I have been asked by a friend/collegue to speak to her partner who has recently become interested in Buddhism and wanted to know more. I was just wondering if people had experiences from either introducing others or from their own introduction to Buddhism that may give pointers on what needs to be covered and what encouraged them into, or put them off, Buddhism.

I do not feel that my own experience of Buddhism is particularly helpful here as I think I became a Buddhist before I knew about Buddhism. I discovered about the illusion of self partly from own experience and partly from writings of western philosophers such as David Hume and started 'just sitting' during my time in the Army and on solo treks in various mountain ranges. I only found out about Buddhism a few years after and it fitted more like I had found a pair of old boots that I worn for years but had never noticed, rather than discovering something new.

I obviously will be passing on my own ideas and experiences to him - and will make that very clear - but also want to try to give a balanced view and will try to descibe any aspects of Buddhist practice that I do not find personally helpful in a non-judgemental way, and I think that the experiences of others may be helpful here.