Retiring on Zhong-Nan Mountain

Wang, Wei (700 A.D.-761 A.D.)

When I reached middle age, I loved to study Buddhism.
I now live at the foot of Zhong-Nan Mountain for my retirement years.
I climb the mountain alone whenever I like.
Only those who actually visit here can know the happiness this brings.
I go to where the flowing water ends
To sit and watch for the moment when the clouds rise.
Once in a while, I meet an old man in the woods.
We talk and laugh so much that we forget to return.

    In this poem, Wang describes his ephemeral, subtle feeling about his state of freedom when he and nature had a tacit agreement to become one. The later generations appreciated his ability to capture the truth about nature without mechanistic explanations.