1. Find a suitable background that fits your practice. If you're looking at the aura around your hand, a large sheet of white paper might be enough. If you're viewing a friend's aura, a plain wall for them to sit in front of is essential.
2. Get the proper lighting. Not too bright, and not too dark. Most people find that natural light, such as sunlight or a candle flame in a shady room, works best.
3. Position your partner, or yourself. If reading yourself, hold one of your hands up against a white background in any way that's comfortable to you.
If reading a partner, make them comfortable, and explain what you'll be doing. Have them wear clothes that aren't too patterned. They don't have to sit very still, so they can have a drink or read a book if they want one.
4. Relax your eyes as you gaze at your subject. It may help to look at the tips of your fingers or the head of your partner. Let your eyes fall out of focus a bit. You should start to see a haze around the edges, it might seem like a very clear light, or a light blue/white mist.
5. Determine any color(s) that are visible. Colors may be clear and bright, or cloudy and muddy. Some people (like beginners) can only see one dominant color while others may see multiple colors.
6. Be aware of after-images. If you stare at the same spot for long enough, your eyes will start to see after-images that are the inverse of what you're looking at. These are not auras, and you'll know this because you'll be able to see the after-image for a short time in front of your eyes, wherever you look.
After-image color pairs are:
black and white
red and turquoise
orange and blue
yellow and violet
green and pink
7. Be patient. When you first see an aura, it'll often disappear as soon as you blink or move your eyes. It takes practice to hold your focus steady.
8. Record what you see. Drawing a body outline and then shading in colors around it can be a fun way of recording what you see for later analysis, and it's something to show your subject so they can relate to what you're looking for. Be aware that some colors in auras are very difficult to recreate with colored pencils.
9. Learn what the colors and shades mean. Get a guide to interpret what you've seen. A lot of people are surprised by how insightful it can be. In time you may be able to tune your intuition so that you can interpret the aura without the guide.