You are prior then your thoughts. You are, therefore, your thoughts are. There exists the constant perennial being prior then all the thoughts, even before the substratum thought ‘I am’, even before you mentally verbalize ‘I am’ and fall into the mental realm of thoughts. Meditate in that emptiness without mentally uttering ‘I am’. ‘I am’ without the thought of ‘I am’.
~Sw. Chidananda Tirtha