A girl who claims to be able to read while blindfolded has given a demonstration in Rotorua - part of an effort to spread awareness of the benefits of having your 'third eye' awakened.
The third eye, also known as the inner eye, is described as an invisible eye which believers claim provides perception beyond ordinary sight and is a gateway to higher consciousness.
It is believed through the awakening of the third eye, a person can see while blindfolded, sense 'diseased organs' in a body and read minds, among other superhuman powers.
The demonstration was hosted by the Rotorua Life Bliss Foundation group at Waiariki Institute of Technology yesterday, and was attended by about 30 people.
Ma Nithya Maheshwarananda, 12, from Dallas, USA, was was blindfolded .
Members of the audience gave her various reading material, including a business card, a flyer and a Rotorua Daily Post article - all of which she read aloud word-for-word.
At least two people, including a Rotorua Daily Post photographer, tested the blindfold and said they could not see through it in any direction.
Ma Nithya Maheshwarananda said she had her third eye awakened about a year ago while attending a holistic school which taught vedic sciences alongside mainstream education.
Rotorua's Keith Garratt is a New Zealand Sceptic Incorporated committee member. He said the society always tried to seek a rational explanation before believing such claims.
"I don't know what people saw or whether it seems to be miraculous or not but there have been many illusionists and magicians who appear to do things that are miraculous but don't claim that it's supernatural," Mr Garratt said.
"We always say what is the most likely explanation, is it something supernatural or an illusion? In the sceptics movement we actually have quite a number of magicians because they're aware that people can be fooled ."
Life Bliss New Zealand member Barbara Hock said her response to sceptics was always the same.
"If you don't believe it, just try a meditation first. If it feels good and you like it, try some more.
"Everyone has the ability to have their third eye awakened but those sceptics who are so adamant that it's a lie and need to prove themselves to be right may not be able to experience it."
She said she had attended the three-week programme.
"I can read while blindfolded but if I am put on the spot or feel too much pressure, I can't do it, I need to practise more to be able to block out those insecurities and baggage."