I stumbled upon enlightenment entirely by accident. It lasted about 3 weeks. I was in a period of intense personal crisis and had been doing some deep and 24/7 introspection for more than a year and had decided a few months earlier to enter an indefinitely long period of complete sobriety (including caffeine) to help understand myself. I knew *NOTHING* of Buddhism, meditation or the like at the time but was certain that I felt entirely like a Buddhist monk.
The feeling was one of deep and fundamental contentment. I learned that this state is deeper and quite different to the different types of happiness that I had experienced before. Other emotions are all relative. This wasn't. It was a state of being.
Obviously over 3 weeks some days are better than others but this core absolute contentment was always present. It wasn't that I didn't feel other emotions, but they never affected my core being. I felt like nothing would.
It was, for me, extremely unsettling though (in a good way) because it was so unlike - almost completely opposite - to anything I had experienced before. I had always been a do-er. Hyperactive, obsessive and consistently occupied both physically and cognitively.
I noticed one day that I had been sitting on the couch (I used to never sit down without a reason - totally hyper!) staring at my computer monitor alone for an hour or so, doing nothing, thinking about nothing. Not on purpose, it's just how I was. I realised that my enlightened life was *completely* boring (one of my biggest fears in life) but I wasn't bored. I kept sitting and stared - mind empty - but was just completely aware of the room and how strange this whole thing was. The whole thing was *extremely* unusual but not at all unwelcome. The monitor and the computer were off - I had been staring at a blank monitor just because it happened to be in my line of vision.
I liked it. I mean, I really liked it. No massive ecstatic highs or running about whooping with joy, it was just really, really, really nice. Extremely calm and beautiful. I have always been lucky enough to see the world and existence as beautiful, even traditionally ugly things, and this didn't change. In fact, I had more space to be completely aware of it.
All of my drive, ambition and desire had vanished. This is what weirded me out the most. It just wasn't there. I still went to work and saw friends no more or less than before but had nothing pushing me or pulling me at all. All the focus and enthusiasm that had been such a powerful part of my identity was completely absent and I realised that this state could not last. I couldn't see how it was in any way compatible with my life long-term.
I didn't want it to fade (it's called nirvana for a reason) but it did, as slowly, gently and mysteriously as it arrived. I wish I had written an account of it at the time, but I had absolutely no desire or drive to do anything so of course I didn't.
Since then, I have meditated from time to time and generally cultivated a greater sense of awareness and that feeling does return somewhat, at least in part (never been nearly as fundamental as then). In the years since I have certainly moved my state of being towards that. Months later I finally got around to looking into Buddhism, reading descriptions of enlightenment and so on and it matched my experience exactly. You don't need to wear a robe and meditate for years, it seems, you just need to get lucky!
I've considered trying to actively achieve that state again through consistent meditation or something but I'm not sure if I *want* to exist like that forever. I think I am a bit scared of losing my existing life and sense of self, despite knowing that living without any suffering is not only possible but an absolutely blissful way to live. Maybe I'd pursue it more if I knew I could pull the ejector cord if, somehow, I didn't like a perfect existence! I know that might sound strange that complete peace and unshakable tranquility might not appeal, but that's how different it was for me.
That's the best I can do at short notice. Maybe I'll write more about my thoughts about this in the future. It was a fascinating state and experience.