Robert Oxnam :: During the Tang era, Buddhist teachings were translated and increasingly taught and followed. Buddhism became the third strand of China's philosophical-religious braid.
Buddhism emphasized the transience and impermanence of life, while Daoism emphasized abandonment to the Way found in nature. Confucianism stressed moral responsibility and service to the state. These were the "Three Teachings" that informed the thought and behavior of not only the emperors of the Tang, but also of the Chinese literati.
These three traditions are reflected in the poetry of the three most prominent poets of the Tang: Wang Wei, Li Bo, and Du Fu.
Wang Wei, the first of the triumvirate, continued the tradition of "poetry
of retreat" while actually serving in the Tang court.
Paul Rouzer :: Wang Wei carried on many of
the earlier poetic traditions — the poetic traditions involving writing
about living in retirement, living in reclusion — and carried them
one step further, sometimes by including the ideas of Buddhist quietism,
the idea of stilling the heart of passions when you lived in reclusion.
Thus, Wang Wei in many ways combined a lot of the philosophical ideas common in Tang dynasty China: The idea of Daoist reclusion, of living away from society in order to cultivate personal values; the continuing idea of the human community, which he derived from Confucianism; and the idea of stilling the passions that he derived from Buddhism.