My very dear Donna,
Regarding your question, this is probably best: recite Vajrasattva mantra 500,000 times or recite the Thirty-five Buddhas names with prostrations 500,000 times.
This might help to purify all the past negative karmas and help all the future development, especially to free the numberless sentient beings, not only oneself, but to free the numberless sentient beings from samsara and bring them to peerless happiness and omniscient mind. Do these practices for that reason, to achieve the state of omniscient mind, so to achieve everything that is best, to make the mind comfortable and happy in this way.
This is the real medicine. The outside medicine might be difficult, even if it works, but if you really think about your past life karma, then the best thing is Dharma practice, purification.
Also, whichever deity retreats you have done with fire puja, then if you can, do the short self-initiation, not the long one. You can try to do that. It’s best if you do it every day; if not, do it once a week, and if not, do it once a month.
I suggest you do these two preliminary practices every day if you can and count. Even if you are busy working for others, translating, you can do some every day, whatever you can. Even if you can’t find time to do several months’ retreat, then do a little every day and if you can, do retreat sometimes and then count a little each day. So to make the life easy and of deep benefit, do like that.
The other thing is thought transformation and tong-len, using whatever problems you experience on the path, as explained in the book of my teachings [Transforming Problems into Happiness]. Practice lo-jong, the seven-point thought transformation, but particularly do tong-len and practice transforming suffering into happiness. Utilize that to achieve enlightenment for sentient beings.
The most important thing is having bodhicitta motivation and doing guru yoga service, thinking that you are fulfilling the guru’s wishes, so when you translate, even that is for sentient beings. Also bodhicitta—do things with bodhicitta motivation, translating and so forth. It is very good if you can do things in this way.
With much love and prayers...