(I.) — In the first place, there must be a sincere and earnest desire to possess it. This eminent grace, without which the kingdom of God in the soul will be liable to constant irruptions and overthrows, will never be possessed by a heart, that is indifferent to its possession. It can belong to those and those only, who, with a sincere disposition to seek God in all things, can be truly said to "hunger and thirst after righteousness."
Bourignon's Light in Darkness, pp. 12, 132.]
(III.) — In the third place, in order to possess inward recollection, we are to have nothing to do, as a general rule, in thought or in feeling, or in any other way, with any thing but the present moment, and its natural and necessary relations. Discursive thoughts of a flighty and purely imaginative character, either going back to the past, for the mere purpose of drawing pleasure from it, or prospective and anticipative of the future in the manner of an idle man's reverie, are great hindrances to a recollected state. We are, in that way, rather pleasing ourselves than God; and the divine presence cannot well be secured at such times. In other words, as a general rule, there must be before us some present object. And that object must be regarded by us particularly in its moral aspect and relations. The present moment is necessarily, to a certain extent, a declaration of the divine will; and furnishes the basis of present duty. And it is the duty of the present moment, considered in its moral extension, to which, and to which only, God will consent to be a party.
(IV.) — It may be added further, that the state of mind, which we are considering, will not be likely to be possessed without great fixedness of purpose; a holy inflexibility of will, which keeps the mind steady to its object. We must not only wish to be the Lord's in this matter; but resolve to be so. It is well understood, that even worldly objects, restricted as they are in compass and importance, cannot, in general, be satisfactorily accomplished by an unfixed and vacillating mind. And still less can the vast objects of religion. I know, if the great object of interior recollection is proposed to be secured by the mere labor of the will alone, without the cooperation of the affections, it will be hard work, and useless work too. And on the other hand a favorable posture of the affections will be of but little avail, unless the desires and inclinations are aided by the superadded energy of a fixed determination. But when the decisive and uncompromising act of the will combines its influence with that of the aspirations of the heart, the most favorable results may, with the grace of God, be reasonably expected. It is true, without the grace of God, nothing can be done, whatever may be the applications and discipline of the mind. But when the conditions, which have been mentioned, are fulfilled, the divine assistance, if we may rely upon the promises, can never be wanting.
— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd Edition, 1844) Part 3, Chapter 7.