When a guest volunteered to do the dishes after dinner the Master said, “Are you sure you know how to do dishes?”
The man protested that he had done them all his life. Said the Master: “Ah, I have no doubt of your ability to make dishes clean–I only doubt your ability to wash them.”
This is the explanation he gave his disciples later: “There are two ways to wash dishes: one is to wash them in order to make them clean; the other is to wash them in order to wash them.”
That was still far from clear, so he added: “The first action is dead because while your body does the dishes your mind is fixed on the goal of cleaning them; the second is alive because your mind is where your body is.”
From One Minute Nonsense by Anthony de Mello.