Saahraaki, 45, left, and Yadu, 59

Malcolm X Blvd (Lenox Ave) between 125th and 126th Sts

Saahraaki and Yadu
Saahraaki and Yadu

Photograph: Jay Muhlin

What are you up to?
Yadu: We on a spiritual journey.

Like, right now?
Saahraaki: Since 1992. Y: We been working at it ever since.

Working at what, exactly?
Y: Universal consciousness. It's like trying to understand your essential origins, nature, purpose and destiny. You know, knowing why you're here, where you going an' where you came from.

What's your practice like? Do you pray? Chant? Smoke?
Y: No, we don't do none of that.

Hmm. Do you read?
Y: No, we don't read no more. We threw all our books out.
S: In the beginning, we read a lot. We studied all of the cultures, all the religions. At this time, we are channeling information and analyzing what we've already gathered.

Channeling? Do you watch TV?
Y: No gadgets. We got trees, we got rocks, we got nature.

Man, you're up the creek in Manhattan.
S: We have some cut-down trees we sit on. We just take the log and put it in the house.

Do people accuse you of total B.S.?
Y: Yes; that's good! It's better to meet people like that.

Would you call this a religion?
Y: It's spiritual. We call ourselves metaphysicians. Religion is great, but it fragments the people. We love everybody. We don't congregate, we circulate.

Right. And you coordinate your outfits.
Y: [Laughs] Yeah, I try to complement her.

More from Saahraaki and Yadu

Saahraaki: "It's not like we're into each other's bodies. It's not like 'Oh, you have those great...oooh.' It's about the shared objective. Some people are gonna be in love with my body, but that's subject to change."

Yadu: "The way we found each other was, I was at the Apollo Theater and I saw her coming up the street. I say, 'That's the one I'm gonna be working with.' I saw it in her eyes. [Laughs]" Saahraaki: "And I walk by and hear them talking, and turn around and put my two cents in."

Yadu: "Check it out: The world is always relative to the thinker. If you experiencing harmony in your home, then you will see harmony outside. But if there is conflict and confusion because of emotional fragmentation of the tree of life, then you will see confusion and conflict everywhere. I see harmony everywhere. Everything is perfect outside." Saahraki: "Till the rent gotta be paid! [Laughs]"

Kate Lowenstein