How do you think? We all string words together in our minds, almost constantly, but how do we do it? Please take a moment to ask yourself how you form thoughts in your mind.
Before the words form in your mind you have an intent which directs the way the words are organized into a sequence. It takes time for those words to come to the "surface" of your awareness, but the intent forms quickly. When you begin a sentence you often do not know which words you will use to complete it, yet you are quite certain of the meaning those words are expected to convey. You know what you are about to think or say before you have formed the words. This "knowing" or "intent" or whatever you want to call it, contains all the information you wish to convey in non-symbolic form. I call it an "intuitive package," and it is this, not specific word symbolism, that is communicated telepathically.
From this you should be able to see that "mind reading" is a rather misleading interpretation of the nature of telepathy. To me that statement seems to imply that you could "hear the thoughts" of another person in the same way you "hear" your own thoughts. It simply doesn't happen that way. My experience leads me to believe that telepathy is a merger of awareness on an intuitive level. One person becomes aware of an intuitive package held by another and then interprets that bit of silent knowing into word symbolism.
It is very important that both you and the person you work with have succeeded in verifying the time and intensity duplications of the visual exercise before attempting to communicate specific information. Once you realize that there is something which links your subjective perceptions together you can begin to look for the clues which indicate this link is occurring. Pay attention to the "psychological attitude" you experience along with the visual changes. You will notice several subtle characteristics. Your attention is clearly focused, not distracted by any other concerns. Your thoughts are silenced (hopefully) or at least slowed (you'll be paying more attention to what you see than what you are thinking), and you will be emotionally open. The object is to direct your attention into the other person, in the same way you are able to direct your attention toward the source of a sound, or into your foot or your head. We all have a sense of personal space, which we can feel ourselves compressing when in a crowded elevator, and the object here is to extend your personal space to include the personal space of the other, while they extend their's to include yours. This can be a very intimate experience, and the more completely you share your personal space with another the more effective telepathic communication becomes. However, part of applying mental etiquette, particularly with strangers, is to limit the initial experience to a more intellectual level. The visual exercise "feels" rather intellectual, and is a relatively impersonal experience, but it is wise to have someone's trust before communicating emotions. If you are able to verify duplicating emotions you can expect better results in communicating specific information, but if you don't feel like sharing emotions with a particular person it isn't absolutely necessary that you do.
Telepathy involves knowing what another person is aware of. In order to pick up on a specific bit of information it is necessary for the "sender" to be thinking of something specific. Let me give you an example of why some people have difficulty when it comes to picking up specific information.
You say, "Think of a one digit number (0-9)." Your friend thinks, "OK, I'll choose the number 2. Let's see if this works. I suppose it's possible, but who knows? I wonder if I'm supposed to be looking for the visual changes? Why hasn't he (or she) guessed a number yet? etc. etc." This can go on the entire time you sit there concentrating on locating the intuitive package associated with the target number, and except for one brief second long ago, the person hasn't been thinking of the number at all.
Recall my first experience in communicating something specific, the letter "R." I was concentrating so intently I was able to visualize the letter in a variety of sizes, styles, colors, etc., for 10 minutes. It shouldn't be necessary to concentrate on one target for that long, but it is necessary for the sender to be concentrating on the target, and nothing else, while the receiver opens up to discovering it. While acting as the sender, repeat the target over and over while visualizing it, or do whatever else allows you to focus your attention completely. Do this without strain. Relax, release all tension, open up your personal space and fill your mind with the target. Make concentrating an enjoyable experience and doing this can be fun.
The same sense of relaxed concentration helps a great deal when acting as a receiver. The most effective method is to simply blank your thoughts for a moment, direct your attention into the shared personal space occupied by both of you, relax completely and wait till a possible target comes to mind. The target answer will just "be there." Many possible answers may come to mind when you are first learning to do this, but after a while you will begin to recognize the "feeling" associated with being correct. If you follow these instructions as best you can, blanking your thoughts and "letting the answer come to mind" rather than "trying to guess," right from the beginning you should achieve better results than statistically expected. Communicating specific information is definitely an art of great subtlety, but since it is very easy to perceive the visual changes and communicate emotions, the knowledge that you can perceive telepathically, to some extent at least, should encourage you to continue developing more of this skill.
If you find yourself missing the target much more often than you consider evidence for significant success, you will have to use a more disciplined method of focusing concentration. Try relying upon strong emotional sensations as an indication of thinking of the correct target. If you are not experiencing significant levels of emotional sensation, you can watch for the visual changes to become more intense. If the sender is concentrating properly and you see a very strong, clear visual change, chances are you were thinking of the correct target when the change occurred. You should look at each other's eye while working at communicating specific information, but with practice you will be able to simply relax, direct your attention toward the other person, and the intuitive package associated with the target will come to mind.
Samples of possible targets to work with are the one-digit numbers, basic colors, describing places the sender has seen or imagines, using various types of cards, etc. ESP cards work well because the images of wavy lines, a circle, square, star, etc., all produce different emotional reactions: "intuitive packages" quite different from one another. When I use regular playing cards I will sometimes guess the color (red or black), then the suit (hearts or diamonds, clubs or spades), whether it's a face card (including the ace), a low number card (2-5), or a high number card (6-10), then I guess the actual card. If I miss any of these steps along the way, I make one last guess at the card itself, then start again on a new card. I once guessed 4 playing cards in a row without error. After I showed the technique to a friend, she worked with another friend, whom, she told me, correctly guessed "about 16 tarot cards in a row, on his first attempt."
Remember. Experiencing the visual changes at the same time and with the same intensity is only possible when telepathy is operating. This is something almost everyone is able to do (with significant impact) on the first attempt. Communicating specific information is much like playing a piano. Some people pick it up with amazing ability while others must practice, practice, practice. You won't know how well you can do till you try.