother; now I'm starting to get some information that I would never have "guessed" at, but which must be coming from somewhere.
If you're a very visual person, you may get symbols or other visual information. For example, you may see a happy face, or you may even see something like a sunflower or rainbow if you're being told "happy," or a storm cloud or the color red if the person is angry. At this point, your job is simply to allow perceptions in, and to ask more and more questions in order to interpret what you're shown. For example, you might see a sword, and then you would ask, "Does this mean she's angry?" You might then get a feeling of no or yes, or you may get other information that helps you to understand.
You can set up a system with your own higher self for yes/no answers. You might, for example, assign "to the left" the answer "no," and "to the right" the answer "yes." Then when you ask a question, if you're kinesthetic you'll get a feeling of going left or right. If you're auditory, you might hear yes or no, and if you're visual, you might see a pointer going left or right in your mind. Use whatever symbol feels right to you.
Now ask a simple question. You might ask, "Will it rain tomorrow?" and see what kind of answer you get. It's better, however, to ask a question you care about, for there will be more energy in the answer. However, if you're very attached to the answer being what you want it to be, you may have trouble remaining objective.
Play with this approach, and allow yourself to get creative with it. Improvise, experiment, and above all, have fun with it. The bumpy and harrowing road is the one where we try to will ourselves into greater awareness. The smooth and easy path is one where we simply allow ourselves to play, and to trust what we're shown. Success is much easier to attain when we relax and allow.
Of course, your beliefs and expectations will affect your experiences here, as they do in every aspect of your life. If you don't believe it's possible to develop psychically, you'll find it difficult or impossible. If, however, you believe anything is possible with the proper focus and energy, and you believe in magic, magic will flow over, under, around and through to find you.