An interesting little spiritual practice is one where you try to let go of this internal representation. This is accomplished simply by, as you’re mindful of whatever is going on, start loosing up on all the muscular tensions in the face. All of them! One after the other, eyes, cheeks, mouth, forehead, until you feel no energy is spent powering any area of your face.
People will look different doing this. Some will look extremely tired, others will look blissful, others will look just blank. However, the way one looks is exactly what this practice is not about.
I’ve noticed that the sense of self is intimately tied to facial expressions. The internal visual representation of your face fuels the sense of existing as an individual entity, physically separated from everything else. By loosing up and letting go of the need to adequately present yourself to the outside world through facial expressions, the sense of self may start to become lighter, vaporous and transparent. It is like it slowly starts to merge with space, until left is only a sense of non-obstructive openness.
It should be noted of course, that this practice best performed in private, as it is very much against social convention to stop facial expressions. These expressions signal who we are; do we seem trustworthy, kind, willing to cooperate? Or do we seem tired, bitter, and hence not open for interaction? Without facial expressions, there is just no way to tell. Proper facial expressions are vital from the perspective of social etiquette.
The only problem is that people don’t view facial expressions simply as social cues and signals used conveniently for communicative purposes. In addition, people believe that facial expressions and identity are one and the same! So, if you appear happy or sad, people will typically assume this is an accurate representation of who and what you actually are. A happy person. A sad person. Therefore, if you were to, in public, do the practice described above in which you stop sustaining all facial expressions, people would think you were either, at best, bizarrely tired, or, at worst, mentally disturbed! So best to do the practice in private.
That said, this is a simple and handy practice that I personally find very effective as it comes to both the small and the lofty. The small concerns the relief of tension and stress all throughout the body, as well as the mind. The lofty involves the prospect of an utter disentanglement of confusion; indeed, a blessed drenching in the rain of nondual reality.