When we go to retreats, when we meditate, when we engage in any kind of spiritual practice, we can be looking for a couple things.
For some of us, we simply want to be a better person. Whatever that happens to mean. We just want to find a way in the world that is a little bit easier, a little more kind.
Others are looking for "enlightenment." They are looking for the kind of spectacular experiences that they have read about in books. Or maybe they have seen one of the self-proclaimed enlightened teachers who talk of the "dropping of the self" or "stepping outside of time." They imagine it to be the ultimate experience, a sort of new age gift for the person who has everything.
Some people will have that experience, or something like it. The rest of us won't. There is no way to predict who will and who won't. And, perhaps most importantly, there is no way to predict what will happen after such an experience. A single moment of nirvana is only that. Confusion can easily follow clarity, and often does.
Whether we can find a self or not, whether we seem to be in time or outside of it, there is still only this moment. And all we can do is try to do a little better this moment than the one that came before it.