Ngakpa Jigdal Chopel (Michael Madrone) has been studying and practicing Dharma since 1976. He has studied with and received empowerments from teachers of all 4 of the major schools of Vajrayana Buddhism. He has completed the Sakya Lam Dre three times. He was requested and authorized to teach by His Holiness the 42nd Sakya Trizen.

Ngakpa Jigdal Chopel was initiated into the Sakya ngakpa lineage by His Holiness Dorje Chang Jigdal Sakya.