My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling one,
I am not sure if you also participated in the Vajrasattva retreat, anyway, for all those who did, thank you so much for your Vajrasattva practice. That is the conclusion of everything. Even if you learned the whole sutra and tantra, all the 84,000 teachings of Buddha, the conclusion of all of that is to practice Dharma and purify negative karmas collected from beginningless time.
Without purification there are no realizations; without collecting merits there are no realizations. Regarding these two—purification and collecting merit—purification is important. The obscurations and negative karma are what block us from having realizations, therefore the conclusion is that Vajrasattva is an excellent thing to do right now, the first thing.
According to my observation, the main lam-rim text for you to study is Lam-rim Chen-mo. This is the elaborate commentary on the graduated path to enlightenment. Please study the Lam-rim Chen-mo four times, then do the meditations by following the lam-rim outline or The Essential Nectar.
In regards to the Lam-rim Chen-mo, the part on emptiness, there is a whole debate, negation of the many different wrong views, so maybe for the section on emptiness use Lama Tsongkhapa’s Middling Lam-rim more. After circling this way until you have stable realizations, then do the effortless meditation on the lam-rim.
Nyung nä retreat is to purify the defilements quickly and to be able to go to a pure land quickly. It comes out for your main practice to be nyung näs. By doing one nyung nä well, you won’t be reborn in the lower realms and in this life you don’t have to worry. The best practice for yourself and for others is for you to do nyung näs.
If you can, try to complete one thousand nyung näs, but you don’t have to worry; do the practice whenever you find time, whenever you feel comfortable. Take it easy, and if you can, try this. Other preliminary practices didn’t come out for you, just nyung näs and lam-rim. This is the quickest way to free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsara and to achieve enlightenment.
Nyung näs came out best according to my observation, so do them as much as you can. First you need to know well how to do nyung näs, then you can do them by yourself and you can help other people do them. You can lead the nyung nä if you know the practice well. This is a quick way to purify all the sufferings and obscurations. It is so good, the best practice, especially to develop compassion toward sentient beings and to achieve the state of omniscient mind. Whether you achieve enlightenment quickly or not depends on whether you quickly generate compassion.
To free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and to bring them to enlightenment as quickly as possible, there are four levels of tantra, Kriya (Action), Charya (Performance), Yoga and Maha-anuttara Yoga Tantra. In order to free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings as quickly as possible, for that you need to achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible, therefore you need to practice Highest Yoga Tantra.
According to my observation, your main deity is Gyalwa Gyatso and the other deity is Secret Vajrapani. Your deity is whichever you feel closest to and have the strongest feeling for. You can take the initiation later when you have the opportunity.
Please try to practice this way and live your life as much as possible with the thought of bodhicitta in every action you do.
With much love and prayers...