The sense of being, of ‘I am’ is the first to emerge

Go deep into the sense of `I am’ and you will find. How do you find a thing you have mislaid or forgotten? You keep it in your mind until you recall it. The sense of being, of `I am’ is the first to emerge. Ask yourself whence it comes or just watch it quietly. When the mind stays in the `I am’, without moving, you enter a state, which cannot be verbalized, but which can be experienced. All you need to do is to try and try again. After all the sense of `I am’ is always with you, only you have attached all kinds of things to it- body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, possessions and so on. All these self-identifications are misleading, because of these you take yourself to be what you are not.

Nisargadatta Maharaj